Religious folks, ministers, pastors, etc., are suffering a lot these days. The novelty and sense of accomplishment of making Zoom and Youtube work for church services wore off very quickly.
At the same time, I noticed anxiety levels rising among people I know who live alone, especially if they are older. Again, some enthusiasm initially for having people pitch in to do grocery shopping or run errands wore thin quickly. Self-isolation as a preventive standard-of-care turned into just plain old depressing isolation.
What we unexpectedly miss the most in these difficult times is physical contact.
It’s not necessarily the hugs or touching even. It’s just being in the same room as another person that we seem to need more than anything.
It is virtually impossible to quantify or measure this effect. Which leads me to wonder, is this what religion is getting at? Mythical beings with super powers are entertaining for sure, perhaps the best way to justify that inexplicable something we all need, just to be with others.
In his book Being and Nothingness, Sartre explored the idea of the being that causes itself. Perhaps it would be more useful to look at how we cause each other.
A good article on the importance of physical presence: www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/physical-presence-spiritual-gift/
But what means “presence” exactly? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics_of_presence