that connection with others is necessary for our survival.
It’s the beginning of week five of being at home and practicing social distancing. Right before schools were supposed to start again after the March holidays (in Hamburg, Germany at least), we got the news that for the next month we will be staying home, working from home, schooling from home, and distancing ourselves from others. Needless to say, my [and many people’s] anxiety went through the roof.
The first couple of weeks were absolutely chaotic and filled with questions about how to manage work and having kids around full-time. Somehow families all around have managed: kids are being home-schooled (or not) and parents are working (sort of).
Questions about health and going out were, and have been, less easy to answer. News outlets are constantly bombarding us with information about the hows and whys of this pandemic. It seems that feeling overwhelmed is the new normal.
Living this pandemic in Germany, however, feels like a ‘good’ place to be at during this situation. There are restrictions in place but life so far seems to be going on as normal as could be.
In Hamburg, we can still go out and enjoy bike rides and strolls by the river and parks, as long as it’s a maximum of two people keeping a safe [1.5 meter] distance from each other. As the weeks go by, the fear that was so present has slowly been loosening its grip. People are enjoying going out and socializing as safely as possible. Families and friends and lovers are out and about in this beautiful city. A few days ago, while biking, I saw a young man and his father rollerskating; and yesterday, in the park, a family with two young children playing ball. Their laughter made me turn around and smile.
It’s strange, observing how people are responding in this situation. Week five of this shutdown is starting, and we have had more time to process this situation. Something that has become clear is that our well-being is not only about our physical health but also about our emotional and mental health,
and that to keep healthy we need each other.
We need affection and touch.
We need to talk and be listened to.
We need to be reassured…