Social Distancing - Is it the right term to use?


The Covid-19 outbreak has brought around about spectrum of words that are being used ubiquitously around the globe. ‘Quarantine’ has made history by being the most practiced ‘verb’ by mankind in a single period of time. When words like ‘Covidiot’, ‘Quarantine and chill’ are used in humour, there are more grim phrases that have come into use in the daily correspondence.

‘Social Distancing’ is a landmark term that is not just a need of these testing times but the only hope there is till the time a confirmed cure is presented by the heroic medical community that is working tirelessly day and night to save lives. Social Distancing requires us to be aloof, abstain from social gatherings, and as the fears have climbed up rather aggressively in the past few weeks, keep ourselves locked up inside our homes and seldom step out.

But, in retrospect, ‘Social Distancing’ is an erroneous term to use as the term implies a complete disconnect with others, and relationships remain key to people’s mental well-being in these times more than ever before. So much so, the World Health Organization (WHO) is dropping the use of the term ‘Social Distancing’, replacing it with a more apt alternative - ‘Physical Distancing’. They believe it more accurately frames the need to maintain a distance from others to prevent the risk of infection, without discouraging people from maintaining vital social interactions - even if it has to be a video phone call or just a phone message. 

These times call for each one of us framing a support network around each other. Lending a listening ear, sharing positive thoughts, motivating with encouragement, and just spreading as many smiles as one possibly can. 

Remember, ‘We are all in this together’!!

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