*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
One year ago, we were told to “shelter in place”, don’t go anywhere you don’t have to go or see anyone you don’t absolutely have to see. We didn’t have social gatherings, we stopped going to church, to work, to school. Churches all over the world were closed for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and the victorious Easter Sunday. We were told not to gather, to isolate…to “quarantine”. They told us we could only do things that were “essential.” Without a doubt, connection is essential.
They told us it was “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Two weeks turned into 6 weeks, which turned into 3 months. Finally, around about June, here in Washington we were allowed to dine out at a restaurant – but only 5 people at a table and you all must live in the same house. This makes it difficult when you’re a family of 7 – do the kids all sit at one table and the parents at another?
The message was clear: do not gather.
As we approached the holiday season, Jay Inslee shut down Washington state once again. No more in person dining. No Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house. And Christmas is canceled. There is to be no gathering!
Humans were created for connection. “Gathering”, or connecting, is one of the most important things we do in our lives. We are designed to live in community with one another. When that aspect of our lives is taken away, it can lead to very serious physical and mental health risks.
- Insomnia and Fatigue
- Anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
- Increased substance abuse (we’re all well aware that liquor stores and pot shops were able to remain open this whole time)
- Self harm or suicide
- Physical health issues – elevated blood pressure, weight gain/loss
We are seeing these harmful effects of isolation running rampant in our society now – especially in our young people. Mental health issues are at an all time high. Suicides are off the charts – especially with young people. People are suffering far more physical health problems as a result of being isolated than they are from Covid-19.
We need each other. We thrive when we gather. We create connections with people we feel seen, heard…valued. We need to feel that we matter to other people. That is what gives us a sense of purpose in our lives. When we gather and connect with other people we come up with ideas and goals and dreams. We get inspired and motivated to DO more, to BE more. We are so much stronger together than we are as individuals.
Our government knows this. Isolation is a strategy that has been used over the last year to advance the narrative and agenda of the radical left. If we don’t meet and we don’t gather, it’s so much easier for them to feed us their lies and get us to conform to their agenda. It’s easier to instill fear in people who don’t have the opportunity to gather in groups and bounce ideas and thoughts off of one another….which in this case, would lead many people to realize the crazy garbage that the government and the media are feeding us.
When I started Conservative Ladies of Washington, which was actually before “two weeks to flatten the curve”, my primary goal was to connect likeminded ladies IN PERSON. I know how much my relationships with my female friends, my “sisters”, means in my own life that I wanted to create a place where conservative ladies could find a “sisterhood.” Once the lockdowns happened and we were isolated I realized it was even more important than before for us to gather – in person, without masks.
My favorite thing when we have our CLW social gatherings is to just listen – it is so loud. Not because anyone is yelling but because there are ladies gabbing with each other with delight. I also love the huge smiles on their faces – it is sheer JOY. As conservatives, we have been isolated for years now. We’ve kept quiet about our thoughts and opinions on social media, at work, at school. If we didn’t, we received the name calling and the insults and it really just wasn’t worth it to speak up. We’ve been suppressed. But now, we have our sisterhood and it’s just amazing to see ladies – smart, creative, talented, unique ladies – enjoying new friendships and feeling strengthened by one another.
We must never let our government isolate us ever again. This is a tactic they are using to gain power. We must not give it to them. We are created by GOD to live in community and fellowship with other humans. Our Constitution grants us the freedom to assemble and we are going to practice that freedom to our heart’s delight!