by Bob Sparrow
(Because I usually write about where I’ve been or where I’m going, I don’t often sit around pondering my navel, but Covid-19 has changed all that. In fact, it’s got me thinking about today’s two most-used words, ‘Social Distancing’. Here’s what I pondered).
“We’re all in this together.” How many times have you heard that? It’s an oxymoron, spoken mostly by morons. We are social beings and nothing could be further from the truth than us ‘being in this together’. We have been ordered to stay apart, with serious repercussions if we don’t! You could wind up in jail if you disobey – solitary confinement probably!
But the reality is, we’ve experienced social distancing for some time – perhaps since the middle of the last century. Yes, we, as a species, have been ‘distancing’ ourselves from each other for at least the past 50-60 years – so we should be pretty good at it by now. Don’t believe me? Let these ‘Then and Now’ photos tell the story, a story that many of you, who have passed the mid-life crisis phase of your life, have witnessed firsthand.
Remember when you stood around and talked to your friends? Today’s kids have been physically close, but socially distant.
Remember when the neighborhood would get together to play a game? Now a kid can play a game with another kid half way around the world from his bedroom
Remember when office meetings were a time when the whole staff came together? Now you can attend the meeting ‘digitally’ in your underwear. I’m sure you’ve heard that this, like so many other ‘socially distant’ activities, is the ‘new normal’!
Remember when the family used to go to a game? Now there is a cardboard cutout in your place and you will root through your phone.
Remember when you used to dine out? Now your meals are delivered to your home.
Remember the hug? It’s now been replaced with the elbow bump. So personal!
I know what you’re saying – this has all be brought on by Covid-19. Yes, Covid-19 has exacerbated this issue, but social distancing has been going on for way too long and unless we stop its momentum we’re going to find ourselves as protagonists in an isolated dystopian world, probably in a bubble. Experts say that Social Distancing leads to loneliness, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder, domestic violence, child abuse, increase in suicide and a broad range of other mental and behavioral disorders. In other words, Social Distancing is NOT GOOD FOR US!
I’m not advocating ignoring the health warnings that have been issued, as random and illogical as some may seem, I’m just saying, for our own health and welfare, when this is all over we need to get back to ‘socially magnetizing’.