UNITED STATES—There was something I learned while being isolated or quarantined (I really hate that word quarantine now) as a result of COVID-19. I contracted the virus, someway, somehow, hell I don’t even know how I got it, but I did. The good thing I didn’t really have any symptoms at all beyond crippling muscle spasms and back pain. Some of the worst pain you can imagine people, however, I was fully vaccinated so rather that impacted symptoms or not is to be determined.

However, this column is not about COVID-19, it is about how being isolated can really have an impact on your state of being. All you have is time to think and I sometimes think that is a dangerous thing. The more you think the more your brain just keeps churning and churning and churning without any stop. You think about things you want to change, things that are going well, things that are NOT going well, relationships that create stress, work, family, money, love and so much more.

You can talk to people, but that isolation does indeed play a role in one’s psyche, one that starts to eat way at you. Yes, talking to people via phone is great, but as human beings we all need that face-to-face interaction. It allows you to connect with people and that connection can bring you out of moments of despair or loneliness that can be hard to grapple with at times people. Yeah, it might seem foreign, but loneliness is one of the unexpected side effects of COVID-19 that is impacting tons of Americans who are battling mental health issues as a result people.

So as a result of this pandemic, people have stayed to themselves, and people that normally reach out and converse with family face-to-face, over dinner or so many other outings have not been able to do so America. So how can we change that? Communicate more now than ever people. My family has a group chat where we all touch base daily to see how everyone is going, to share important news and ensure everyone is healthy and safe, while sending messages of encouragement, hope and prayer.

It may not seem like much, but it actually is considering that I have family in different parts of the country that I don’t always get to see in-person. Also I love hearing words of hope and inspiration that forces you to realize that life while challenging, you can always overcome people. However, I’ve come to realize that getting fresh air, just getting out the house and breathing the air makes a ton of difference compared to being isolated in a home where you feel like the walls are closing in on you.

Just getting out the house makes a ton of difference because it allows you to clear your head, interact with people whether complete strangers or not, that interaction makes a ton of a difference. Isolation is not good America, so if you’re talking to people, finding a way to interact makes a ton of a difference so you don’t feel so sheltered or isolated from the rest of the world, especially if you don’t have to.