I searched for a topic other than coronavirus to discuss for my post tonight, but I could not find one. However, my psychology class is studying the topic of social psychology this week. Social psychology is the study of what humans do, why we do it, and the consequences of actions. Humans are social creatures, and we need to be with our own kind.
John McCain was a Navy Commander when he was shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese. Nelson Mandela was a political activist when he was imprisoned by South Africa for 27 years. McCain was in isolation for two years, and Mandela spent six years in solitary confinement. Both men agree that the most difficult part of their imprisonments was the loneliness or lack of social support from other human beings.
According to my lesson material, Social isolation is as bad for a person’s health as tobacco or obesity. People who are isolated from other people become depressed and/or ill and even die prematurely. The simple fact of the matter is that people need people to live normal, healthy lives.
President Donald Trump encourages Americans to put distance between ourselves and other people. He wants us to stay away from groups that are larger than 10 people and to stay in our homes as much as possible. Older people are counseled to isolate themselves for three months. This counsel is good for people who live with other people, but not for those who live alone. People need people or their health deteriorates.
We are fortunate in that we have great technological means to stay in contact with other people. I had the opportunity to Facetime with my youngest daughter and her family and later with three of my sisters as a group on Sunday. Today is only Tuesday, and it seems like a long time ago. Even though I normally spend a lot of time at home, there are not many days that I am home all day long and several days in a row. Staying home for fifteen days as requested by President Trump may be difficult, but I may go mad by the end of three months!
Right now, I am trying to figure out how to do some grocery shopping. Should I risk going to the store at 7:00 a.m. along with other elderly people, or should I learn to order groceries online? The bigger question is, do I trust someone else to choose my bananas, or should I go buy them myself?