Some of us – either our for health reasons or simply because our risk tolerance levels are lower – are still limiting our behavior in significant ways. For example, I’m keeping on my N95 whenever I go inside public spaces and I’m not gathering with people indoors or even outdoors if there is not room to socially distance.
As my friends and peers are joining the movement to unmask and “get back to normal,” a lot comes up for me. I’m going to share about my experience because when I’m deeply grounded and spiritually connected, I know I’m not the only one feeling like this.
So, dear people who are “getting back to normal,” when you talk about getting together for meals, making travel plans, or even when you suggest that meetings might start happening in person, I feel like I don’t belong. I feel unseen and unheard. Disregarded. It hurts, and I feel lonely (not just alone). I question my own judgment, too, and that is distressing.
As you begin expanding your lives back out into the public and maskless sphere I would like to invite you to consider starting from the standpoint of someone who can’t (for whatever reason) do the same.
It would be so helpful if, instead of suggesting we hold these meetings in person, maybe start by acknowledging that not everyone is ready or able to meet in person. If you begin with that, then, to me, the suggestion to meet in person feels less alienating.
Having received several “let’s start meeting in person” suggestions and “masks optional” messages in the last week, I’m realizing how callous it feels. If those invitations were preceded by “I know some of us aren’t ready to meet in person/take off masks” they would sting just a little less.
Thanks for considering it.