Coronalone: Week 3

Updated: May 10

As we had previously established:

"Coronalone". It's like "Home Alone", but without Macaulay Culkin. And without the burglars (we hope). It's our ridiculous name for the surreal and strange circumstances in which we currently find ourselves.

And we currently find ourselves—more and more as each day passes—wondering what the world will look like when we emerge from this crisis, and whether we will see positive social changes in light of what we have learned during this time of both isolation and renewed concern for our fellow human beings.

It sometimes feels like there is contradiction in this experience that we all are sharing: We are physically more isolated than we were before this virus hit, but many of us are also finding ways to connect more meaningfully despite physical distance. We are worried and anxious about our health and the availability of resources, but many of us are feeling the need to open our hearts—and maybe even our wallets—to help those who are more at risk, or who have even less than we do. Our lives feel complicated and limited by our circumstances, but in many ways this period in time is opening us up and showing us exactly what is truly important, and what is not. In these “contradictions” I believe we can find some very important lessons. And here are the ones we feel like we have learned this week: Lesson 1: Human beings are social animals. We survive most successfully when we work together and care for each other. According to Abraham Maslow* in his “hierarchy of needs”, above and beyond the basics of survival (food, water, sleep, etc.) and safety (personal and financial security, health, etc.) humans also have a need to feel accepted and valued by others, as well as a need for self-respect. And once our more basic needs are satisfied, we have a desire to pursue goals and use our talents to “self-actualize”. We would be wise to remember that these are needs that we can help each other attain, and that in helping each other we can elevate the entire society. Lesson 2: We are each reexamining our place in the world and how we interact with everyone and everything else in it. It has reminded me that I feel most fulfilled when I am able to connect with other people, and that what may seem like “nothing” to one person may mean the world to another. Conversely, it has also reminded me that even though interaction feeds my soul, I can get “peopled out” even with virtual interactions, and I need to remember to recharge my batteries with some “me-time” in order to stay sane.**

Mike says it has taught him to more closely assess every move he makes outside of the house, and to consider not only how each action potentially affects him, but also how it may impact others as well. In the house, though, he says it has taught him to “go with the flow” because—when we’re stripped of our obligations and schedules and future plans—there is really only the present moment and our reaction to it.

And now, let’s temper all those heady ideas with this week’s suggestions for entertainment:

We’ve been watching the show “Community” on Netflix, starring Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, and Ken Jeong, among others. If it’s possible for a show to include slight racism and misogyny but do so in a witty and endearing way, then these guys are killing it. And if not, then we’re sorry, but we still find it funny. We give it two thumbs up! If you have not already watched the horrendously offensive yet hysterical wonder that is “Future Man”, we suggest this as a binge-watch. My cousin Dale first introduced us to the show just after my Dad had passed away, when I really needed something distracting that didn’t require much thinking. I can assure you, it doesn’t. Do us a favor and read some of the reviews on IMDb or something before you watch if you think you might be offended by crude humor, because we really don’t want to be responsible for upsetting anyone!

Resources: * Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” on Wikipedia

**All Peopled Out: How To Recharge If You're An Introvert”

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