Where Do Our Relationships Go From Here?

Would anyone agree that this last year and a half has caused many of us to have moments of reflection and contemplation about how this Covid pandemic has created many unfathomable challenges and impacted every spectrum of our society, including our relationships?

My name is Mr. Eric L. Smiley and I am concerned about what this Covid pandemic has done to our relationships.

Relationships in our society are critical to its development and function. This Covid pandemic has either disrupted, or in many situations killed, relationships that were vital to human connectivity, emotional stability and financial security.

For example:

-Many small businesses have died where communities, especially poor communities, have been been emotionally impacted who rely on its services. Specifically, many poor families rely on Mom and Pop businesses which many are located in poor communities. And because many of these businesses have died, poor and elderly people must travel outside their locale to purchase groceries or products, which many do not have adequate transportation to travel.

-Social interactions have been disrupted, and in certain instances killed. Our normal interactions with family, friends and associates are now considered abnormal. My cousin told me that he went over to his mom’s house for a visit. He said that she wouldn’t let him in because of Covid, even though he told her that he was vaccinated. He said that she didn’t care whether or not he was vaccinated, he wasn’t coming into her house.

-Supply chains have been disrupted. Certain retailers are not able to provide certain products to its consumers because businesses in the supply chain have been shut down. Workers in the supply chain have quit for fear of contracting the virus and others that have contracted the virus have been unable to work due to illness or its lingering effects.

-Entertainment venues like restaurants, nightclubs, bars, concert events, movie theaters and sporting events no longer function according to social norms. Mask mandates, proof of vaccination, and separate seating for the vaccinated and unvaccinated exist in certain venues.

-Government and Media contradictions abound. The government and media’s narratives about the pandemic and vaccines have been viewed as inconsistent by certain segments of the American population. For example, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s prognosis about the vaccine is in contradiction to a Correction Officer’s medical studies who is currently in school majoring in medical science. She said the information that’s in her medical books doesn’t correspond with what Dr. Fauci is saying.

So where has all this confusion left us? Well, it has definitely created a social life that is uncertain, and emotionally and financially unstable. This pandemic has not only created trust issues with our government, but unfortunately amongst us American citizens. So the question we must ask ourselves is, “What now?”

In conclusion, the immobilization of “what now” must be converted into the mobilization of truth. And unfortunately that truth may get us kicked off of Facebook, or it may cause us to lose our jobs. But when I look in the mirror, I know the man on the other side will say to me, “My brother, I’m glad we haven’t lost our relationship.”

by Eric Smiley