As lockdown continues and we all get more and more solitary and down about the situation I have continued to try to pin point what exactly are the things I miss the most, and then something came to me that I had not considered.
It isn’t my direct family because I live with them, apart from Tom who I miss a lot(!), and it isn’t my indirect family because we talk quite often. It isn’t even not being able to go to restaurants, pubs etc, but rather the non-interactive things that happen to us every day.
If I am in a town centre I see many people who I do not know and I see them all doing something different; every day and in many cases mundane things, but it is variety that I still take in through my eyes and brain. It is a stimulation that we do not realise as stimulating.
If I am in the office I see lots of people doing their thing throughout the day and while I may not speak to all of them, just being in a place where other people are does make a much bigger difference than I ever realised, even if they are strangers.
Think about it, a simple shopping trip offers huge variety on a low level. From buying and enjoying a coffee in a coffee shop to looking at clothes and other products to simply meandering and being aware that there are other people around.
When we are with the ones we love it is of course the most important thing, but we tend to lose that subconscious visual variety. We know their habits, what they are likely to say and what to expect on most days, especially in a lockdown where little is happening.
What we do not know is what strangers will do when we see them, who they are of what they are like as a person, and we get to see hundreds of them in a short space of time. It is such a simple thing, but potentially much more important than we ever realised before. And I miss it more than I ever realised as well.