Social Distancing, Is This a New Way of Life? and How Do I Stay Entertained?
What is Social distancing?
To put it very simple, social distancing is putting space between yourself and fellow humans to decrease the spread of illness and disease. It seems to have originated with Coronavirus/Covid-19 but it's helping to slow the transmission of other illnesses as well.
Social distancing means staying out of someone's personal space and then add about 3 ft. onto that. They suggest 6ft. It means events that would allow lots of people to congregate need to stop. Sorry, no sports, no mall shopping, no gathering in a church. It also means limiting travel and public transport. Even going to the grocery store, you need to be mindful of the space you occupy and stay out of personal space. It also means that if you are showing signs of illness, that you stay home and stop putting your germs and filth out into the public.
Pandemics are forcing us to be more aware of how we live, what we eat, and how we stay clean. Most of the suggested things during a pandemic to stop the spread of illness are common sense. Things we've grown lazy about. Wash your hands properly with soap, cover your sneezes and coughs, and keep your hands out of your mucous membranes. This is all common sense! But as the world's population increases and germs get stronger, this no longer can be ignored. Social distancing is a bigger measure to slow the spread of viruses and disease.
Living with Social Distancing
For an introvert social distancing may be the dream they've been waiting for. We already know how to function alone and tend to prefer it. We don't get bored. The problem is though, that despite liking to be alone, no one likes to be alone all of the time. Humans require social interaction, we are social by nature. It's funny that it's not an issue to be alone until you are told you have to be. As if removing the choice somehow makes it so much worse.
But we can all use this as an opportunity to grow and enjoy life more. It's a reminder to ask you to really slow down and examine what is important and what isn't. It's a request to help protect people that are already sick, have weak immune systems, underlying health conditions, diabetes, and organ transplants. It's an inquiry of self-examination. How well are you really taking care of yourself?
The disturbing effect of social distancing is emotional. Think twice before you hug and go all kissy on someone and sorry but now is the time to get creative with social interaction.
So how do we adapt to this new way of interacting? Luckily we are living in the age of information. Skype, video conferencing, social media. More than ever before people are working remotely. The internet and video calls don't remove the need for human touch but they sure do help with tolerating the times when we should not be touching. And working remotely helps keep our economy afloat, at least for some professions.
How to stay entertained during Social Distancing
There are so many things you can do to cope and adapt to social isolation. The most important thing though is thinking of others above yourself. If there is a risk you can hurt someone by visiting or being to close to them, then please stay back! It's not worth hurting someone or yourself.
- Get into nature. Fresh air is always good for the spirit. It's grounding and beautiful. Take your pets for a hike. If you're worried about parks, walk through a cemetery.
- Use this time to get caught up on chores around the house you've been meaning to tackle. Clean out your garage and closets. Get things piled up to donate to charity. Paint that room you've been putting off. Hoarders can really use this time wisely to get rid of all the junk ruining their homes and families.
- Learn how to cook or master your culinary skills.
- Read all those books you've been dying to read but just have not had the time to get to.
- Take naps.
- Take some classes online.
- Start a Youtube channel, or write for Hubpages!
- Play board games, or video games.
- Shave! Some of you ladies have gone all winter without doing that. And paint your toenails while you're at it. Won't hurt a man to tidy up either.
- Learn a new skill. Most things can be figured out by googling or Youtube. Learn how to sew, or cut your own hair (since salons are closed). Learn how to repair or build something.
- Plant a garden! Learn how to can food!
- Call or Skype friends and family, especially the elderly or those completely alone in their homes.
- Contact a charity that needs help. Many places will be short handed and if you cannot stay away from people, get involved. Food delivery and delivery services are nice too if you just need to get out for a drive. Make money and help others by delivering goods.
- Get to know yourself better and take the time to meditate and slow down.
Is this the new way of life?
I don't know how long social distancing will last, but it seems important to extract the lessons it is teaching us and implementing smarter decisions going forward.
Superbugs, epidemics, and pandemics are not going anywhere. As the population increases and global changes take place it's more likely we will see more of them, not less.
We can't just make changes temporarily. We need to make them now and stick to them. And we can't keep relying on outdated systems or our government to provide for all of our needs.