Ten Random Observations at a Time of Social Distancing

This strange season has not been conducive to writing for me, although I can’t say I haven’t had the time. It just seems my mind only has the capacity to capture random observations and store them away for some unforeseen future use.  As that future use may never be revealed, I share a few of those snapshots with you now:

1. Wherever a screen is in between, the potential for authentic two-way communication is limited. Not impossible, but limited.

2. Because we are relational beings, humans find a way to communicate authentically anyway, even with screens in between. When forced to be apart, people find ways to get together. We’re scrappy that way.

3. It’s worth a few extra bucks to get the best possible coffee to make at home when working remotely (or any time).

4. Oversharing is not authentic; it’s self-indulgent.

5. An unexpected benefit of wearing a mask to the grocery store: I don’t have to stop and make small talk with local acquaintances I haven’t seen in years who happen to be in the produce section the same time as I am. With the masks, we don’t recognize each other. And even if we do, we’re all focused on getting out as quickly as possible so we can take our masks off.

6. The general framework for most “social media” is not conducive to socializing.

7. For introverts, group Zoom meetings have all the liabilities of a cocktail party without the benefit of cocktails, bathroom breaks, or one-on-one side conversations.

8. Track changes (in Word documents) is a useful tool between seasoned writers and editors. However, it’s a blunt (and potentially abusive) instrument when coaching someone toward better writing.

9. There are only certain kinds of restaurant foods that are better as take-out (like pizza and Chinese food). The rest are not as good by the time they get home – maybe they get soggy or a bit cold. And it’s just nicer to have someone serve you the food on a proper plate with real silverware.

10. The ocean waves washing over the rocks by the shore sounds like applause, and so does rain on the roof.

What have you been noticing these days?


Photo by Jelena Mirkovic on Unsplash

5 Replies to “Ten Random Observations at a Time of Social Distancing”

  1. Happy I got to read this today. I love what you said about the sound of water as applause.

    I’m brewing my special coffee beans now which a friend safely left on my porch (case-in-point example of #2 and #3 from your list).

  2. I’m sick TO EVERLOVING DEATH of all things Zoom. I’m no Luddite. Zoom/Skype/social media, etc. are all great resources. But, give me a hug or a handshake any day, risk be damned, and the day feels complete.

    Thanks for your thoughts here!

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