Community Is Key
I have a newfound appreciation for the communities I am apart of. In times of separation, we cling tighter to the communities in which we can’t physically interact with.
Communities are central to our lives
Church service on the 3rd Sunday in Lent for me was really bittersweet. It was an acknowledgment that we might not see each other for a while. It was a weird tension in the air between the maintenance of hopeful spirits and the uncertainty of when we would meet again as a church.
I thought the same thing as I worked the polls here in Chicago. The greetings of neighbors at the polls always brighten my experience and affirm that the act of voting does something to bring all Americans together.
These communities that are central to our lives or just temporary, matter so much to us as humans. We are social creatures and I think deep down we enjoy each other's company.
Our medical and health communities
And just like our other communities, our medical communities should be maintained.
Planning medication needs
Check-in with your health community and see how they might be able to support you in making sure you get and take your medications. As things may be limited, start to plan early and make sure your essential needs are covered. Taking the time to check in helps reduce the stress of needing medications in the event that you run low.
Future medical appointments
Having the conversation with your doctor about what future appointments might look and checking in about your upcoming appointments are also good ways to start the conversation with your health providers.
Communicate your anticipated needs
Being clear about what your anticipated needs and being able to communicate them with your health team will help you stay on track even during challenging times. As we navigate these circumstances, we know that maintaining our health will benefit the entire medical community and reduce strain on the system.
Support through online communities
Over the course of my writing for H-I-V.net, I have focused on community often in relation to PrEP and HIV. I personally find it fulfilling to know that I am apart of a community of people who advocate for their health and are willing to share their stories.
As we are limited in the types of interactions we can have in real life, it is my hope that it creates an even stronger bond between us online. We are all here to support each other with our own unique capacity. I am very hopeful that with online tools, we will be able to maintain our community and really just be in community with each other.
If you haven’t already, please visit our community on Facebook and Instagram. Share your story with us. Or just leave a comment. At H-I-V.net, your voice matters to us because it matters to the online community we support.
So I may not be able to go to church this Sunday, but I know that I am loved from afar. In our separation, we do not have to be socially isolated. So let’s uplift one another and build a strong community here on H-I-V.net!
How often does someone offer you unsolicited advice on your health?