Social Distancing

Updated: Apr 18

The first couple of weeks of social distancing were peculiar. During my lifetime I've never seen our nation go through something so strange as a pandemic. I recall the 9/11 Attack and all the uncertainty surrounding it, but this is a lot different.

Since we've never had to impose self-isolation like this before, we've had to learn how to do it by making it up as we go along. I remember asking my partner, after we were pretty sure we had everything we needed to make it through weeks of potential exile, "now what?" It is largely against human nature—even against the nature of an introvert like me (yes, it's true, I am an introvert at heart)—to seal ourselves off from other humans.

Strangely enough, we huddled indoors pretty much uninterrupted for about two weeks until we couldn't stand it any longer. I finally ventured out to walk the dogs and found the sunshine and the quiet to be nourishing to the soul. Walking the dogs quickly became a habit for me and a joyful break from the uncertainties of isolation and the constant barrage of news about the pandemic.

For my partner, the trails became her therapy. While she remains busy with her work-at-home schedule, she did add regular bike rides at the end of her day to her new-normal routine, just like she had been doing before COVID-19.

It's easy to take our community amenities for granted when we are so caught up in the busy-ness of our workaday lives. But our current pause in normalcy has given us the luxury to be able to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy in our community. Open spaces make social distancing easier and more tolerable, and let's not forget that "The Company" in this company town has allowed us all to breathe a little easier as we see how COVID-19 has affected the economy in other parts of the country. It's also comforting to see how people have stepped up to support our neighbors and friends who are still reporting to work every day so that our hospitals, grocery stores, and emergency response capabilities remain open and ready.

If nothing else, this pandemic has shown us that the many amenities we enjoy in Los Alamos are definitely worth preserving. I've seen how our many blessings are already adding up, and it feels like I've just begun counting. Stay safe and healthy out there.

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James Rickman

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