It's surreal. My wife and I are practicing physical distancing and social connecting at our home so we can do our part to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Of course, we're not staying home every minute. After all, there are some superb places to enjoy nature around us.)
Isolation – Physical Distancing
So many sources are calling this approach “social distancing“. While the practice is important, I find this phrase to be misleading and potentially dangerous. We don't want to distance ourselves socially. After all, we're human beings and we need social connections to be our best selves. I'm going to use the phrase “physical distancing” instead.
And yet, the need to isolate ourselves physically is apparent. The regions that have seen the lowest rates of infection have practiced this physical distancing (along with many other methods of slowing and containing the virus). I suspect that remaining social in the face of this challenge could be one of the saving graces of this time in world history.
Crisis – Social Connecting
Sadly, many people died before we knew the dangers of coronavirus. Even at the current stages of this pandemic, so many human beings stay in denial about the realities of this virus. In a crisis, we each must find ways to cope. But avoiding reality is not a prime avenue. The situation is calling on us to be more real than ever.
I'm so impressed with dozens of people among my social connections who are finding creative solutions and avenues. People across my social network feeds are making up ways to connect without physical proximity. Technology tools are being used in unanticipated ways to collaborate with singing, dancing, and other beautiful forms. From the Italians singing together from their windows to the youth writing collaborative poetry using online technology, people are rising above it all.
This time of physical distancing is a great time to compose yourself. The time alone is a great opportunity for introspection, dreaming of what's next, getting creative with social connecting, and starting/finishing that artwork. If you're a musician, finish your song or composition. Those of you who are parents, care for your child/children. And if you're a procrastinator, this is the best time to git-r-dun. You get the idea.
I care about you. In fact, my wish for both you and me is that we'd come out of this time of physical distancing better for it. However you choose to spend this time, my hope is that you (and I) will:
- find creative ways to keep social connections alive,
- make art,
- enjoy nature,
- download lots of music (to help the musicians with no place to gig), and
- wash your hands frequently and well.