Social Distance; Don’t Socially Disconnect

By James E. Harper, Esq.

We are living in a different world than we were this time last year. If nothing else, the pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity—that we are all one family. And, although we have not been able to meet in person for CCBA activities since the 40-Year Luncheon last March, we can still socially connect as members of the Clark County Bar Association.

In her article, COVID-19 and Emotional Wellbeing, Kathleen Schulz addresses how the fear associated with the current infectious disease outbreak may be an equal or more significant threat to one’s health than the physical manifestation of the virus itself. As society takes measures to stop the spread of the virus by implementing social distancing measures, the ways in which we work and practice have changed. Everyday interactions with colleagues that once fueled productivity, drive, and purpose are now lost. According to Schulz, social connectedness is a building block of personal resiliency—our ability to bounce back, to withstand, recover, and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands. Lower levels of resiliency can increase the potential for burnout and loneliness, reduce employee engagement, and increase the likelihood of getting sick.

If you or someone you know has socially disconnected and is struggling, there are many resources available for attorneys to cope with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19. For example, a group meets every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom to speak with other attorneys going through similar issues. At this closed-door meeting, led by Nevada Lawyer Assistance Program Director Kristine Kuzemka, attorneys discuss stressors in their practice, personal life, or whatever may be worth discussing with others for insights and/or suggestions on how to maneuver through these difficult times. The meeting is not a 12-step meeting and not group therapy. It is intended to be a confidential forum to focus on wellness and attaining balance in both one’s personal and professional lives. Meeting ID: 848 5609 0264; Passcode: 890509. For more comprehensive lists of other resources for maintaining health and wellness in these difficult times, see Health and Wellness Resources for CCBA Members by Stephanie Abbott on the CCBA website at https://clarkcountybar.org/health-and-wellness-resources-for-ccba-members/, and Mental Health Resources for the Legal Profession available on the ABA website at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyer_assistance/resources/covid-19–mental-health-resources/.

Physical distancing is the new normal, but it is vital that we do what we can to avoid social disconnection in the process. We can reach out to colleagues by phone, text, or social media. We can participate in CCBA’s virtual luncheons that are always preceded by virtual networking. We can support the CCBA’s Community Service and New Lawyer’s Committees’ efforts while keeping ourselves and others safe. We can choose to participate in virtual meetings by video as opposed to audio only. Above all, we can still connect as CCBA members.

Stay safe, and stay connected.

About the author
james e. harper

James E. Harper is the founding member of Harper Selim, PLLC, a civil and commercial litigation firm. James’s practice is focused on insurance matters, including coverage and bad faith, and appellate matters. James is president of the CCBA through December 2021.


About this article

This article was originally published in the “Racial Justice” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (March 2021). See https://clarkcountybar.org/about/member-benefits/communique-2021/communique-march-2021/.

© 2021 Clark County Bar Association (CCBA). All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. Editorial policy available upon request.

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