With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, it is hard to ignore that independence has taken on a whole new meaning this year. After all, we collectively spent months independent from human contact and social interaction we are so habituated to. Grocery shopping became the big event of the week while we were forced to stay at home with our own thoughts, with ourselves. As a society innately accustomed to speed and distraction, this was somewhat terrifying, to say the least. However, two key things have been brought to the surface by social distancing: our individualism and our social support systems.

During the quarantine, after Netflix was exhausted, many of us delved into old hobbies and reaching out to friends. I think the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives all too often lets our creativity and our loved ones fall to the wayside. While, many things that used to consider normal have given way to “the new normal”, we still have and must hold on our right to our individualism. In 1776, 13 colonies declared their Independence from England and today we must keep declaring our own independence and well being while navigating such uncharted territory: together. This epic moment in history, the COVID-19 pandemic, managed to bring us all together by way of isolation. May we all remind ourselves, and each other, that we’re all doing our best figuring out this “new normal” from the ground up.

Happy Independence Day!

Laura Powers, 2020. Author retains ownership, reuse or reprint by permission only.

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