On the effects of long term but minor stresses
Going through the stages, the moods.

Hugs

We are a social animal. Some more so than others, but we prefer groups, we like physical contact.

COVID changed that, hopefully not permanently though. I do wonder what socializing will be like a year from now - I assume we'll all be vaccinated and safe by then. Will we slowly emerge out of our burrows, blinking in the light, reluctant to approach each other? Or will we act like one big happy family, with big goofy grins, hugging friends and strangers with abandon?

In the meantime? Well, I think I feel this forced isolation less than others, as I've always been a solitary person. I can socialize with others if I want to, but I also am quite comfortable with myself as me, I can be alone without feeling lonely. I'm in a bubble with my son and his family, so I can visit weekly to enjoy dinner and hugs, to hang out on the couch watching re-runs of The Office. I see my daughter and her family occasionally too - from a distance. Same with friends I see in the neighbourhood as I wander about - it's from a distance. I'm fine with coffee on my own outside a cafe or a beer on a patio, but I am not ready to meet a friend across that table - one metre is not far enough. And I definitely won't be adding to my bubble by meeting up inside - much too risky. Of course, there are phone calls and video chats to fill some gaps too.

In Ontario, COVID numbers are rising, so we are being asked to limit our interactions with others. I can see some sort of lockdown being re-imposed. Thanksgiving is in 10 days but we are encouraged to celebrate just with our current immediate household. Winter is coming, the days are getting shorter and colder, so most patios will be closing down soon and people will think it's time to hunker down.

There is a Norwegian(?) saying, ‚ÄúThere's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." Being from Northern Ontario, I agree with that. I'm fine with bundling up and heading out. I move in a few weeks to an apartment close to the Ottawa river and NCC parkland, so I intend to get out and explore more this winter. I have a pile of boxes - photos in particular - that need to be sorted and dealt with. I have my gaming and my online streaming friends to keep in touch with, people that are from around the world. Way too many books in my To Be Read pile. And I have a podcast project to get started. I'll be fine with winter. 

How about you? Are you really missing hugs? What are your winter plans?  

     

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