COVID19 Breeds Loneliness


I cant sleep. Usually this is not to much of a problem for me.

I left my parent’s place yesterday, confident that they have what they need to hang out at home comfortably. Its a four to five hour drive to their house.

This was the first time I have understood that they are vulnerable. I think we always see our parents as strong and capable because they are the source of wisdom and advice.

This trip home was originally to see an ill relative in the hospital. The COVID19 precautions prevented any visits. But as the State guidelines changed, so did the purpose of my trip.

Grocery shopping at four different stores yielded a sufficiently stocked pantry and freezer, although staples like rice, beans and flour could use not be purchased anywhere.

Im happy they will be ok for sustenance for a few weeks (I’m sure in their lifetime they have been through worse.) But I’m worried about the isolation and its toll.

Thankfully, we purchased an iPad for the house for Christmas and my dad has happily taken to it. My mom is convinced it wastes her time but is slowly coming to enjoy the internet access and cautiously but eagerly completed the census on line for the first time in her life.

It took some nudging to get my dad to play games like sudoku, word searches, crosswords, and even angry birds but he’s enjoying them now.

I do know that he reads news articles daily reporting his finds to mom.

My favorite thing has been how quickly they took to FaceTime. Unfortunately, I ALWAYS have to answer or suffer the “you never call or let is know how you are” lecture. So I answer, from my sick bed, in the garden, making cookies, etc. The look on Dad’s face, first of surprise that he can see me, then of amusement that he caught me uncombed, disheveled, or squinting because I cant find my glasses is equally as endearing as it is annoying. But then he laughs (at me not with me) and I remember all the times I laughed when I caught someone in a less than opportune time. I guess I still do.

This technology that I forced on them has paid great dividends. I am again forever grateful that we could afford it in the first place, and that my parents are still open to new things even if they don’t have a blender. But then, why would they when a molcajete works just fine.

Don’t forget to visit or at least call your older family and neighbors. They need the interaction and frankly, so do you.

Just be careful. Wash your hands immediately upon entering the house and of course don’t visit if your coughing, have a fever or are otherwise compromised.

Bring large print books, puzzles and games. Cards are always a hoot. Mostly just remember them and make the effort.

Things will get back to a new normal soon. We just need to hunker down and let science catch up.

About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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