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Ordinary Shoes

Does the world seem smaller post COVID?

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IDK if this is just me but it seems like the world, or at least my world, is smaller since March. 

First, I find that I'm pay very little attention to world news these days. This could be because what is going on in the USA since March is so all-consuming that it leaves no emotional energy for anything else, at least for me. 

Second, no one I know is traveling internationally these days or even planning international trips. When I was a kid (1970s), international travel was uncommon but something changed in the last generation or so. Overseas trips became very normal. I knows many high school kids who took school trips to Europe. Every college kid I know did at least a semester overseas. 

 

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I think the world feels smaller in the midst of COVID. 

I don’t believe we’re reached post COVID yet. 

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10 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I think the world feels smaller in the midst of COVID. 

I don’t believe we’re reached post COVID yet. 

Yes, sorry. My phrasing was bad. We are in a hotspot so COVID is definitely not over for us here. I hear people suggest that we are in the second wave but we're actually not even though the first wave here. 

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8 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Yes, sorry. My phrasing was bad. We are in a hotspot so COVID is definitely not over for us here. I hear people suggest that we are in the second wave but we're actually not even though the first wave here. 

I agree with that, still first wave. 

I didn’t mean to be picky about syntax, sorry. I’ve just heard people talking about our “new normal” and I’m like, this is not normal, even a “new” normal, yet. We’re still in the war zone. 

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I actually feel closer to my family whom are currently living on three continents (Europe, Africa and Asia).  We're all in the same situation, although with local rules and laws, with a common threat, so I feel the world is smaller as we're closer.

We started with a family zoom when we went into lockdown, and now its been a Sunday afternoon thing for 12 weeks running.  I have 5 siblings, some with adult children, so we have our parents and 9 other parties that dial in.  I do see everyone at least once each every 2 years, but this is the most regular contact we've had.

In terms of my personal world, and daily experiences, yes, definitely more insular.  We've been in lockdown for 12 weeks, confined to working from home, still not allowed to visit family and friends in their homes, although local restaurants and personal services have opened under strict conditions this week.  We also live right on a provincial border, literally 100m from the river that is the border and we need permits to cross.  Our doctor and other services as well as better shops are all on the 'other side'.  I've been 'over' only twice in 12 weeks where we'd normally go a few times per week.  We have a much slower pace and get a lot more sleep, so there have been benefits to being locked down at home.

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We had planned on one international trip, one distant US wedding and the KY Derby (!!  lifelong bucket list; I'd even gotten my HAT, sigh) all planned between March and June... and suddenly overnight neither my mother (in an independent senior living residence in MA) nor any of my four sets of Brooklyn or Manhattan relatives could have visitors in their buildings.  So, yes: vastly smaller.

At the same time, though, my extended family has like @Hannah 's established regular ZOOM check-ins that in some ways have put us in more regular touch.  And as a small-population state in the NYC geographic orbit I've become acutely conscious of how interconnected the states are for everything essential (ventilators, PPE, hospital beds, pulmonologists and other medical personnel and equipment; distribution of household supplies from toilet paper and sanitizer to masks; our very food supply).  And now watching other nations like Brazil creeping toward US rates of infection, how global those supply and distribution networks are as well.

So for me there's been a disorienting sense of my personal world contracting simultaneous to s stepped-up appreciation of the interdependence of the world.  If that makes a lick of sense.

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Yes, my world is smaller. I feel like my world has had this transparent bowl slammed down over it since mid-March. I can communicate via phone and internet with family, and with restrictions I can see local friends and family. There's always some kind of 'barrier,' though. And just when I start to feel relaxed and almost normal, I'm suddenly reminded that things aren't normal at all. I don't know when they'll be normal, either. 

 

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No, the world feels bigger. 

One of my children lives in the EU and I wonder when we will be able to see each other again. One of my other kids is an eight hour drive away. Visiting him would be an ordeal now, and it was nothing to me before. My mom lives a ten hour drive away, and I used to console myself with the idea that I could just hop on a plane and be there lickety split if something happened to her. 

I find myself thinking of previous generations, and how little people got to see each other after somebody moved away. 

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bigger scale of physical space in a world where physical contact is so constrained

38 minutes ago, Penguin said:

No, the world feels bigger. 

One of my children lives in the EU and I wonder when we will be able to see each other again. One of my other kids is an eight hour drive away. Visiting him would be an ordeal now, and it was nothing to me before. My mom lives a ten hour drive away, and I used to console myself with the idea that I could just hop on a plane and be there lickety split if something happened to her. 

I find myself thinking of previous generations, and how little people got to see each other after somebody moved away. 

I like this spatial perspective very much.  Even as recently as the 1919 Influenza epidemic, people weren't habituated to cross continents and oceans at the drop of a hat.

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6 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

bigger scale of physical space in a world where physical contact is so constrained

I like this spatial perspective very much.  Even as recently as the 1919 Influenza epidemic, people weren't habituated to cross continents and oceans at the drop of a hat.

Travel just kept getting easier, cheaper and safer. That, to me, is what made the world feel smaller. Now? Not so much.

Edited by Penguin
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My family has done several Zoom sessions which were very nice. It was strange having a Zoom session with all of my siblings together when we had not been in the same room together in about 8 years. 

Social media has been a real blessing during all of this. It allowed us to continue interacting with each other without seeing each other. I'm a little angry at the people I know who believe that SM is evil and refuse to use it. For example, the parents of one DD's friends wouldn't allow Facetime sessions longer than about 10 minutes. These girls have now lost touch. DD told me that she doesn't miss this friend very much. It's sad. 

 

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15 hours ago, Penguin said:

Travel just kept getting easier, cheaper and safer. That, to me, is what made the world feel smaller. Now? Not so much.

This is the biggest impact for me too.  I've had an emergency travel fund for years.  The comforting thought that if anything should happen to my parents or a sibling, the money is available and I can get on the next flight to help.  Now that restrictions have lifted a bit, I could get a travel permit to get to their city in our own country, but then then there may still be limited contact.

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I left the county yesterday for the first time since March. My world is most definitely smaller. 

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