Walden May be the most famous act of “social distancing.”

It’s also a lesson on the importance of community while you are sheltering in place.  

In 1845, a shy young man named Henry David Thoreau “went to the woods to live deliberately.” Using old boards from a nearby shanty, he and a few friends built a small cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. Determined to break a spell of writer’s block, he stayed there more than two years, trying to “suck out all the marrow of life.”

He was not always alone during this time, as some carping high school student will point out. But Thoreau’s experiment, immortalized in “Walden; or, Life in the Woods,” became the world’s most famous act of social distancing.

Since the coronavirus quarantine began in the United States tens of millions of us have begun something like Thoreau’s retreat, but with a better Internet connection. As the days accumulate into weeks and then months, the burden of remaining cloistered has surely grown more challenging. Thoreau went there before us. He knew there can be contentment alone, just as often as there can be loneliness among company.

Read this book in spurts….. it will bring new meaning to your COVID isolation.