Losing touch…Social distancing is wrong!

I bet there are a few that cannot wait to take my head off for this title. Well, too bad. Stop being presumptuous. You thin-sliced an opinion based on what is happening around the world. You have not given pause to discern the context of this post.

This phrase “social distancing” literally means separating from everyone. Mankind is gregarious by nature (yes, even introverts, just less than extroverts) and this distancing we are asked to practice is confusingly described as social gaps between people.

Think about this. We are really being asked to practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING. At the same time we are being asked to work from home and talk to friends and family via video tools.

Confused?

Words matter. Context matters. Clarity and accuracy each day is essential. I know that the medical data is changing regularly. Good news/bad news, and everything in between. I am not going to blast our politicians – they need support and ideas not useless bashing. I pray for their guidance and proper balance between health and safety and economic safety. Although I wonder if the politicians are taking a pay cut like many other leaders and their staff are doing???

The media can hold them to account and report the facts as they become known.

At this time social closeness is more important than ever. My classes have been moved online and I miss the in-person interaction with the students. Most are relatively new to Canada – bachelors and masters degrees and terrific enthusiasm. Young professionals. Some with young families. Some by themselves. One of my students said that they were a digital kid – this new “work from home” should be right up their alley. But, after a few weeks of isolation the digital connections are wearing thin.

This situation about “working remotely is the new normal…yadda yadda yadda” reminds me of how first, conference calls, second, web-tools for video-conferencing were going to eliminate the need for in person meetings. Lasted for a short while and folks got tired of the ability to connect in person. We have moved the pendulum, up until COVID, whereby use of zoom, Teams, Skype, etc. have become adopted and learned on an infrequent basis. We all know the drill.

This chart is courtesy of my good friend Peter:

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I am quite certain that we have all experienced this situation and the reactions of colleagues. And now with people at home trying to work, you can get dogs barking, kids screaming/laughing/crying, etc. How are we going to manage all these aspects of real life and still remain productive? The long-term impact has not been determined. Leaders need to think like the front line staff in these situations – not from their spacious home with ample distance built-in.

What if the family had a single PC, which was just fine “in the old days.” Now with Mom and Dad and the kids all needing access, scheduling just became extremely important. How do you prioritize? Well, that is up to you. Be socially respectful or you will be distanced from your family when this is over.

I am becoming more interested in how companies are working to keep their customers and staff confident that this situation can be appropriately managed. The social side is more important than ever and we should NOT be social distancing. Physical distancing is needed. Social togetherness is mandatory.

Special thanks to all the front-line healthcare and first responders and those still working to support the rest of society in food, transportation and other areas.

At this time, the Stoics offer solid advice for us all. There are always things that are outside of our control and we should not worry about them. We need to control ourselves first and always so we can better serve others – especially family and friends during this time. Courage, justice, temperance, wisdom – the four tenets of stoicism can help us through.

Let’s connect socially now, virtually, while maintaining the necessary physical distance. Soon we will be able to connect socially – in person!

Make each day better than the one before.

 

2 thoughts on “Losing touch…Social distancing is wrong!

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