Standing Alone Is Hard

Fionnuala loves her soaps. She was watching one the other evening (Emmerdale if you must know) where a scene was taking place inside a cafe. All the actors were wearing masks and socially distancing. There is no longer any kissing in soaps. Or fist fights for that matter. What is the world coming to, is there no end to the madness? Television without gratuitous sex and violence on tap. How will we cope?

It was quite a bizarre and, vaguely unsettling, scene. While it was entirely correct that the producers were promoting the important message of wearing face coverings it gave the scene a slightly ridiculous feel. While I could hear what the characters were saying to each other I couldn’t see their facial expressions. Non verbal communication, which accounts for the majority of communication during social interactions, was at a minimum.

At present I only need wear a mask when I’m on the train or in a shop. These are short periods of time and I don’t need to engage in lengthy conversations in either setting. But there has been talk of introducing them in office environments which would account for a much larger chunk of my day. Ideal for pulling faces at the boss when you don’t agree with their latest crazy decision but not so good for meaningful, substantive conversations with colleagues.

Face coverings are an essential part of our lives now. Wearing them correctly can and will save lives. But there is a price to pay and part of that is becoming even more isolated in a world where messaging and online meetings are more common these days that old fashioned face to face meetings. We are increasingly becoming islands of solitude which cannot be good for our mental health. Standing alone is hard, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

17 thoughts on “Standing Alone Is Hard

  1. Society must remember that no man is an island. Humans need social contact. I know that I do. Hopefully, this period will be short enough and we will return to actual physical contact and interactions with one another.


  2. I disagree with the idea that these soap operas should wear masks or that masks are part of our lives now. There are counties in the US that have very few cases and don’t require masks , though some do wear them . Masks have never been proven to prevent the transmission of the virus , only spit droplets . Read the research carefully. I’m sorry you live in such an oppressive place.


  3. I fear that eventually the powers that be will order us to don Hazmat suits and retreat to sanitized pods where they can closely monitor all our movements, thoughts, and interactions with I-Phones attached to our skulls! We will be ordered to work from work stations in these sanitized pods and have absolutely no human interaction whatsoever least we get sick and die. Because if we distance ourselves and sanitize ourselves and cover ourselves up we will live forever! Forever-stay safe- We are alone together! Bull! Excuse me I am just so sick of all of this. I feel trapped and alienated. I had wanted to travel to France for my 60th birthday but I cannot because I have to stay here and stay safe! What good is safe if you aren’t really living? I am just sick of it all. What’s the point? Somebody tell me that. What is the use when we all come to an end whether its Covid or anything else. Sorry. I am just sick of all of this.


  4. Kia kaha Stephen. I have found myself thankful for the living people within my bubble whom I don’t have to wear a mask in the presence of. Though small, it is a beautiful thing to have conversations while being able to see and interpret facial expressions.

    We are lucky in New Zealand for face masks to only be compulsory on public transport due to the good work put in by our country’s population. I only hope we do not see a spike in numbers over the coming months and into next year.

    I pray your home will improve and people will make wide decisions for the benefit of those around them. Peace to you and family.


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