I’m Social Distancing Alone. Here is What I’ve Learned.

Our Best Hacks For "Human" Contact While Properly Distancing

Taking a break from my normal duties here because I really wanted to talk to everyone else who may be going through this period of social distance with extra distance, because you live alone (survey says I am not the only single lady here!).

I just want to be clear right off the bat: suffering is not a competition, and I do not envy anyone dealing with postponing their wedding, or handling homeschooling and working, or worst dealing with illness and death. But all that said: social distance is a particular burden when you’re doing it all by yourself.

None of us know how long this will last, but it seems pretty clear that if your area is not doing serious social distancing yet, it is coming for you. And if you’re already in it, it’s going to last much longer than anyone would like. And that is hard. Facing weeks of not touching anyone at all is hard. Emotionally, it is hard being the only one making decisions for how you’re going to handle this time.

Tips For Socially Distant human connection

My thoughts, after a week, on what helps:

  • Socially distant walks with friends. If you’re permitted to go outside on walks and permitted to do so with someone outside your household, and there is a space where you can do that at least six feet away from a friend, seeing other humans can be hugely helpful, even if it’s from far away. (See more on that here.)
  • Zoom meetups. I’ve gotten together with family for happy hour, friends for brunch, and a group to take a virtual museum tour. It’s nice to have a larger group to chat with but for me the key is just something fun to break up the monotony.
  • Phone calls. I’ve just started calling all of my friends. We’ve always only been text friends? Not anymore. Sure, not everyone is going to answer or have time to chat but if someone is mad you dared called them amidst a pandemic, that person is not your friend bye.
  • Physical activity. So many fitness studios of all kinds are streaming workouts if outdoors is not an option. Its just nice to be doing something with other people.

What you shouldn’t be doing:

  • Going out and seeing other people. Just stop. The whole point of this is stopping a plague from needlessly killing people. It’s really hard and you’re going to have to get through it, and coming up with festive “quarantine friends” (looking at you Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron) is selfish and wrong. And if you think limiting contacts to you and three other friends is fine, you’re wrong please don’t.

I would love to hear what is working for everyone else, but more importantly to hear if there are ways we can be supporting each other as an APW family. Need a phone buddy? Looking for someone to do a Netflix party viewing session? Please reach out here and let’s make sure everyone is looked after.

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