Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a conference "in person" after so many months. As everyone now understands there is a certain level of anxiety that comes with this after so long in social isolation. The majority of the nervousness hovered around the fact that I was out of practice of the social norms. Really, what was going to be normal now? What used to take no consideration, now focused heavily.
I was awkward. How would I establish a rapport without the ice breaking handshake? Everyone would be masked. We had committed to the safe distance. How would that work for chitchat? Questions abounded while I considered what to wear, packed, during the drive, the arrival, amounting to my stomach in turmoil right up until I stepped through the doors.
Then, like magic, none of these concerns mattered.
Like the old saying of riding a bike, I was reminded that indeed we are SOCIAL creatures and will congregate and co-exist...laugh...chat...and share stories.
The masks made no difference, you learn to adapt. The distance was what it was. We spoke a little louder. I missed the hand shake. I'd be lying if I said differently. It was certainly strange to keep the mask in place while carrying on conversation. Certainly, we all realized that the masks were made--duh--for covering, not talking...but we muscled through, because that's what people do. But in the moment, we were like a garden that had just been watered. Lunch arrived and sat untouched as people took their precious "chatting" over hunger to catch up and bask in the sunshine of people's presence.
Someone said during the session, once "man" , meaning HUMAN, discovered fire, they gathered, told stories, laughed, cried, shared, cared and SOCIETY was created.