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COVID-19: Balancing between safe distance and friendship

COVID 19: A New Beginning

Social distancing means isolating yourself from the crowd to lessen the spread of infection. Since coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets, this can help avoid unnecessary transmission, and in turn, help cut down the number of cases. To be more precise, distancing yourself also requires one to avoid public gatherings, parties, places frequented by the public (more than ten people), and maintaining almost a distance of six feet, wherever you can. In reality, keeping a distance from one another to slow the spread of the coronavirus can be super awkward—like when that uncle genuinely forgets distancing etiquette and tries to show you a meme on his phone.


For some people, especially those who have trouble being assertive, asking others to maintain the recommended distance is an excruciatingly uncomfortable experience. People can feel that way because they are afraid to come off as rude and create tension with others, says William Sharp, an assistant professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. Researchers and public health officials have emphasised that groups of people who don’t live in the same place should stay at least six feet apart at all times. That means that people who are trying to follow those guidelines need to ask others to stay back. While it is very hard to follow in supermarkets and public transportation—or other spaces, people feel that they should not avoid. Even now, when the effects of COVID-19 have permeated the world for months, asking people to keep their distance is a new aspect of life, and doing it can be difficult.


Each situation and interaction will be different. Moreover, the exact words and approach people will need to ask others to back off will vary. Tell those who come too close to you how uncomfortable their approach makes you feel, before asking them to back off. Coronavirus outbreak has completely changed our normal pace of life and post- lockdown it will be the time for us to get along with the new normal. Be it lockdown or no lockdown, it is essential to adopt a new way of life that includes wearing masks and gloves while stepping out of the house, carrying a sanitiser to disinfect our hands, washing and disinfecting groceries, food packets or anything that get delivered from outside and maintaining a safe physical distance from each other.


Gurbani Gandhi