It’s been really ominous these last few days when I walk around my neighborhood here in Chicago. Kind of like I’m in a zombie movie
I’ll round a corner and see that someone is walking towards me on the sidewalk. I know that we’re supposed to be “social distancing” right now, but I’m cognizant to not be too awkward about it (which is hard for me because I’m a pretty awkward guy). I skootch over just beyond the right side of the sidewalk. If they walk along the other side of the sidewalk, that puts us at about 5 to 6-feet away for a split second. Seems reasonable.
But there have been numerous times where the person walking towards me immediately tenses up as if they’re preparing for a sharp blow to the stomach, walks out into the middle of the street to go around me and hangs their head so as to avoid meeting my gaze.
The last I heard, the CDC isn’t requiring 30 feet between people. There’s also been no mention of COVID-19 being spread through eye contact that I’ve seen on the websites that I frequent.
I don’t want to throw stones. I get it. Everyone’s super paranoid right now. We’re all disoriented.
I just want to say that, in hindsight, I really wish the higher-ups would’ve thought better about the words they used when they chose the phrase “social distancing”.
The word social is one that’s not necessarily rooted in the physical world. I can be social either physically, or not.
These upcoming weeks require “physical distancing,” not “social distancing.”
Sure, keep that 6-feet(ish) buffer. Please. (I actually normally do this when walking my dog anyway just because I can’t stand playing leash-tango with fellow dog-walkers when our pooches start playing - or is it fighting - I can never tell.)
But a smile-and-nod goes a long way. Even a verbal, hello. Especially today when we’re aching for human connection.
There’s no need for us to be socially distant from anyone.
Physical is enough.
In fact, physical is almost too much.
It’ll be nice to feel embodied and physically connected again.
Grace & Godspeed,