The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents us with a new rhythm for life.
Stay at home. Don’t see your friends. Don’t see your coworkers. Don’t see your partner (or see your partner all the time, if you live together). Don’t try new restaurants. Don’t go hiking. Don’t congregate at the beach. Don’t leave your tiny rented apartment. Don’t go see your grandparents or parents, even though you worry more about them now than you have in quite some time.
It’s enough to make young adults go a little nuts. Today, I am thinking of you.
I hope that you find meaning in all this. I hope that the shared mission to combat something larger than any individual provides you with a sense of solidarity and connection. I hope that washing your hands feels like participating in a rally.
I hope you find your community in all this. I hope you feel driven to meet the owner of a local business and join a local organization. I hope that your political attention turns closer to home, and further from DC or Ottawa or London or Berlin or New Delhi, unless that is your home. Young adults move a lot and often feel alien in their town—I hope that after this, you feel more at home wherever you live.
I hope that you rekindle old relationships in all this. I hope that your worry about the older people in your life—the parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, mentors, and old bosses who made a difference—persuades you to call them. I hope that you shift relationship trajectories because of this. I hope this for you, even if some of those trajectories end because of COVID-19—and am truly sorry if this happens.
I hope that you find yourself in all this. I hope that time spent at home provides you the space to take your attention inwards, instead of out to politics, the climate, and the suddenly interesting world of epidemiology. I hope that you turn these things off, so that in the silence, you can hear yourself.