Physical Distancing can keep you Well!
Social Distancing could make you Sick!
We hear a lot of commentators and pundits telling us to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining “Social Distancing”. Are they unaware of the distinction between the words “social” and “physical“? Are they living the lives of the people we see in advertising who are never in proximity without social interaction? Are they more interested in buzz words and jargon than in clear communication?
The distinction is not nit-picking. There are a lot of literal-minded people in the country (like me, for instance). There are even more who are prone to knee-jerk behavior rather than thoughtful action. There are plenty of people who are just plain stupid. Does the lazy use of imprecise language increase the ratings of the commentators. Does it enhance the prestige of the pundits? Is it worth risking lives?
Social distance will not protect you. There are people who who can be socially distant in a crowd. Unless they’re texting among themselves, the people in this picture are socially distant from each other.
The people in this picture are separated in space … literally as far apart as day and night, but are interacting socially.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person in the respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. Like raindrops, those droplets are in temporary suspension. We’re warned to stay at least 6 feet apart to allow space for those droplets to settle out of the air.
Social distancing can actually harm you. Carried to an extreme, it can reduce immunity and start or exacerbate a variety of physical difficulties. What “extreme” means varies from person to person. While we are “keeping our distance” physically, we must remember to “stay in touch” emotionally.
Like no time in history, we have the ability to support each other emotionally while separated physically. From landlines to laptops, we can contact friends and relatives easily and relatively inexpensively. We may not have the flying cars of speculative fiction, but we do have video phones.
With a bit of technology and creativity, we can even “party” with friends and family while protecting ourselves and them from the highly contagious novel coronavirus designated COVID-19. You can’t catch a virus from your computer during a virtual party … no matter which beer you’re drinking.
COVID-19 is not Armageddon or a “Zombie Apocalypse” … nor is it “just the flu”. It is a serious infection that spreads faster than most viral diseases. Be careful where you get your information. Some of the sources shown below provide accurate information most of the time. Some of them provide accurate information some of the time. One of them provides inaccurate or confused information almost all of the time.
Don’t get all of your information from a single source. Think about what you’re hearing and seeing. The news networks are more careful than the others, but anyone makes a mistake once in a while … even this guy.