Social Distancing The Homestead Way

By , March 16, 2020

Paging through Facebook has always been a go-to procrastination method on these days when I have a blog deadline looming.

Lately, everything’s coronavirus, of course. Today, as I procrastinate, a lot of Facebook posts show friends social distancing. Since many of these friends are Alaskans, you can imagine, we’re pretty socially distant.

If I’ve managed to make one preference clear on this blog, it’s that I adore isolation. I love my friends and loved ones, but I prefer solitude (see Hermit at Heart).

Indulging in another procrastination strategy, I complained to Michelle about writing for the blog. I hit on the idea of following the crowd in posting photos of my self-isolation, but got too cynical about it.

Then, as often happens, my better half stepped in, and made a very good point.

Social isolation, homestead style

Social Distancing, Homestead Style: The love of my life is actually in this photo, I swear! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Michelle observed that one of the biggest steps we took in moving to the homestead was letting go of excellent insurance coverage provided by my work for The State of Alaska. We decided to do it, arguing that an improved lifestyle, in fresh air, better food, with increased exercise, less stress, and more natural social isolation, we would actually be healthier than our life in Juneau—hopefully healthy enough to not need that insurance!

Such has proved to be the case. Michelle pointed out that the few times I have been sick, we’ve been able to trace it to contact of some kind: either from my trips to town (such as to rehearse and perform plays, a source of sickness most of my life) or from Michelle’s and Aly’s contact with others. She reminded me of a visit from her brother and his family. One of our nephews had new contacts. He had touched a railing on the ferry, then touched his eye. He fell sick soon after he arrived, and gave the sickness to all of us!

How rare is that? That we could isolate the infection to the precise moment it happened? Who, in society these days can be that definite about such a thing?

Of course, after she said this, Michelle went to town, leaving me all alone on the homestead.

Social distancing, Homestead style

Ooh, look! She’s a lot closer! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The life of a hermit isn’t for everyone, obviously. But, when the vast majority of the population is deciding case-by-case whether or not to shun crowds, or otherwise practice social distancing, I feel like I’ve got this one under control!

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