Like so many introverts, I am not bored by being at home. My husband and I are both introverts and can occupy ourselves at home without any problem.
There's a difference between boredom and isolation, though. We are not alone; we have each other for company when we are not working. And we have two cats. Anyone with pets knows how much they can help to ward off loneliness.
But I do feel for folks who need the energy of social contact with the larger community, especially those who live by themselves and do not have pets. Isolation poses a bigger challenge for them.
My ninety-year-old mother is one of those. She still goes out daily to have coffee at a busy McDonalds. If her usual group is not there, she will talk to anyone. She also goes to the grocery store almost every day. It gives her something to do, gives her a bit of exercise, and keeps her feeling in touch with the world, especially now that she is unable to enjoy reading or other "brain" activities due to mental decline. She has a telephone, but has never been interested in computers and doesn't have one.
It has been very frustrating trying to convince her that she needs to limit her daily trips out and about. She declares she has too few years left and will not spend them stuck at home, even if it's just a temporary situation.
I don't know how much of this is her longstanding approach to life ("no one is going to be the boss of me") and how much of it is due to her decline in cognition. Even appealing to her to think of the situation she would be putting me in if she became sick has no effect on her. (I'm her contact person for medical situations, and I'm in a higher risk group as well due to age and asthma.)
This is causing a tug-of-war between us that seems insolvable. I understand her need for socialization. And I respect her choice of a shorter but rewarding life versus a longer but lonely life ...
... except when she is putting others at risk by making that choice. It's not just me and my family who might be affected -- it's everyone she comes in contact with.
I have run out of things to try. If you have suggestions they would be very welcome.
Update: I wrote this yesterday. By today, Mom's McDonalds had posted signs that there is no in-house seating permitted. One problem solved, sort of. The grocery stores are still open, though!
I feel a bit like this cat
I hope everyone is being careful and staying healthy. There was a thought-provoking sentiment on social media yesterday:
In the war, we were asked to go and fight for our country. Now we are
being asked to stay home on the couch for our country.
Sounds like it should be simple, doesn't it, comparatively speaking. And yet for some (maybe many) folks it will be hard to do.