Is Smiling Banned Too?!

The virus doesn’t move, people move it. We stop moving, the virus stops moving, the virus dies. It’s that simple.

As of last night, Boris finally declared a police-enforced lock-down in the UK: hallelujah!

As per the new “rules” we’re allowed to leave the house for one form of exercise a day; to buy basic necessities; for medical needs/to help a vulnerable person; or to go to work if you’re a key worker.

So this evening I went out for my daily walk and the effects of all this self-isolation and scaremongering from the media really hit me.

As I was walking around my town, I suddenly realised that no one acknowledges anyone’s presence anymore. Forget a smile, a simple split second of eye-contact seems to be out of the question now.

If you pass someone on the street, they look the other way as if they’ll catch the virus from just looking at you. Everyone potentially has the lurgy, so everyone is the enemy.

Even in the supermarkets, we look through one another now. Rushing around with frazzled expressions on our faces, trying to ensure that our shopping trolleys are stacked to the brim.

We’re losing our basic humanity.

And it’s sad. It’s only been a week since a lot of us have been working from home, so I dread to imagine what we’ll all be acting like in a couple more weeks.

While self-isolation is the only option we have to get through this pandemic, long-term it’s not good for us as humans. We all need one another, we need conversation, we need hugs, we need kisses, we need laughter. And as we’re already starting to see, without these things we’re slowly starting to become de-sensitised to one another.

So we need to get creative and start making use of the tools that we have, before it’s too late. Instead of cutting ourselves off from the world and feeling miserable, let’s pick up the phone and call one another. Use those little devices to reach out to our loved ones instead of just using them to scroll through Instagram all day!

Let’s video chat so that we can see the person on the other end’s big smile and eyes light up. Let’s go for walks to get out of the house and breathe in some significantly less polluted air!

Whatever we can do to avoid becoming gormless zombies who seek nothing but toilet roll, let’s do it, just so that we’re not completely inept at social interaction when we do finally return to normality!

Sending a big virtual hug your way. ❀


10 thoughts on “Is Smiling Banned Too?!

  1. Sending you a virtual hug too. I have seen a few miserable faces as well. I think that this lock down is somewhat last straw and it didn’t need to come to this. At what cost is all of this? We have to ask…

  2. At least we have modern technology like the Internet to help keep many of us connected at the same time. Imagine having to go through this before the Web, before cellular phones… sure, we all had one phone line per household but that’s probably not enough to satisfy the social needs of a family of 4.

    As for avoiding glances with others in public, I can see myself doing that. I would do that simply because I don’t want to invite any unwanted contact or conversation with people, even if they’re 6 feet away. We all have to remain isolated when we find ourselves in close proximity with others in public, as well.

    Just my irrational opinion.

    1. No danger of British people voluntarily making contact with you out in public! πŸ˜†

  3. “let’s pick up the phone and call one another”

    β€”I totally agree πŸ™‚. I’ve been connected with WordPress friends more in the last week, by chatting in WhatsApp and having calls with one of them. It really goes a long way, and it’s amazing to be able to do that!

    “Forget a smile, a simple split second of eye-contact seems to be out of the question now.”

    β€”Wow, I haven’t actually been out in public for 10 days nowβ€” which was when I last went to a supermarket. That’s crazy it’s changed that much already! And sad! Sounds like London tube rules are operating everywhere. I can’t understand why people would stop making eye contact and smiling πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ, that has nothing to do with the virus. I would’ve thought they’d be smiling at each other more, to encourage each other πŸ€”. That’s what I’ll be doing anyway!

    If people wouldn’t expose themselves to the scaremongering it wouldn’t be anywhere near as much of a problem. It’s entirely voluntary.

    “As of last night, Boris finally declared a police-enforced lock-down in the UK: hallelujah!”

    β€”I shared your relief, as did most of us it seemed! It’s funny what is coming out in people though, sometimes. I have a friend whom I’ve always viewed as intelligent and rational, who said before the announcement: “I think some serious shit is coming that is going to heavily infringe on civil liberties”. I find it hard to believe that he’s not understanding that this is a unique situation, and that ‘civil liberties’ are always relative, and that due to the actions of those people, our freedom has to come second at the very least to some extent.

  4. I found myself calling people a lot more. I’m afraid to go out. Afraid to go back to work. Afraid I will catch it and I will die before I am ready. But, I also believe the world was going too fast, and the Universe has caused us to pause and take a breath, count what is important. Thank you for writing this.

  5. For me, working from home, mostly online, nothing much has changed apart from the constant fear and dread for my family and friends all over the world. The joy of living in an internet age is that I have been able to speak with friends in India, Bangladesh, America and many other places to check they’re ok and give some companionship to those who are finding isolation much scarier than I. The deaths of many is a terrible, terrible thing, but once we’re through all this, I can’t help but feel there will be some permanent changes in our lives which will be for the better. Not least will be a better understanding of our interconnectedness with one another and how good that is.

    Stay safe

    Ken

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