Social or physical?

21/04/2020

An important Corona-measure is to keep sufficient distance. Viruses like close contact. And they couldn't care less about how we feel about it.

And that is how in times of new phenomena new words and expressions are coined. Like social distancing. Keep distance. Stay at home.

However, social distancing doesn't work. People are social beings, they want contact with others. They want to share, to express how they feel and they hope that the others will understand them.

We have to keep distance, of course! A virus doesn't think, doesn't show compassion, it just goes on about its business. Too close? Too bad, infected! But what matters is the meter-and-half, the not-visiting. In other words, the physical distancing. Keep it up!

Social distancing is something else, that is keeping social distance. Most of us are lucky to maintain many social contacts and even to start these without as much as physically meeting. We can make phone calls, talk via WhatsApp, chat, meet online, ... No, we can still stay in social contact. Everyone in their own cocoon? Of course not! Stay physically at home, but mentally and socially connected to everything and everybody!

Still: the bigger the distance, the weaker we can feel. Your immediate environment determines a lot. During the quarantine, depressed feelings in young people have tripled. And what about the elderly who have to lock themselves up, or are isolated in elderly homes and care centers? Employees and entrepreneurs who get strength from close daily contacts and suddenly have to arrange everything remotely? No, today's social media doesn't solve everything! We are not only "thinking" beings, apparently, but also "tangible" beings. See, hear, touch, smell and taste in the same place together. Literal proximity is what we really need!

Corona makes us think differently because we feel different. Anxiety, uncertainty, things we took for granted are disappearing, loneliness, longing for close human warmth.

Fortunately, there are many people who want to empathize with the needs of others. Now even more than usual, and also in a way that is different from usual. They want to understand what hurts and why. But also what gives joy, energy, motivation. Not just to name it , but to use it to get through. Because it would be a pity to leave this hidden, and not change what we can do better. Now, too, in the middle of the crisis! Especially now!

This is my motivation to give Authentical time and space and to invest time in it from my home. I don't just do that in fine contact with many others who aren't made to sit still.

That is: in social contact with others, not in physical contact ;-).


By Bert


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