March 24, 2021 by Jean
As Spring arrives, I feel that, like the plants in my garden, I’m emerging from a period of dormancy. Three weeks ago, I joined the ranks of those fully immunized against Covid-19, having completed the two weeks to let my immune response ramp up after my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. But I’m finding that it’s not easy to break the months-long habit of keeping my distance from others. I did a fair amount of outdoor socializing with others during the warm-weather months; but, despite my stated intentions to arrange at least one outdoor in-person interaction during the winter months, I instead gave in to the temptation to be a hermit. Now I’ve discovered that my social skills are rusty.
Recently, I heard an interview on public radio with a psychotherapist around this very issue; it seems that rusty social skills are a common problem after a year of pandemic isolation. The therapist recommended wading back into social life slowly rather than jumping into the deep end, so that is what I am trying to do. Two weeks ago, I visited with a fully vaccinated friend outside on her deck, and we took off our masks and shared cake and ice cream to celebrate my birthday. Last week, I cooked dinner for my fully vaccinated next door neighbor, and we both enjoyed the novelty of seeing one another’s faces, sharing a meal, and catching up on one another’s lives. I will continue trying to arrange one in-person, unmasked visit per week with others who are fully vaccinated. This week, I suddenly realized that I could ride in the car with fully vaccinated friends and go on some kind of an outing together – something to look forward to as spring turns into summer and as more and more of my social circle are vaccinated.