I’m mid 40s, married with children, working part-time from home. I have many friends plus family and normally connect with four people daily - my Mom, sister and two best friends.
Counting my brother, closest cousin and two other female friends, I actually checked in with eight people twice a week! I cared about every one of them.
But now, when it’s easier to maintain contact because we’re all at home, no one’s contacting me.
I get that since we’re all living under the same rules and restrictions, there’s not a lot different happening for each other.
But I believe that now, during this coronavirus pandemic, is an even more important time to stay connected.
If a family member or close friend of any of us becomes ill with COVID-19, we’re the essential support group for each other.
We know each other’s relationships, the closeness between the family generations, etc.
But I’m the only one making the effort now. It’s really getting me down.
Missing My Connections
Time to lift yourself up. You’re still the same person who’ll help whomever needs it, and pull everyone else together when group support’s required.
Recognize how lucky you are since everyone you care about seems okay.
After weeks of same-same, most people are just busy managing their own scene.
You know the demands on everyone for time and patience - making sure children are following their at-home school programs and assignments, finding physical activities they can do at home to curb their restlessness.
You’re working, needing groceries without risking proximity to other shoppers, cooking family meals and cleaning up along with husband and kids.
Everyone in that situation is busy but also distracted, trying not to over-worry while wondering about the future.
Your mother’s in a special category, especially if she’s alone. She needs to know she can always reach you or her other children.
You’ve previously given a lot of time to your friends, when frequent contact was the norm between you.
Now, they’re trying to just carry on, hoping that they and their kids won’t make a mis-step with exposure to the virus.
All of them, all of us, are relying on an old saying whose origin we hardly know:
“This too shall pass” (it’s an ancient Persian adage used in multiple languages, commenting on the temporary nature of the human condition. Pandemics, thankfully rare, do qualify).
An occasional text message or social media post of encouragement from you is enough for now.
FEEDBACK Regarding the single mother, an essential worker, who made child-care arrangements for her son, eight. He spends the day at his mother’s friend’s house, home-schooling along with her same-age daughter who’s his friend (April 22):
Reader – “I fully understand essential workers' roles in these awful times, be it as a Personal Support Worker or LCBO employee, and the urgent need for child care if you are a single parent.
“The issue I think those other parents who disapproved of the plan have, as I do, is the role of the child's mother working all day then picking up her child and returning him the next day for babysitting.
“Is public health involved? I’m a former elementary-school teacher who taught for 35 years. Eight-year-olds don’t social distance.
“Here’s a quote from the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care:
"Home child care can also be a good option, provided they get the proper support from public health so that all the right precautions are being taken.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandmother worried because her granddaughter, 14, no longer wants to live half-time with her divorced father (April 20):
Reader – “My son decided at 16 that he wanted to spend more time with his dad. While it may feel like rejection, children in early-teens are legally allowed to make these decisions before 18 (Ellie: in Ontario, and some other jurisdictions). If her granddaughter wants less time with dad (but still seeing dad) it should be permitted.
“I didn’t want my son to be with his dad more, for many reasons, but he did and we’ve continued to have a great relationship.
“My younger son wanted less visitation with his dad, so it works both ways.
“The daughter shouldn’t have to sit at her dad’s place doing “nothing” for half of the next four years.
“Her mother needs legal advice. Children by age 13-15 should have a say in custody so there isn’t resentment later.”
Tip of the day:
Being supportive means being ready to help but not intruding with it.