One of the most consistent messages we are receiving in this moment of crisis is the critical importance of creating physical space between us. It is the surest way to stop the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
The shorthand for this is “social distancing.” It’s an understandable choice of words, but it’s not specific enough. And that lack of specificity is already having problematic effects. When we say “social,” to some degree we always mean “relational.” The very last thing we need right now is relational distance.
Community matters now more than ever. Our work in the coming weeks will be to strengthen the connections we have with each other. We live in a fortunate time for this kind of crisis, because technology can allow us to be much more connected to each other than in any other moment in history. Because of social distancing, experiences of isolation and fear are increasing. They don’t have to.
We will need to be creative about how we connect, and attentive to what matters most in our lives. We can share anxieties, but sharing joys will be surprising and healing. We can grieve together, and also be grateful. Fear is contagious. So is hope.
The Jung Center will be providing much of our spring programming online, along with some new offerings that invite us to reflect on our current experience together. As my colleague Michael Craig wrote yesterday, “our hearts and our minds can share spaces that our bodies cannot.”