Humans are social beings, by nature. Humans crave and need contact. Our present circumstances and conditions, however, do not lend to the facilitation of those traits. Many of us are now living in isolation, as we all try to do our part to mitigate against the effects of Covid-19.
While many of us are still allowed to go outside during several days of the week for basic goods and services; and essential workers are out there daily, there is a much more troubled grouping: Those who are in any way related to exposure from the virus. This includes those who have contracted the disease, and those who have been traced as contacts, and have had possible exposure to an infected person, and those who are declared as medically recovered from the disease.
Whichever group you find yourself in, whether it is isolated at home so as to avoid too much possible contact in the outdoors, or isolated in your own bedroom or space, while infected or sick, the isolation can wreak havoc on your mental state. It can affect your relationships, and it can play on your perceptions.
Isolation is incongruous with our nature as human beings. It comes with an inherent loneliness or a feeling of “alone-ness”, especially considering the fears attached to this disease. The fears though, are merited, because we have all heard and seen what this virus has done to hundreds of thousands around the world. We have seen the hell it has unleashed on our own brothers and sisters in the diaspora. We have already lost approximately 100 people to this virus in New York, London and Toronto, and hundreds more have been infected—many severely.
Isolation, therefore, is necessary. The virus has not yet caused any deaths in Grenada, and we count our blessings for that, but several positive cases have been hospitalised, and have been in serious condition.
So, while we are often displeased with being told or made to isolate ourselves, and while we want to go out and socialise with our friends and families, we must never forget the purpose for such isolation.
What we must always remember is that we are not isolated as punishment; we are not isolated because we are lepers; we are not isolated because we have fallen victim to a disease that is of our making. We are not isolated because we have been involved in indiscriminate sexual activities and have contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
We are isolated because we have all had to adjust to a pandemic. We are all affected, and as such, there should be no stigma attached to those infected with the disease, or to those who might have been exposed.
Those who have been infected with the disease have not necessarily done anything that is considered wrong by society.
What they have done was live their lives in tune with the laws of nature—be the social beings that they were born to be.
What they likely have not done is practice the measures that were designed to keep them safe.
What they likely have not done was adjust to the new normal.
And that is what we all need to do. Isolation is a necessary part of that dispensation.
Ministry of Health
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