Being Alone | The Coronavirus Diaries

being alone

People can’t handle being alone.

I’ve read tweets and articles about the subject, in addition to watching YouTube videos. Listening to coworkers or strangers about how they dislike being alone is far too normal now. From these laments I learn staying indoors for more than one day is miserable. Or if they gather the courage to leave their home, these individuals linger around a store or any other place full of people. That’s why too many head out to state parks or the beaches, even though that breaks social distancing rules.

Why is that? Here’s my thoughts.

Americans Can’t Handle Being Alone Because They Don’t Like Themselves

I believe many Americans can’t stand being alone because at the core of the problem, they do not like themselves.

I know that’s a loaded statement, to say the least, but that’s what I see. Misery loves company. So, sad people hang around other sad people. Complainers mingle with other complainers. You get the drift.

Why people don’t like themselves is a question with many answers. It could be due to low self-esteem. Some people only feel good about themselves when they are around other “strong” people. Or it could a loneliness issue. These people could be boring. Thus, they need to be around others for entertainment. Or, as a distraction.

As for me, I enjoy being alone way too much. I’m able to get my work done without distraction. I can listen to my music loud without disturbing others. When it comes to working out ideas for new projects, I can have discussions out-loud, which helps me in my thinking process. Finally, I can come and go as I please without having to answer to someone.

Granted, I like who I am as a person. I enjoy making myself laugh, and congratulate myself for finding solutions to difficult problems. As of a result of this, I seek being alone more often than being around others when I can.

We Aren’t Prepared For Being Alone

I believe society does not prepare people to be alone. From the time we’re born, we’re surrounded by others. As we grow older, our parents make sure we’re occupied at all times with school and some extracurricular activity. Finally, once we become adults, we hang out at bars or clubs or hobby groups. On top of that, many Americans live in medium or large cities, so they are always surrounded by people and their noise.

So when solitude creeps in, be it voluntary or involuntary, these Americans become unsettled. Because for many, the silence and the “what-do-I-do-during-this” is jarring. This is why, I believe, people stay in bad relationships, or becomes pregnant, or gets a pet. They need something comforting. Just as some people can only go to sleep if the TV is on, some people only feel “well” when someone or something is around them.

I was an only child for a good while since I was the first grandchild. My cousin was born a few months before I turned two but we didn’t spend time together till I was around three-ish. Finally, my brother is 4 years younger than me. Because of this, I had plenty of time to learn how to entertain and comfort myself.

Those formative years prepared me for times when it would only be me. And I’m thankful for it. As I know there will be times when I enjoy a family member’s or friend’s company, but other times I won’t. And I’ll be fine.

How Americans Handled Being Alone During This Time

I saw many Americans use this time in productive ways. Some learned new skills so they could get a better job. While others finally read books they been meaning to read for quite awhile. However, quite a few people I knew used this time to binge-watch shows on various streaming platforms. Or they played more video games.

Although I knew many happy individuals, I also knew some quite forlorn ones too. More Americans’ depression worsen. I read tweets from people pleading for help because they couldn’t handle social distancing anymore. Coworkers working from home asked when the office would reopen. They wanted to get back to a “normal” routine. Even though I was busy with my job, I did my best to check in with people I knew having a hard time. Yet, I couldn’t help them all.

While we already know Americans’ physical health is declining, I believe our mental well-being is too. This forced social isolation shows it.

Conclusion

Americans need to learn how to handle being alone. It’s going to happen at various points of our lives whether we want it to happen or not. My mom is a CNA at a nursing home, and she has patients who their only visitor each day is the nursing home staff.

Plus, it’s healthy to pull away from the hustle and bustle of the world, and give your mind a break. Let it wander. Introspection is something I think people don’t spend enough time on anymore. I bet if more people allowed their mind to go a journey, they would find something interesting.


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