“Keep it Simple is a bumper sticker slogan. Life during a pandemic has been anything but simple, and the holiday season presents (not the gift kind) its own special challenges. So does living alone and trying to stay humanized. In his book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Surgeon General-elect Vivek Murphy describes loneliness as associated with increased risk of mental and health difficulties in the BC era (before COVID-19). All the more so within such a challenging year of physical separation and trying to maintain a connection with others, with ourselves. So much angst, uncertainty, loss …
And yet … here we are poised at the brink of a new year with vaccines being distributed and a true sense of hope and healing. We’re medical educators who teach health professions students and professionals about resilience and adapting to adversity, but here we are, needing to walk the talk. Big-time. We met via Zoom for a Virtual Tea to share about our lives and not just our work. There was some laughter, the best medicine. And we reflected on negotiating living alone and the stuff of life that sustains, even enriches. Daily “little sparks of joy” can help. We offer you our “21 for ‘21” and hope the simple can be profound.”
Hedy S. Wald is a clinical professor of family medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI. She can be reached on Twitter @hedy_wald. Monica van de Ridder is an assistant professor, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University/Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids MI. She can be reached on Twitter @MvdRidder.
They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, “21 for ’21: little sparks of joy.”
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