Every week of quarantine that passes, my eyes become more open to how closed they were before. I was pretty self-centered, as we all naturally are. Even people we consider kind and considerate still have their blind spots. When we are busy, and we have goals to pursue and appointments to make and social obligations to appear for, we can sort of develop tunnel vision.
We pass so many people and groups of people in our daily lives that, from our perspective, just play these passing characters in the story of our lives in which we are the main character. We don’t really stop to think what it would be like to be the cashier at our local market or the elderly person we pass at the bus stop on our morning jogs or the recent divorcee in our building.
But I think we’re finally taking the spotlight off ourselves for a moment now. I think many of us are experiencing some difficult things for the first time that we realize others have been experiencing for years. I know there are certain individuals and groups of people to whom I owe a huge apology. I only now, through this pandemic, understand a bit of what they always go through. And I didn’t give them the attention or love they deserved before.
The inability to make plans. The inability to see friends. Having nothing to do. Total isolation. Having nothing to look forward to. These experiences could easily describe those of people in quarantine now, but they also describe what the elderly typically feel every day, for years.