I’m an extrovert. Like when you take those personality quizzes and tests? 100 percent extrovert.
This doesn’t mean that I’m comfortable in every social situation, but it does mean that I really love being around people. This whole new world we are in is basically the polar opposite of who I am as a person. I do, however, see this as an opportunity to find new paths and different ways of communicating. It’s a chance for all of us to reconnect with ourselves and prioritize immediate family and self care.
But I also know that there’s a really good chance that this will permanently change the way we interact as a society, and that is what is hard for me to come to grips with right now. The fear of so many things that I love going away intensifies with each passing day in isolation.
I’m afraid restaurants won’t be the same. Those tiny intimate restaurants where you laugh with your dining companion wondering if everyone can hear your whole conversation. That the waitresses of tomorrow won’t be able to fill their arms with plates like it’s an art form and exchange a few words with their coworker as they make their way over to deliver your food.
I’m afraid that at concerts people won’t crush together to make sure all the music lovers can get the same amazing experience. That you won’t meet new people who came from a different place and discover you have the same favorite song as your bodies are practically sharing the same space up against the stage.
I’m afraid playgrounds will be different. That the sweet, unfettered experiences my kids had won’t be available to their children.
I’m afraid that those gritty, giant festivals won’t be the same. That amusement parks, boardwalks – basically everywhere we gather in large groups – won’t have that same magic potential of memories.
I’m afraid birthdays won’t be the same. No more blowing out the candles on a cake everyone plans to share.
I’m afraid we won’t pile in close for pictures anymore, especially not with people we just met.
I’m afraid we won’t hug and kiss on the cheek when we see friends.
I’m afraid we’ll lose our warmth, our desire to touch. That we’ll become a colder, more sterile society. That we’ll lose a beautiful piece of humanity that truly matters. That strangers will stay strangers instead of someone that we find something in common with, even for a moment on an elevator.
Don’t get me wrong. For the moment, I want everyone to stay safe and stay home.
I want the fortunate of us to find time to better ourselves and come out stronger people with well organized and more beautiful interiors. I want everyone who unfortunately gets sick to get better. I want the essential workers of us to feel loved and appreciated and, most of all, healthy. I want all of our businesses, especially the small ones that make our communities whole, to stay open – or at least be able to re-open when this is all over.
But I also want so desperately for us not to lose the beautiful things that connect us.
I hope that when we all are able to gather again, we can greet one another without fear and with giant hugs and kisses on the cheeks. That we can squeeze together for a photo and shake hands with someone new. That our society will still have the magic of touch.