Publisher’s Letter: “Physical” NOT Social Isolation

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Prior to this pandemic, for most of us the first in our lifetime, we had all the freedom in the world to engage with our neighbors and friends in person. But sadly, in the midst of our otherwise busy lives, so often, we did not make the time to do so.

Now that we have been strongly advised against spending any time (apart from our immediate families) in close proximity to other people, coupled with the fact that we now have more time than we ever anticipated, finally, we are seeking ways to connect with our neighbors.

In Italy, where to date 10,000 people have died, people are serenading their neighbors with operatic voices from balconies and playing classical music on violins.

Closer to home, some neighbors have reported coming out to their driveways every day at 5 pm for a physically separated yet socially connected Happy Hour. One FoCo resident described himself as a longtime introvert. But as a professional photographer with a home nearby the entrance to a nature trail, he decided to overcome his shyness and introduce himself to his neighbors, asking if he could take their picture as they headed out for a walk — check out David Fanning’s website to see “My Neighborhood.”

Sometimes it takes dire circumstances to shake people up to assess “What’s important here?” At a time when any of us could succumb to a virus that has felled so many throughout the world, we are perhaps forced to think about our existence and what creates meaning in the time at hand.

At an unprecedented time like this, one of the questions we may ask is how can we be engaged in something that truly matters?

At North Forty News we’ve been asking this question for some time now.



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Blaine Howerton

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