Working at Home? Self-Isolation Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely

Mar 16, 2020 · 14 comments
Merle (Miami)
I want to be of help to others but it seems to contradict the idea of social distancing. I don’t have any bright ideas that don’t involve people. I live in a rather large apartment building and more and more of the residents are keeping a social distance mentality. Maybe I could start a social distancing email and we could chat that way? Open to other suggestions
Mariposa (Atlanta)
@Merle I think that’s a wonderful idea! You will be surprised how many others wished they had had the same thought. All of us are “social animals”, and not everyone may be as connected as they could or should be at a time like this, You will be a Godsend to many! Be well and happy!
jipl (California)
ALONE Faith alone, By grace alone, On the basis of Scripture alone, An account of Christ alone. For some a stumbling Stone. For us the Cornerstone. In Genesis the seed was sown, From Jehovah, Jesus on loan. Blood on the floor, From the eternal Door. Reveals what I have always known, Preborn children should never, ever be alone.
amc (Cincinnati)
I am working from home now. I live alone, widowed now for three years. Loneliness has been a constant companion for me, as well as having developed a new relationship with impermanence. Social distancing while experiencing deep loneliness has its challenges. I am reaching out to seniors in my community, dispensing hand sanitizer that I made from a WHO recipe. I believe that the best antidote to feelings of isolation is to find some way to be generous to others in this time that can feel very bleak. Needs are endless. Find a way to uplift someone, and you will benefit greatly.
anniec3 (Chicago IL)
It is an interesting thought to do such a thing. However, I don't like to have people around me as much any more, because I am way to open energetically. I was a massage and body/mind therapist for over 20 years, and due to an illness I had to let that go. I am glad I have, so I could focus on other interests in my life. My new career has me working from home and I love that. I write and tutor, which means I have regular interactions with the other people and it is more than enough. I can understand that you feel lonely and you did something about it in a very creative way. I am glad there is this option for people to help them to stay relatively sane. Thank you for your experience.
Leigh (Qc)
Thanks to Covid-19 there's never been a better time for introverts and misanthropes. What a dream come true for these ordinarily reclusive individuals to venture outdoors and never be expected to shake anyone's hand, let alone exchange kisses. Each to his or her own, but it's safe to say at least of certain proportion of the population is suddenly feeling vastly relieved.
Deeg (TX)
@Leigh Yes - it occurred to me (an introvert) that all the discomfort I’ve ever felt before/during/after social situations might be something that extroverts now have to make peace with, as those social situations and stimulations dry up for the time being.
Trista (California)
@Leigh I feel the same. As a writer, I was forced to work onsite for years at various Silicon Valley companies. Not only was the commute stressing and downright dangerous, but I had to endure the inescapable office politics, which ranged from mildly annoying to scary and vicious. I finally found myself some freelance clients, which has enabled me to work from home for the past several years. The sheer relief and --- yes --- joy that I feel now are in vivid contrast to my cublcle days. The freedom, the gratitude, the autonomy, the comfort of not being shoved into meaningless meetings, off-sites and interactions with people I would rather not know has reshaped my writing and my life I now have a novel accepted for publication and a couple of dozen short stories published in various magazines along with freelance articles and satirical humor writing which I was never able to do when I was a prisoner in the cube. I do have friends whom I can now choose when to see. And I did make those friends through working on-site. But the jerks and incompetents I met in the workplace were far more numerous. Of course they are handy to use as characters in my fiction. But working onsite wasted my time in too many ways to count. I have not had to change my lifestyle at all for COVID-19, besides the extra hygiene. Also, I haven't had had a cold or the flu in five years, and when I worked onsite I was frequently sick as a dog. And pressured to come in sick too, of course.
Buckeye Hillbilly (Columbus, OH)
Well, this is certainly a boost to the spirits when it's most needed - Olivia is back?? Does this portend further op eds from the Muse? Please? These are bleak times, indeed...
Sophie (Melbourne)
Love this, definitely going to have a look - thanks!
USNA73 (CV 67)
Tech companies should proactively reach out to the senior citizens of our country to provide ( free) service to those who are going to be housebound for up to 2 years, assuming we even find a successful vaccine for the virus. Both the internet and teleconferencing will become essential for emotional and physical health. The Federal government should make broadband available everywhere. Seniors will die at an alarming rate over the next few months. Those that survive will spend many days at home alone, out of fear and justifiable caution. Let's prove that we are all in this together.
maggie wells (145 6th ave.)
Thanks for this great tip! I will check it out.
Doug Tarnopol (Cranston, RI)
Honestly, this is sickening. Sure, my wife and I can work from home. We're lucky, and we're not whining about it. Many, usually poorer -- a lot poorer -- cannot do so. They're risking their health and possibly lives, and that of their families. Good god, we're in a war, OK? Suck it up, white-collar types. How about a UBI check every two weeks, with the most to the least, progressively less up to those whiners who don't know what to do in their relatively (or absolutely) comfy homes and circumstances, who, like me and my wife, don't get a dime? How 'bout a trill and a half for them, huh? Where's their discount window? How about no foreclosures, no utility shut offs, no evictions, and no med care costs period, Covid-19 or not, till this is over? Huh? How 'bout *that*? And anything else relevant to the vast bulk of people who are far more in the line of fire than us? Feel lonely? Get on the phone and push your local, state, and (near useless) federal government to do that, for others. You'll feel less lonely as you binge-watch Netflix after working and earning your likely higher income than most all day.
ms (ca)
@Doug Tarnopol Look at it this way: helping people who can work remotely to do so and to do so productively will increase the chances they can stay home and stay home long enough to flatten the curve. That benefits EVERYONE whether you are blue, white, pink, or any other collar. That doesn't mean we shouldn't work on policies to help everyone at the same time. In terms of utilities, many regions are already putting in a moratorium that utilities (water, gas, heat, electricity, land line) will not be shut off for an extended time. Here's one in RI:
See also