Once upon a time on this planet, before COVID-19 ran rampant around us, the world focused on all of the divisive elements of life that kept us separated. Competition and the battle between the haves and the have-nots seemed to permeate all cultures around the world. Moreover, people generally believed they were in better or worse situations because of what they did or didn’t have.
Quarantine life changed all of that. While everyone is experiencing it very differently, I’ve found some really great commonalities expressed in so many communities. Here are some thoughts about my experiences.
Moms and Non-moms Unite
Before COVID-19, the lives of moms and non-moms were often seen as opposite as night and day. I’m sure both felt their needs were drastically different from each other, also. This time in quarantine has shown me something very different, though. Never have I felt, as a parent, so much support from non-parents! This is one of the first times in my life that almost every phone call I get from non-mom friends is dripping with empathy and understanding.
It’s been a good thing for us parents. We need that validation from non-parents sometimes. This quarantine is no exception. It means a great deal to hear someone say, “Oh my gosh – I cannot imagine! What do you need?” It’s also a relief to see supportive responses like my friend Rory’s hilarious tribute to moms during the quarantine. It’s like she REALLY gets it, and she knows the perfect cure for our situation! Gestures like hers make our experiences a little less stressful.
That support goes right back to non-parents. At least, it does for me and my mom friends. I’ve heard myself say a few times, “this is definitely a time NOT to have kids!” I’ve received a few nods from mom friends on that, too! It’s this reciprocal understanding that’s been amazing to see and experience. We’re all no longer sensitive about our lifestyle choices and differences. We realize no group has it better than the other.
Reaching Out Matters
That concern for others has extended beyond my mom groups. I’ve been reminded to check on my friends and family members who are single. It’s been important for me to reach out to them during this time of COVID-19 to ensure they aren’t feeling lonely or isolated. I’ve also had some old friends reach out to me to make sure I’m not drowning in the craziness of life right now. Touching base with people I haven’t had time to connect with has been nourishing, both mentally and emotionally. It’s made me realize how solid my support circles are–and should remain.
Generally speaking, I think the entire world now realizes the importance of connecting with others. It’s even more important when physical connection isn’t an option. To know that we are all okay, that we all sense, feel and share the human experience…these are ideals that transcend our circumstances.
The Great Equalizer
Times of tragedy or hardship typically bring us all together. We saw that as a nation with 9/11 and major weather catastrophes that happen each year. We saw it locally with the wildfires in LA last year. In the worst of times, we often see the best of humanity. During those times, “love thy neighbor” takes on a completely different meaning. Meaningless things tend to fade to black, while love, care and support step to the front.
While we shouldn’t need a tragedy to bring everyone together, a really nice by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic is the ease with which we all have been able to unite, despite our differences and life circumstances. We have all realized that there’s no such thing as “greener grass.” You have your yard, and I have mine. And what we all want more than ever is to play together and enjoy each other in SOMEONE’S yard.
Many things that mattered before this pandemic no longer do. Other things, like abundant support for each other, matter like never before. It’s what we all have in common, and I hope that we stay focused on that long after this situation changes for us all.