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9 Apr 2020

Alawfultruth: How we miss thee…

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April 9, 2020 Category: Commentary Posted by:

When I was growing up, I would often hear the older folks say that nothing is to be taken for granted, that life is not promised to anyone, and that youth is wasted on the young.

I heard these  and many other sayings so often that I would chuckle, and chalk it up to old people being miserable and not wanting us who were younger to enjoy our youth the way we chose to.

Was I ever wrong!  Time and experience are two undefeated and exacting teachers.

Never in my wildest dreams — as I frolicked through my 20s, 30s, 40s, and even in the last five years — doing anything that I set my heart and mind to — would I ever believe that we are now stuck in a pandemic, quarantined and wondering how many of our friends and family would we lose before it’s all said and done.

Like so many of you, I have a child in the middle of this pandemic where the worst cases are coming from in the country. I have elderly parents who my siblings and I are incredibly concerned about, and other family members all across the globe that we can only pray will make it through this.

Based on the numbers alone, the odds are slightly in our favor if — and only if — we follow the guidelines set forth to us by the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

And so, we hunkered down and waited.

Some weeks later, we are still waiting, and it has begun to take a toll on many of us — myself included, who are accustomed to being footloose and fancy free, hugging everyone we see and generally taking life for granted because who could have foreseen this?

We watched dispassionately as China began to crumble beneath the weight of this virus, and while some of us took serious measures to prepare ourselves knowing that it would only be a matter of time before it hit the United States and around the globe, so many others went about life as usual until they could not anymore, and we were literally forced into quarantines by governors in numerous  states.

We were warned that physical and social distancing was crucial to our survival, we were told to wash our hands consistently, and we were given all the parameters around who could get sick with this thing easily.

What that meant, however, was that we could no longer hug each other, and many began learning that physical touch is so incredibly necessary for human survival as we began feeling anxious and frightened with no one around that we could physically touch.

As an extrovert, I had at first thought that it was just me needing those hugs and physical contact. But now I am finding that even the introverts — the people who wouldn’t ordinarily want to hug or touch others — are also craving that physical touch, evidenced by their social media postings, texts and phone calls stating such.

I was recently awakened around 1:30 in the morning to hear a man walking outside and screaming at the top of his lungs. And while I could not discern what the issue was for him, what was clear was that he had mental anguish and there was no one around to help him.

All I could do (and did), was pray for him and hoped that he would find a modicum of peace.

My hope is that moving forward, once the pandemic has passed us by, that we never return to life the same as before we encountered it.

My hope is also that we practice more kindness, give more hugs, are less judgmental, and check on those that we thought we would never speak to again, for whatever the reason.

Lastly,  my hope is that we see and experience life beyond our own myopic lens and realize fully that we are only as strong as the people around us, beside us and with us.

May we never again take human touch for granted, and  continue to follow the guidelines  given to us by the government so that we can get back to hugging each other.

I certainly miss it.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, The Philadelphia Sunday SUN, the author’s organization, committee or other group or individual.

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