A few months ago, who would have thought we would have heard the term self-isolation so much? As the coronavirus is declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organisation, we are increasingly being encouraged to isolate ourselves from others and avoid social contact. But what are the consequences of this for our wellbeing? This week’s song Everybody Needs Somebody to Love from the soundtrack to the movie The Blues Brothers gives us some food for thought.
As a starting point, I should acknowledge that this isn’t a negation of the idea that isolation is an important part of the battle with the virus. There are clear indicators and advice that certain groups of people, and people in certain circumstances should maintain their distance. So, if you have been advised to self-isolate, please DO follow the guidance. It also seems sensible to consider our contact with others and what is helpful and necessary as we seeks to control the spread of the virus.
Yet, it is also important for us to recognise that as humans we need one another. And, yes, sometimes, what we need more than anything is the warm comforting experience of a hug or the encouragement of a friendly smile over a cup of tea. In the lovely sing-along words of the Blues Brothers hit:
Everybody wants somebody to love … kiss … miss … squeeze … please
We all have dark days and times of loneliness. In fact, before this crisis, there had been a loneliness epidemic spoken of in the UK, especially with regards to our older folk. So, whilst in these extraordinary times we need to limit our contact with others, it is important for this not to become the new norm for the sake of risk management. Rather, it needs to be an extreme measure for an unprecedented situation. After all:
I'm not afraid to be by myself but I just need to be somebody to love.
So, as we attempt to move forward as a nation it is important for us all to remember that wellbeing is not an individual isolated concept but requires us to be community. And that means being with people.
Need to reconnect with people but don’t know how? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?
Taken from the album:
Photo by Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash