I suspect those of us who live in NYC and much of New Jersey - as well as other hot spots around the world - won't ever forget the impact of social distancing after this crisis passes. Aside from obvious stuff like your family & friends and confidence you'll find toilet paper, what have you missed most over the last several weeks?
I've missed the sound of communal laughter. The funny bits passed along via e-mail, a good friend who thinks to forward hysterical routines she uncovers on Tik-Tok, and some TV comedy have all been indispensably therapeutic. But, none of those are adequate substitutes for the in-person laughter of a group.
Like some of you, my wife and I have used online and phone apps to maintain virtual contact with others. I relish those moments and know I'm fortunate both to have a thriving social network and the means to use technology. But whenever that contact has involved groups - and spontaneous laughter erupts - I realize how much I've missed that sound. And as good as the technology is, it can't convey the warmth of communal laughter physically i.e. the way my skin tingles when I'm in a movie theater and people roar or the rush I get when a group - no matter the size - cracks up.
For now, I remind myself to be grateful for my wife's infectious laughter, one of my favorite sounds in the world. Many people these days don't have something like that to comfort them. I long now for the time when communal laughter can once again engulf me.