Daily life is hard work right now.
Just going to the grocery store wears me out! One author describes this as moral fatigue. A simple trip to get breakfast supplies becomes a series of life-threatening decisions. Wear a mask? No mask? Gloves? How many cartons of eggs can I buy without looking like a hoarder? Will there be toilet paper?
Human touch has become Kryptonite.
I don’t even pay with cash anymore, because I don’t want the check out girl to catch my germs. Instead, I plug my plastic card into the machine and say, “No thank you,” when the cashier asks if I want a receipt.
And yet, we need the touch of other humans to thrive. Maybe even to survive.
So, we improvise.
My husband and I are still exchanging hugs when he leaves and returns from his job as a family physician. But he wears protective garb at the clinic and washes his hands. A lot. I’m not too worried about his skin zapping my superpowers. I also think I hold on a little longer than usual these days since he is the only person I’m allowed to touch.
I also reach out more on social media than I ever have before. I’m using apps that I made fun of previously, just so I can see the faces and hear the voices of people I love.
I’m thinking about one of those hug screens I’ve seen on social media, and I’m keeping a lawn chair on my front porch in case someone drops by for a socially-distanced chat.
And, we hang on.
Maybe we can’t grab hands as we go down the slide right now. But we can hold tighter than ever before in our hearts and in our communication. Because, sitting on the porch six feet from someone I love is better than sitting on the porch alone.