Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Social vs Personal Distancing

Bay Ward Bulletin
Ottawa, Canada
There has been a lot of discussion since the coronavirus arrived on the scene about the critical importance of social distancing. Frankly, the longer the phrase has been used the more I have come to understand that while it sounds good, it mischaracterizes what we really are trying to do. 

We need to do the opposite of "social" distancing during this period. We need to become socially closer to each other. That does not mean physically closer. Becoming socially closer, to provide the support and encouragement that people need to survive the upheaval in our lives that is being experienced, is critical to helping everyone get through this time. 

Even the World Health Organization has determined that the concept of social distancing is inaccurate. In a CNN article published on April 17th titled, 
Forget 'social distancing.' The WHO prefers we call it 'physical distancing' because social connections are more important than ever.

So, how am I moving socially closer while maintaining physical distancing? 

Zoom and Google Duo have become two of my favorite communications applications. I still text and email, but I also video call when I can. It is a way to remain socially close. There is something personal about seeing who I am talking to, it makes the call more personal, even intimate. It helps to show that I care about the person on the other end of the call.

Be safe. Practice physical distancing, but also move socially closer to others. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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