By Paul Big Bear,
It has been over a year since we were first told to wear a mask, to social distance, work at home, home school, further we were told, well too many dictates to list here the bottom line, our country as we know it was changed. Our lives impacted as we stopped going out to eat, to the movies, to a club, to shop. A year has passed, hard times, pandemic, FEAR. Will you get a vaccine? Will you continue to wear a mask and social distance? These hard times historically are when Americans pull together, stand united and strong, and come through all obstacles.
What is different this time? Again fear, fear of spreading a disease that we are told everyday is killing people, high risk people. The elderly, those with any existing health issues, if you travel to another state you must be tested or self quarantine before you are permitted to return to work or any social setting. We hear these restrictions and statistics “all day long”, on the radio, the television, and the internet. How many do you know who have passed away during this pandemic? Were you, or their family able to visit them in their last days? Were they able to have a proper funeral?
Just when you thought the worst was behind us we learn this. Have you heard of the “Department of Loneliness?” How about a Secretary of Loneliness? The U.K. has had a Department of Loneliness for two years and two Ministers of Loneliness and it doesn’t seem to be working from what I have researched. Loneliness is defined as a feeling of isolation, it can be socials, mental, emotional, or environmental, and someone can feel alone in a crowd of people. So, what can we do? We live in the most socially connected world ever and yet one in three elderly live alone and many feel deserted. What can we do?
Make a phone call, call someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time, call a relative that you were not able to have a holiday gathering with, send a text, an E-mail, write a letter, send a card, how about a picture of yourself with the family or engaged in some activity you want to share. We can actually speak with a friend or relative thousands of miles away – AND SEE THEM – thanks to Zoom and Skype. We should not have lonely people we should have people that care, show compassion and love, and let people know they are not alone. Try this reach out to someone and ask them how they are? What have they been doing? Let them know that you are thinking of them and you will stay in touch that you will visit as soon as things open up again. Ask them if they need anything, a ride to a doctor’s appointment, how about groceries, a prescription. How hard is that? No harder than binge watching Elmer Fudd before they replace his shotgun with a net and it will make you feel a lot better inside for making someone else feel less forgotten.