We feel trapped in our homes, unable to go out to connect with friends or grab a bite to eat at any number of restaurants. We’re secluded, shut off from our communities, fearful this won’t end.

I’m not talking about the pandemic; I’m talking for the millions of people living with disabilities and the elderly who always feel isolation. We’re each experiencing a glimpse of what many live with every day.

During this global crisis, resist falling into an every man for himself mentality. This is a time to look out for your neighbors, near and far. Protect the most vulnerable, put their needs first.

When this catastrophic event is behind us, be changed. Make the world a better place for people you’ve never met. Through the trials of the coming weeks or perhaps months, please realize that the temporary isolation and anxiety you’ve experienced is a permanent existence for others.

For now, isolation is inclusive.

Todd Hanson, FAIA is a principal at JSA Design headquartered in Portsmouth, NH. In 2016, he founded Access Navigators, an online resource helping people with disabilities plan ahead for visiting historic New England. Questions? Get in touch: thanson@jsainc.com.

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