One of the consequences of Covid-19 for me is that it has left me devastatingly isolated. It only became apparent to me the other day when a dog came running up to me whilst I was out walking.
It was friendly, so I patted and stroked it. Then I stuck my face into its fur and breathed in that dog smell. Then I burst into tears.
This was the first physical contact I had with a living creature for months. I don’t count the elbow handshakes, fist pumps and looking at someone behind a mask, two metres away. That doesn’t cut it for me.
Touching the dog was visceral, vital and invigorating. When the owner reached us, I had to force myself to let go of the dog.
It is clear to me that I need physical contact. I need a hug. I need to hold a hand. I need to feel someone else’s heartbeat. I need this to keep my heart beating, to be healthy and happy.
If there’s anything positive to this pandemic, those that are going through it with their partners and families, are better off than those who are alone.
In terms of longevity, the science is clear on this. One of the key ingredients to living longer is connection, companionship and conversation. Covid-19, in my opinion, is screwing the connection piece up big time (especially for those that live alone). I’m convinced it will reduce our life spans. I just sucked five years out of my thumb. It’s a good a number as anything. Whatever the number, I think you get the meaning.
You’ve probably heard of the Blue Zones where people tend to live longer than the rest of the world.
One of the key factors according to their longevity according to research is their sense of community and connection.
I’m sure that this is only a small piece of the puzzle. Their healthy eating habits and constant exercise must play a significant role too.
I think connection is worth exploring as a biohack to longevity.
I have no idea how to traverse the problem of connection in this day and age because I think that is off the table for a long time. Perhaps it would be a smart idea to adopt a dog for cat if you don’t have a family unit you’re attached to. Whilst you’re saving their lives, they’ll be extending yours.
That’s assuming that you take this pandemic seriously, of course, and don’t think it is some nefarious conspiracy to control humanity. I have a sex worker living next to me who does a roaring trade. First, ew. Second, are you insane and totally run by genitalia? But then again, many restaurants, family gatherings, religious institutions and the like, have all shown a big ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆)╭∩╮to Covid and the health of their tribes. Why am I worried about a sex worker in the grand scheme of things?
See you later, I’m going for a walk. If I’m lucky I will run into a dog or a cat.
Photo Credit: GetStencil.