I dunno...yesterday, Karin and I ran to the plant nursery to buy seed potatoes and carrot seeds. The place was humming and they had signs everywhere reminding people to keep a safe distance and that only X amount of people were allowed in the shop and the seed barn and the café and the greenhouse. It seemed to me that people were just in their own little worlds, on their own little missions and not really paying attention to any of that. People walked quite close to us, obliviously, and even though there was space between people in line at the cashier, there were a few that didn't seem to care, and brushed by others as if they weren't there.
Even I screwed up and I'm normally very conscious of social distancing. I went to find someone who worked there because I had a question about the carrot seeds. We were looking for a roll of them, implanted on a paper strip, and I didn't see them in the seed barn. I found someone in the covered walkway, putting out pots of spring flowers. "Excuse me," I said, "can I ask you a question?" She looked up at me and said yes, and then stepped backwards. I immediately took a step forward, not even thinking, while asking my question, and when she backed up again, I started to move forward again, until she held up her hand and I realized what I was doing and apologized and backed up myself. Karin was simultaneously amused and horrified at me. "What were you DOING?" she hissed. "I WASN'T THINKING! I just wanted to ask my question and she was moving away from me."
How many times do we do things without thinking? ALL THE TIME. It's human nature, isn't it? But all year (and really, for most of my adult life), I've found myself saying repeatedly, "what were they THINKING?!"...genuinely horrified at my fellow human beings for their behavior. Granted, I think my not-thinking about instinctively moving toward someone I was trying to talk to is a very different thing from people who behave in all sorts of awful, hateful, violent ways, but I suspect more of it than we'd like to admit comes down to not-thinking. Or rather, reacting. Whether out of fear, or anger, or self-righteousness, things would sure be different in the world if people would stop and really THINK about what they are doing. And why.
Even though I haven't been sick, I am tired. I'm sad and stressed and my eyes are itching like crazy (thanks, early allergies!). Walking in the sun helps. Massages help. Getting a good night sleep helps. I think a year-plus of all this extra worry and stress and sadness is really starting to take a toll, not just on me but one everyone I know. So, here's to taking a little extra thought: for yourself, for ourselves, for everyone we know.
Really good (and relevant) writing out there right now: An Unlikely Conversation Starter