You, me, and ’Rona

As we all adjust to living with a deadly and most importantly, invisible virus, what happens between us, our partners, family, friends, neighbors and coworkers? How do we negotiate the emotional impact of less or no physical contact and the social lack of connections as we used to have? Human beings are social animals. Yes, I know, there are those who are introverts and really prefer their own company and maybe even shun being around others. But even they, seek the comfort of another individual at different times, when their emotional needs peak in crisis situations. So how do we […]

Individualism And Social Responsibility

Through the years leading up to marriage equality, and even with other individual rights struggles, I wondered about the cognitive process of balancing individual wishes, wants and rights against the needs and rights of coupledom, partnerships and the society writ large. Were these two separate ways of thinking that were mutually exclusive? How would one balance these against each other? The reality is that when you are a single adult, you call the shots for your own life. The minute you enter a relationship, even a friendship, you give up some level of power in the interest of the newly […]

Camaraderie Yesterday And Today

Have you noticed that the way we relate to each other has changed since the invasion of social media in our lives? I hasten to add that that invasion has brought many positive changes as well.  But this pandemic, in its totally unexpected ways, has also affected those changes we have been living with, more often without focused attention. When our survival is threatened, as with this invisible virus infection, we react with emotion because the issue hits the amygdala, the brain center that is programmed to fend off the impending danger, as it should. However, we need to keep […]

Where Do We Go From Here?

Some people focus on the immediate present, as in today and tomorrow. Some work on a much longer time frame, with monthly and yearly projections. Most fall in between or use a combination of both extremes.  Whatever works for you, the current situation is a huge challenge because it is almost impossible to predict where we will be down the road. Scientists offer their best facts and opinions. Will a vaccine come on the market? When? Will everyone have access to it? Maybe. Will it be effective? Perhaps 40-60%, like the flu vaccine. Does the virus mutate? How might the […]

Reinventing Relationships

Whether you are in an established relationship, wanting to start one, or early on in one, in these last several months with the pandemic, we have all been impacted and have had to adjust, adapt, negotiate, re-negotiate or even end our connections. Human nature thrives on social contact. Even if you may be an introvert, you still need that soul-feeding emotional bond with other human beings, maybe not too many, but still. Sometimes it is a family connection; other times it is a friend or a romantic partner. In the words of the 17th century English poet, John Donne, “no […]

Living with Ambiguity

In the last 3 months, we have read, heard, viewed or talked with friends, family, coworkers, scientists, officials and others, and have been exposed all kinds of views, opinions, facts and counter facts. The human brain seeks comfort in consistency and at least a sense of temporary certainty. Alas, we don’t have that. How do you deal with those in your life when it comes to restrictions regarding the coronavirus? Masks, face coverings, social distancing, and other preventive measures have become not only political, but unfortunately and regrettably, reflective of one’s strength of character or personality, or one’s concepts of […]

Can Loneliness Be Good?

Think of painters, writers, innovators, coders, composers or researchers, and many other careers or pursuits that really require functioning ALONE. Being by yourself is mandated, by definition, to provide that state of mind that allows to create, to focus and to work towards a defined goal. The human mind needs that quiet time, that sense of being in flow with the process of being immersed in a self-introspective state. So why do we complain of being lonely, of having more anxiety and depressive thoughts as a result? You may have read or heard all of the recent emphasis on how […]

Chaos Around Us

While we were coping with social distancing, quarantine, isolation, and fear of an invisible virus, as I write this, we are seeing the powerful reactions in our cities to George Floyd’s killing. It is impossible not to be affected by this and of course, certainly not in the LGBTQ community. Any group that is treated as an outgroup, whatever the criterion may be, is familiar with the feelings towards the injustice and discrimination. How are you dealing with this state of the country? How are your relationships and your mind coping with the anxiety, anger, frustration, and depressive thoughts over […]

How to Connect in Isolation

(Photo credit: Robert V. Ruggiero – Unsplash.com) Did you see that the Netherlands was advising single people to quarantine with a “seksbuddy”? (Read it here) Leave it to the Scandinavians to merge liberal views with creativity, to foster resilience and safety from a virus. Good idea, no? Of course, there is the issue of how you choose a healthy or uninfected person. But how do you date without jeopardizing yourself or the other, when we can be asymptomatic but can pass it on? This pandemic has not only created much anxiety and fear around being physically close to others, but […]

Coronavirus Does Not Discriminate

While we are all dealing with isolation, social distancing, face coverings, not hugging or shaking hands and all the unusual things we are living with, I try to look if there can be some sort of a positive end result from this. Not for those whom we have lost, but for all those who live through this crisis, and survive to talk about it. Negativity exacerbates the stress of coping with daily life; if we cannot find some hope, some green shoot somewhere, it becomes a drudge to get through any challenging period. So the virus does not discriminate as […]