So Close Yet So Far: How To Socialize While Social Distancing
According to public health officials, social distancing is the practice of deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. (1)
It means avoiding crowds and larger gatherings such as parties, bars, concerts, schools, etc.
It also means maintaining a minimum of 6ft (2 meters) from yourself and another person.
Why We Do It
We practice social distancing to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a virus responsible for infecting many and causing thousands of deaths around the world.
In December 2019, COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China as a result of several cases of respiratory illness (2)
Since then the virus has spread all over the world and in almost every continent. Infecting more than 150 countries and 68,000 global death toll as of April 06, 2020 (3).
COVID-19 spreads just like any other flu or cold, which is spread from person to person.
In particular, the most common way the virus is transported is (4):
By the release of air droplets from an infected person while coughing or sneezing.
Close personal contact — such as touching or shaking hands.
Touching an object or surface that an infected person has touched and touching your mouth and eyes afterward.
Currently, the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing faster than it can be contained. Thus, one way that we can slow down the spread of the virus is to practice social distancing.
This typically means (5):
Avoiding physical contact such as hugging, handshaking, “high-fives” etc.
Keeping a distance of two meters (6 ft) between one person to another. Since it is suggested that sneezes and coughs are able to carry virus particles in the air for up to two meters.
Limiting the size of gatherings. Hence the cancellations of events consisting of large crowds (concerts, weddings, movie theatres, schools, dining areas, etc.)
Following “Stay-At-Home” orders which is exactly what it sounds like. Staying at home.
The thing about COVID-19 is that you can never know who is infected since it takes about 2–14 days to see symptoms.
A person infected with COVID-19 could be highly contagious without knowing it. And if they don’t know it then we most likely wouldn’t either.
How To Socialize While Social Distancing
Humans are social beings and a few of the challenges that have come through the practice of social distancing include increased feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It requires all of us to physically distance ourselves from other people. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot still be socially connected.
Here is my list of things we can do to stay socially connected while social distancing.
Start Reaching Out
We’ve all lost touch with people in our lives and what was once a solid friendship could have disintegrated over time and distance. However, its never too late to start reconnecting.
You know those friends you haven’t talk to in years?
Call them up.
Or maybe that person you ghosted…
Or maybe the person who ghosted you…
You really got nothing to lose here.
Besides, it’s always nice to know how the other person is doing after some time has passed.
Also, if the whole world is social distancing then the chances of them hitting you up are pretty good.
Use Those Dating Apps
If I’m going to be completely honest with you…before social-distancing, I haven’t had any luck with those dating apps.
But the times have changed because if I wasn’t hot then, I’m hot shit now.
Literally, I’ve been getting matches left and right. Or in this case, people are swiping right on me :D (YAAAAASS!!)
This just shows that people are more willing to connect more now than ever. Which makes sense. We tend to take things for granted until we realize that it is gone.
Social-distancing has really changed the dating game (so I’ve heard) and unfortunately this isn’t the appropriate time to date. However, it’s nice to connect to another person on the other end whether or not you plan to meet up in the near future or not meet up at all.
Have A Virtual Meal With Friends I use to brunch with my girls once or twice a week. But now that restaurants are closed, or only taking to-orders and/or delivery, we obviously can’t that no more.
But there was a solution.
We all decided to Facetime each other while brunching in the comfort of our own homes. My breakfast may not be as good as it once was but it was never really about the food.
It was about the company…which you can still do digitally.
Utilize Social Media Mindfully
The other day I used Instagram live to show-off my new cooking skills. Which, to be honest, was a video of me rambling about anything while boiling a sweet potato.
I’ve also gone through my list of Facebook friends and made an effort to either Facetime or message them.
Get Help Through Online Therapy
We are all going through tough times and social distancing has really tested us mentally. The impact of the COVID-19 has put millions of us in difficult situations and circumstances and is really making a dent in our lives.
The economy has abruptly deteriorated before our eyes. We are seeing people losing jobs and not being able to pay rent. For those who are working, they become more at risk of being infected. Toilet paper is almost always out of stock. We can’t tell who is infected and who is not until its too late.
All these circumstances, especially cumulatively, can really affect our mental health.
Do you feel it too? I know I do…
However, we at Wellnite, want to help as much as we can.
Wellnite, a mental health start-up based in San Francisco, specializes in affordable anxiety and depression treatment. In fact, we are currently providing “FREE Mental Health Coaching”(click here) to help people suffering from anxiety and/or depression during the COVID-19 crisis.
We want you to take advantage of our services.
And trust me when I say that we all need it.
We are all currently going through tough times and this goes with wanting to connect with others when the world wants us to stay apart.
But all this is for a good reason.
Let’s all practice social-distancing to stop the spread of the virus and to save lives.
We may have to stay apart physically but doesn’t mean disconnecting from each other.