It is a state which many declare to be desired; but, in reality, human beings are social and political animals (the latter term applied in an Aristotelian sense), and a true state of it becomes an insular havoc of desperate insanity.
Isolation is used in penal institutions as a means of punishment. Whether it has a rehabilitative effect is questionable, but the policy is generally to impart upon the prisoner a stripping and depriving of a needed human experience — that of contact with others — and by punishing the individual, to allegedly “motivate” the offending party into behaving in an orderly manner in the future. However, human beings possess great forces of creativity. Stories from the Guantanamo facilities reveal a wide range of ingenuities in communication methods employed when “solitary confinement” is imposed upon multiple individuals.
In the end, the policy of isolation is often ineffective, and merely serves as an extreme measure of punishment which motivates not the human appetitive sense of behavioral modification, but cuts deeply into a profound sense of resentment and hatred.
In the general population, we have come to fool ourselves into believing that a blinking screen can replace actual human contact. The worldwide pandemic has revealed the fissures of such thinking, and has tested the extremes of isolation.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job under FERS, the sense of isolation can be felt from not being able to engage in the multiple essential elements of the position — of participating in conferences; of engaging with other coworkers; of missing time from work because of doctor’s appointments, etc.
Further, actual isolation is often exaggerated in the mind, where the mental isolation becomes disproportionately viewed and exponentially harmful to a person’s self-image.
Contact a retirement attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider the option of filing a FERS Disability Retirement application. As isolation is the harbinger of a future yet uncertain, FERS Disability Retirement may be the ray of hope which opens the jailhouse door to a mind which is willing to be motivated.
Robert R. McGill, Lawyer