What the Quarantine Is Teaching Us About People


During this quarantine, I hear more and more parents saying they had no idea how difficult it was to be a teacher of their child. But, why would they? It wasn’t their job. They sent their child to school and then went on to their job where they

worried about the expectations their job has for them.

But, suddenly being forced to do not only their job but be a teacher to their child. They gained first-hand experience in, not only teaching a child but teaching their child.

I imagine that next Fall some Parent-Teacher meetings may go very differently.

What can come out of this quarantine is empathy and compassion.

I believe some people have had their eyes opened and some are more aware of how they affect others and what others do for them.

Prior to this, I think we were entrenched in a Narcissist era. Social media and selfies played a large role. Technology made it easier to be separate but together until people were together yet on their individual devices.

But, being forced to isolate even from our offices through remote work has led to a true loss of connection. However, even if you didn’t have a circle of friends you interacted with on a regular basis, most people are used to interacting with people they see on a daily or weekly basis.

I’m used to stopping to get coffee in the morning on the way to work and having a brief encounter with the servers. It may have been exchanging smiles and hellos, but it was something I could depend on happening every single day.

There are so many people weaved into the fabric of how we go about our day. I never thought too deeply about it until businesses started shutting down. Then, I understood how much I depend on random people to get through my daily needs.

I feel grateful to the people on the front-line because I wouldn’t be able to get my essential items without their sacrifice. I also find myself worried about their health and the health of their families for the first time. I can’t say I thought about it before. I actually feel relieved when I see they have on masks or some type of covering. I won’t patronage a service that I notice isn’t protecting its workers.

Another interesting change was to see how many people were willing to quarantine in an effort to not get someone else sick. Once we understood that people were asymptomatic but could still spread the virus. Many people are staying away from members of society who are immunocompromised. And, they are finding creative ways to still let that person know they love them and they matter even if it means stopping by but staying 6 feet away from them.

Knowing someone cares that much about your life to alter their behavior when they don’t have the same reasons is a type of support that not everyone finds in the world. It’s like a husband going on a diet and exercise plan to support a wife who is struggling while he can lose 25 pounds by sneezing. She knows he doesn’t have the same challenges, risk, or consequences, but he wants to encourage and motivate her by being in it with her.

This world is not as selfish as we were trying to make it out to be. Many more people are willing to help others when the alarm is sounded. Business, education and healthcare is people helping people. Maybe, we will walk away with new eyes and see how much we depend on and receive help on a daily basis.

Maybe there can be more appreciation and more empathy, especially when someone is struggling.

We are all in this together.


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Photo courtesy iStock.