Don’t call it isolation
if you’re stuck at home
with a partner you love

Don’t call it isolation
if you’re quarantined with kids
and a family you can hug

Don’t call it isolation
if you have housemates around
to share thoughts and laughs

Don’t call it isolation
because it’s insulting
to those truly living all alone

It is isolation
when there’s no one to hug for weeks

It is isolation
when no one hears you speak for days

It is isolation
when your thoughts to yourself you keep

It is isolation
when a stranger’s eye contact fills a need

© Sanch V @ Sanch Writes (7 May 2020)

Featured image by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

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  • Deborah
    7 May 2020 at 9:48 am

    Oh Sanch, this is beautiful. And I can absolutely relate. I probably don’t mind as much, or perhaps I do and am not aware of the impact it’s really having on my mental health… but I did get to hug my mum last weekend after a couple of months.
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    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      7 May 2020 at 9:52 am

      Thanks Deb; I’m definitely doing a lot better than in the beginning but I am missing hugs! When I do see friends for a walk (one-on-one), we still don’t hug. Also, it’s tough not being able to share random thoughts that pop up during the day, and I converse with the cats, one-sided conversation gets tiring too!

  • Nate
    8 May 2020 at 7:16 am

    In the States, we’re calling it Shelter in Place, which seems more fitting for most of us. You did a great job flipping the repeated words from don’t call it isolation to It is isolation to make your point resonate. I identify with the strangers eye contact filling a need. Not being acknowledged while passing people on a walk feels like an admonishment now, whereas I’d never noticed it before.

  • Vinitha
    8 May 2020 at 8:57 am

    True, Sanch. It is not isolation. I have noticed that strangers are not much into greetings after this stay at home order went live. We go for walk in the evenings inside our apartment complex and we meet others on the way, everyone keeps the distance and moves away from each other’s way, and avoid eye contact mostly. I feel odd during such interactions. How much our society is impacted with this virus!
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  • asha
    8 May 2020 at 1:12 pm

    You do a really nice job of shifting the perspective from the negative (don’t call it isolation) to the positive (it is isolation) to emphasise the disparity that exists between haves and have-nots in the world. It’s super interesting that a few folks have focused their gaze on this point this week. I wonder if we’re in the stage of lockdown/stay-at-home where we can move from the initial panic and start looking at how the new ways of functioning are being felt in different sectors of society.

  • Simon Falk
    16 May 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Poignant. Really good, Sanch. Thanks for sharing this.
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  • May 2020 Reflections - Sanch Writes
    1 June 2020 at 7:43 am

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