30 Day Writing Challenge Day #28 - My COVID Dilemma, I Have No Idea How to Say Goodbye!

Every time life turns left, there are both blessings and challenges to be found. This is certainly true of the COVID-19 pandemic.  At first, all everyone seemed to see were the limitations and restrictions. But over time, some finally began to admit there were also some positives that came out of it.

Let's start with just a small sampling of the good - 

  • Weekly strata social distanced get togethers outside in our parking lot.  With everyone off work, we were all home.  8-9 of us would relax together each week, sitting in camp chairs 2 metres apart, and chat, something we never committed too before. As soon as many headed back to work and the sports on TV resumed, these pretty much fell by the wayside.
  • Divesting of stuff is I know a lot of people dove into.  All those places in the home that had accumulated things year after year were emptied out, items stuff sorted and a lot let go of.  I did this just a few years ago when I moved, so this was not my focus at time.
  • Spend more time outdoors. People had more free time. There was nowhere to go. So they took up walking, running, bicycling and hiking trails, and began to spent more time in parks and at beaches.  Stores actually ran low on things like bicycles and boats.  I personally set a goal this year to train for a 5K. The tons of free time that came with COVID-19 really helped me get started.
  • Creativity was another outlet. Hand crafts like knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing were embraced. Cooking and painting classes were offered online.  I know many who sewed fabric masks that they gave away to friends or donated to those in need. I took up knitting and crocheting while listening to podcasts and audio books.  I created a horde of fuzzy octopi (okay a consortium) which I gave away to those with new babies or grandbabies, starting working on a large number of wool tuques to donate a charitable organization this Xmas, made some blankets for my bonus daughter and a cool large crocheted floor basket for my grand daughter's bedroom.  
  • Entrepreneurs who had been thinking of taking their businesses online suddenly had all the time in the world to focus on creating content as well as a ready market for what they wanted to offer.  Those who had been wanting build a website or update an old one had the time to really think through what they wanted and make it happen. 
There were also a lot of downsides.  I think we all have a long list of what we miss, but I want to just share the one that has been, and still is, hardest for me.  Over the last decade or so I realized I loved connecting with people physically when we met.  It's important to make eye contact and to listen as well as share. But for me, there is something truly special about the human touch. 

I love to hug people hello and goodbye. If they are uncomfortable with hugs, I am happy to give them a warm, generous hand clasp, usually clasping their one with both my hands.  Then there is the arm around the shoulder - offering support and encouragement. They might be sharing their pain or celebrating something wonderful in their life. That arm around their shoulders offers something beyond a facial expression or spoken words.  It offers a bridge that connects us in both love and support.

I heard three people on the radio the other day talking about hand shaking and whether it should come back. Two were older and said they hoped it didn't. Then there was a younger man who said, "Absolutely I want the handshake to come back. Learning to greet someone with a handshake is a right of passage as a child grows and it has cultural significance in business."  A long time ago I read somewhere that in history if you offered a hand to shake, it showed your opponent you didn't have a weapon in your hand.  I have no idea if this is a true story, but I love the sentiment. I too hope the handshake returns, along with other physical connections.

Greeting people when we meet without touching feels strange, but for some reason that's not the hardest for me. It's saying good-bye without touching that I find devastating. It shakes me to my core.  I'm not good at leaving, so do it quickly without a lot of talking. A big hug and an "I love you" or "I can't wait to see you again" are the right final notes for me.  Instead I have to just say goodbye, turn and walk away. For me, that seems to come across as cold and feels very out of character. And it's a totally unsatisfying way for me to say goodbye.

So of all COVID-19 has brought in challenges, the one that is hardest for me is that I have simply no idea how to say goodbye.


  1. You always extend that invitation to friendship. What a gift. I love the Fashion kids, one of whom said: "That lady is important; are you sure she wants to meet me?" And yes, you got to meet most of them! As you extend the friendship, personally, so does your writing. Leading your readers into different journeys and inviting response as we go along. Thanks!

    1. Wow - thanks for the lovely comment. I am curious as well - what is the biggest challenge COVID has made for you my friend.


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