How Do You Measure Physical Distance During This Pandemic?


“Social distancing” went into effect March 12, 2020 here in North Carolina. Immediately I was torn between the Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me and the Beatles’ Come Together! I prefer the term physical distancing over social distancing. Wearing face coverings added fear to social distancing. Physical distancing is an activity. Social distancing is an atttiude. Studies show our emotional health and well-being are dependent on relationships and physical touch. My attempt at demonstrating physical distance through key initiatives I facilitate was a lighthearted recall of a crucial component of experienced-base work –  connection. Connection leads to creating community, something we all hunger for. Social distancing seems like punishment, akin to solitary confinement. We do not need the added stress of “social distancing.” I draw from a great line from the movie Shall We Dance. “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.” Social distancing says, “I won’t be a witness. Physical distance says, “I witness you and you are important. I’ll take care of myself so I can take care of you.”