Waterolor pink, blue and green stationary reading, "I have been officially disabled for al most severn years." COVID FOMO by S. Kelley Harrell


I have been officially disabled for almost seven years. I say ‘officially’ only because for years before that I forced a life of busy-ness that wasn’t helping my health issues at all. I only slowed down when I had no choice. After diagnoses I eased up on myself and my social life and soul practice largely relied on virtual engagements.

During the pandemic, not much changed for me along that line, except that everyone else was finally also reliant on virtual social engagement. What I mean by that is, during the pandemic, I actually regained parts of my social life, because everyone else was forced to connect online.

It’s Spring where I live, and everything is screaming outdoors, interaction, community. Now, everyone is focused on returning to face-to-face interaction and I’m feeling a loneliness I didn’t feel before forced lockdowns.

That’s not just fear of missing out, it is actual missing out.

Life is going on for others. I’m not able to engage in-person at the level other folx are. Neither do I feel safe to do so, even masked, nor am I able to in terms of stamina. Folx don’t want to hang out virtually, and despite explaining, they don’t understand my absences from their in-person events. There’s an unspoken judgement in that projection that reinforces how much they didn’t get disability before COVID, and now they’re traumatized by what they missed out on (rightfully so) because of limitations imposed on them due to lockdown, and don’t understand those trauncated logistics were pretty much just Tuesday for disabled people before COVID, and still are now.

Not everyone is returning to engagement post-pandemic, because they weren’t able to be engaged at that level before it. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t missing out. Remember that as you note the absences at the table and consider how you could make your social engagements more inclusive for folx who can’t physically be there.

Beltane garden flag by Kelley Harrell, shows people dancing around a May pole, with the words "Beltaine - moving with flow, growing together"

Original seasonal garden flags vailable on Etsy.


on Instagram

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

I’m an animist, author, deathwalker and death doula. For the last 25+ years, through Soul Intent Arts I’ve helped others to ethically build thriving spiritual paths as fit, embodied elders, who upon death become wise, capable Ancestors. My work is Nature-based, and focuses soul tending through the Elder Futhark runes, animism, ancestral healing, and deathwork. I’m author of Runic Book of Days, and I host the podcast, What in the Wyrd. I also write The Weekly Rune as a celebration of the Elder Futhark in season. Full bio.

#beyourcommunity ~ #youareecosystem

elder well, die well, ancestor well


We don't heal in isolation

but in community

Gift of the Dreamtime Reader's Companion

~S. Kelley Harrell