• August 10, 2020

MILLER: Quarantines are an introvert’s time to shine - Odessa American: Columnists

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MILLER: Quarantines are an introvert’s time to shine

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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 4:00 am

As scientists work around the clock to figure out how the novel coronavirus spreads, elected officials are asking the public to practice social distancing.

The premise is simple: stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID–19 and keep our country’s healthcare system from becoming overloaded.

This means everyone is encouraged to stay in their residence and avoid congregating in large areas. No more happy hours, no more Saturday night movies, or catching up with friends at dinner for the foreseeable future.

For some, this is going to be hard to handle, and a large portion of the population is already kicking themselves for canceling all those weekend plans a few months ago.

But for introverts like myself, staying indoors and away from people is easy.

People who know me will find it hard to believe I’m an introvert. My ability to have conversations with just about everyone and feel comfortable in any situation makes it seem like I’m a social butterfly just needing to be free.

Talking with people has always been a part of my job, and while I love telling people’s stories, there are times where I just want to withdraw and recharge my batteries.

Because we moved around a lot growing up, I always felt like an outsider. Having to make new friends by being social became a skill, but I was never popular enough to be invited to parties.

Instead, I spent a lot of time on the weekends working, playing video games, reading, or catching up on movies. I had to find ways to fill the time and entertain myself. Because I am so used to being alone, the idea of long periods of social distancing doesn’t bother me.

The best advice I can personally give during these trying times is to catch up on the things you have been meaning to do. Were you planning on reading more? Now is the time to open that book. Looking at watching more movies? Here’s a chance to binge that backlog.

A lot of people, however, are blowing off the social distancing recommendation, saying they aren’t scared of coronavirus. Because the virus is easily transmitted and there is no vaccine, going out in large groups is the equivalent of announcing you plan on drinking and driving.

We all need to be mindful of our more vulnerable population who are being hit the hardest: the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Until this thing blows over, the best way to stay together is by remaining apart.

Right now, there’s an article going around stating William Shakespeare wrote both “King Lear” and “Macbeth” while under quarantine during an outbreak of the Plague. If true, that gives us all inspiration to do something creative while we are all locked away in our homes.

But for a lot of people, they’re about to learn that “significant time alone at home” isn’t the only thing they need to write the next great American novel.

Odessa, TX

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