Alone In This Together

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(By Ezry Sonnenschein, MSW, RSW – Psychotherapist in Private Practice)

I’m hearing from clients and acquaintances who feel like the world is coming apart at the seams. There’s a sense of existential fragility; a foundational uncertainty that, for many, seems worse than the fear of getting sick.

The fear is understandable. But there’s a fundamental truth that gets lost in the panic of “They are closing the borders…” and “They are closing the schools…” and “They are restricting gatherings…”

“They” aren’t doing anything. We are doing it. All of us. Our whole society.

The restrictions may feel quasi-apocolyptic and eerily sci-fi-esque, but here’s the key distinction: we aren’t being restricted for our personal safety or because the world is not safe for us to venture out into. In fact, the ones who are most affected by the restrictions – parents, children, working people – are the ones most likely to be alright if infected. This isn’t like restrictions from a nuclear fallout zone or imminent war threat: These measures aren’t a reaction – they are a proaction. They represent the unified strategy of a society determined to protect all of its members, even – especially – those most vulnerable. This isn’t a withdrawal, this isn’t running away. This is action. This is the way we, through our officials on the advice of learned experts, have all agreed to get ahead of this thing.

Many of us feel isolated, many feel lonely. We should recognize this and reach out to each other however we safely can. But this is the price we are all agreeing to pay precisely because we aren’t lonely or isolated – we are all part of a greater whole that we are steadfastly committed to protecting. We are separating because we are inseparable. We are distancing because we are so close to one another.

We may feel alone, but we are alone in this together.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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