We’re Still Not Socializing


I was so excited about 2020.

We started off the year in Spain, bringing our then 13-month-old son on his first international trip. As usual, he took everything like a champ, and we are so grateful that we were able to expose him to beautiful sights, delicious foods, and some of the most intriguing history this world has to offer.

Towards the end of our trip, my husband, myself, our son, and my mother all became sick. The weather in Spain was unbelievably cold (we were extremely ill-prepared, even though we did pack warm clothing), so we didn’t think it was anything more than maybe a common cold or the flu.

We were never diagnosed, but when I look back on it now, I am convinced that we all contracted COVID-19.

The reason we were never diagnosed was because, at the time, we didn’t even know COVID-19 existed.

By the time we returned to the states, the media was just beginning reports of an unknown virus that had originated in China. Within about a month of our return, that unknown virus had entered our country.

Then, everything shut down.

We took it in stride. We did grocery delivery and stopped dining-in at restaurants. Like the rest of the country, we had no idea how long this would go on, but the more information that came out, and as we watched the death toll rise, we quickly realized its severity.

We stopped socializing altogether. We had just moved into a new neighborhood in February, literally right before the world shut down. In March, with a then 15-month-old and my 64-year-old mother, who was now deemed “high-risk” due to age, we made the intense commitment to socially distance ourselves, in every way possible, until things began looking a little less grim.

After the state went through Phase 1 of reopening, we, as a family, began to reassess some of our distancing choices. My husband had been working from home since the end of March/beginning of April. My son, who had been home with me since the day he was born, began to show signs of desperately needing some sort of socialization. As much as I was teaching him at home, he really needed some sort of teaching environment with other students.

Even though the state was getting more comfortable with the thought of reopening, were we comfortable with the idea of reopening ourselves?

My husband did return to his office, taking every precaution possible, with mask-wearing and continuing to distance himself. We did end up enrolling my son in a private preschool, with small class sizes and every faculty member in masks.

While we were comfortable in those two decisions, something still did not sit well with us in returning to “normalcy” in socializing with others or even returning to dining inside restaurants. We started to see less and less mask-wearing and groups of well over 10, without any sort of distance between them. Though that may be the decision that seems right for others, which is perfectly fine, that decision is not right for us.

I take this virus very seriously. I take this virus very seriously for both myself and my family. I’m not trying to make this political; this is merely a cold, hard fact.

If that means that I sacrifice my social life for a little while longer, then so be it.

If that means that I still get questioned on why I’m still choosing to not socialize, then so be it.

If that means that I lose some friendships over my decision to not socialize, then so be it.

My point here is this. If you, too, are choosing to not socialize, because that’s what you feel is the best choice for your family, then stick with it. Do not let the opinions of others sway you into doing anything you are not comfortable doing.

Don’t make it about politics. Don’t even make it about science.

Make it about the fact that at the end of the day, you’re putting your family first, and that’s perfectly okay.

About the Author

Dana is a Jacksonville transplant and a New Yorker at heart, though she’s lived in Florida for 24 years. Most days, you can find her fumbling her way through motherhood as a first-time mom to Cooper, and being a horrendous housewife to her husband Mark. She also enjoys watching episodes of Daniel Tiger (long after her son has gone down for a nap) eating her son’s leftover dino nuggets that he refused to eat, and binging true crime documentaries on Netflix with her husband. She lives solely on caffeine and parenting humor, with a particular interest in creating funny parenthood memes.


  1. I agree completely!! I often see what other parents are doing and feel guilt… guilt that I’m not ok with socializing yet, guilt that I still have my 8 year old doing virtual school, guilt that I won’t allow my kids to do anything with any other kids including extracurricular activities. I wish we had a small circle of friends for my two kiddos to play with that believe the same that we do but unfortunately we don’t. It all breaks my heart but I still feel that it is for the best. Hope that one day soon we’ll be able to put this behind us and get back to some sort of normalcy. 10+ months and counting 😭… we’ll push through!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here