That time I socially distanced myself from technology and the pandemic


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Wisconsin welcome sign.

By Jack Baudoin

It seems no matter where you look today, you will constantly be reminded about the global pandemic. It is on the news, people are posting about it on social media.With the amount of technology that people use in a day, it will never be far from your mind. I recently had an experience that helped me escape the daily pandemic reality. 

At the beginning of August, I spent a week on my friend’s father’s property in northern Wisconsin. He lives on over 40 acres of forestland in the middle of nowhere and does not have wifi, so I spent the week separated from technology. Being in this environment led to something a little crazy: I almost forgot about the global pandemic for a bit.

Life in this area of northern Wisconsin is a lot slower compared to the Chicagoland area. I spent most of my time relaxing, reading books, sitting on the back deck watching hummingbirds, shooting guns and living life on the laid back side. I never felt as if I had to rush to do anything, never felt as if I was forgetting to do something. I was able to sit out at night and see more stars than anywhere around northern Illinois. I was at peace.

However, even though I was relaxing without a care in the world, I knew outside of this bubble the pandemic was still going on.

For example, one day my friend, his dad and I took a ferry to Madeline Island. We parked his car on the ferry, and were told we had to stay in our car or walk around the ferry with a mask on at all times.

I knew the pandemic was still happening, but not using technology helped to lessen the stress of it. Not being constantly bombarded with news updates or posts on social media about COVID-19 allowed me to take a breath and put it in the back of my mind. Conversations went on about the pandemic and how it has been affecting us, but it simply felt like any old conversation and not the end of the world.

Being able to unplug for a week was a nice way to relax. Not only physically sitting back and relaxing, but relaxing from the stress of living in a global pandemic. Not seeing something about COVID-19 everywhere I looked was a breath of fresh air, and it was a blessing to have that, even if it was just for a little while.