Contained? What does isolation really mean to people

Isolated – “cause a (person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others”.

So what does it mean to be kept away from others and what effect can this have on people?  I know for most people, modern technology gives us access to visual communication with others, but what about those who don’t have this kind of technology?   Most older people are given phones by their children to keep in touch, but I think that it is the face to face contact that human beings miss the most.  

If you have seen the movie Passengers the male actor is almost driven to despair by being the only person who is accidentally awakened en-route to another planet which will take another 90 years to complete the journey.  He spends his time talking to another crew member who is in an induced coma just to have the human face to face contact before he finally takes drastic action to have actual contact and communication with this person.  

In the movie Castaway, the character of Tom Hanks makes a head with a face out of a volleyball to endure being stranded on a desolate island.  The addition of the head in his life makes the isolation that bit more bearable for him.

Although none of us are in deep space or on a deserted island, our lives have changed from being in the middle of a busy capital city and being with fellow students, work colleagues, friends and family, to being mostly either alone or within our own households.  This can take some getting used to.

I decided to make some human substitutes for anyone that was feeling lonely as they walked past my house.  Just two scarecrows sitting in a chair, at a safe distance from others, taking in the sunshine.  They did cause a few people to stop and have a look.  

The Scarecrows
view from the street

3 thoughts on “Contained? What does isolation really mean to people

  • 26th March 2020 at 10:47 am
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    I definitely think face to face contact is something that I miss. I am with my family at the moment but I really miss seeing my friends and I feel like online communication isn’t really as nice as seeing people face to face. It feels odd suddenly to be in this situation… at points I quite wanted to be a bit of a hermit but now I’m not so sure :’)

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  • 27th March 2020 at 2:59 pm
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    Lovely idea Michele….mind you, they might be seen as a ‘keep away’ too warning, too.
    Endless inspiration connected to isolation. Dunno if you read my previous post
    https://extraordinarytimes.myblog.arts.ac.uk/2020/03/21/books-responses-to-confinement-and-other-resources/
    ‘… Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’: now rightly regarded as ‘problematic’ when viewed through a post-colonial lens, but still moving. There was a serialisation endlessly repeated on UK television when I was growing up, with a very ethereal musical score. I always got upset at the episode when his dog died …’
    Trivia fact: Brian Eno once chose the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ theme tune from this series as his choice for a radio show called ‘The Tingle Factor’

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