Reflections on “social hibernation”

Reflections on “social hibernation”

Life & Death Matters Post

As the world responds to the COVID-19 virus, as travel and group gatherings are discouraged and conferences are cancelled, Ted and I are hibernating. There could not be a better time for us to be called “closer to home”. We are so grateful that we were able to hold Geordie’s funeral at a time when people shared emotions and tears and hugs freely and without concern for spread of germs.

On the news we see photos of crowds in the stores, empty shelves, and hear of people trying to prepare at the last minute for who-knows-what. I hear on a quieter level, of people who have prepared in advance for earthquakes, power outages and other emergencies. And I think of parents who no matter how prepared they are, are facing huge changes with school, planned activities, caregiver arrangements and who do not know what changes might be announced in the coming day, while managing the chaos of kids. I also think of those who are less mobile, including the frail and elderly who may or may not have community to reach out to. And I think of those who are homeless (AKA vulnerably housed) who may at the best of times find it difficult to survive – especially on a cold windy day like today in Victoria.

We, as Canadians, have been asked to respond by self isolating and “social distancing.” To stay home and not go out to socialize, travel or do activities. I’m viewing this instead as “social hibernation” and that fits well for me, as the winter holidays often provide opportunities for snuggling in, reflecting, preparing and planning for a new year. Perhaps with this extended time in social hibernation, those “to-do” lists that never seem to get done, will find their way to the top of the pile. For Ted and I, our days and nights will include the work of grieving (i.e. lying on the couch and pondering).

My question for you….in a time of social hibernation, how can we connect with one another?

My immediate thoughts include long walks outside, meeting for a cuppa something via zoom or facebook or other group chats.
Tomorrow we are planning a group get together that will include the sharing of an inspiring quote – and see where the discussion goes from there.
We have decided not to drive to Alberta, and so we are also planning to meet online with a few of our kids to enjoy a cuppa hot chocolate together and share some memories or discussion that will center on Geordie and how we are all doing.

What are your ideas?

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful Kath – we are hibernating too but with daughter Dorienne’s family at their large acreage home. Ted is good at hibernating- me not so much! Give him something good to read or a photography or sailing tutorial and he’s good to go! Granddaughter Brittan’s fiancé arrived from UK yesterday – a small miracle. They are now 2 week self isolating. We’re still hopeful to hold the small wedding, now made even smaller by these events, at home here with SIL officiating on April 11th. Take care – we think of our island people often xxx

  2. I find comfort in the phrase “Be still and know that I am God”. Social hibernating allows for more time for personal reflection and much needed rest.

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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