Sunday, March 22, 2020

COVID-19 Diary - Physical Distancing

I saw somewhere - Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? - that perhaps we should call what we're doing physical distancing instead of social distancing. 

I like this. 

I like this because what I'm seeing on social media tells me that we're finding ways to remain social while practicing the physical distance to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. And much of that social interaction is positive. People are sharing links to free online access to the arts. Music. Museums. Books. People are sharing original content, photos, ideas for keeping busy, recipes, etc.

This is a refreshing break from seeing the same meme shared 28 times in a day.

Like the canals in Venice clearing, because the sediment has settled, and the Nitrogen levels over China decreasing, we're adjusting, too. Even if it's in small ways.

Over the last few days, I've talked on the phone more than usual. I've Facetimed with my friend Amy. I video-chatted with my daughter Chloe who is in New Hampshire. And Sophie who is in Georgia. I talked to Grandma Bea. I've talked to my sister. I've talked to my mother who relays my strongly-worded admonishments to my father, as necessary. (Still struggling!)

Everyone is well, but worried. You can just hear it in their voices. 

All this communicating. Talk about having to change habits.

Chloe had a puzzle delivered from Amazon. I dropped it off at Mom and Dad's today so they can stay occupied while they're stuck in the house. I stood across the room from them and tried to touch nothing as we talked about what's happening and how they're feeling.

They have concerns. Like most of us, they're trying to grasp just how long this time of physical distancing will last. I've worked from home for over five years. There have been times when I had to think really hard to remember the last time I'd left the house, apart from walking the dog. I'm good at this. 

But for most people who are used to being able to decide at the spur of the minute to go out to dinner or who remember what day of the week it is because of their weekly scheduled hair appointment, doctor's visit, or lunch with old friends, this is hard. This is habit changing. It's confusing. And, by extension, scary.

At the other end of the age spectrum, we're also trying to stay physically distant from Nathan, his wife Kade, and their one-year-old son Samson. We're taking the stance that the fewer contacts we have, the better. It also means I have fewer names to write on my list of daily contacts. I wasn't kidding in my last post. I'm keeping a list. It might be an Excel spreadsheet. I will neither confirm nor deny.

Because we're being extra careful, this means I can't get my hands on Sam. It's hard. I want nothing more right now than to have his soft cheek smooshed against mine. Instead, I have to settle for seeing him through a window. I'll take it.

Be well. Stay at home as much as you can. Wash your hands. Let's fight this thing.

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