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LETTER: Make wording clear when talking about keeping apart

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Social distancing.

These two words have now become and will be forevermore associated with the COVID-19 virus that is affecting us all in one way or another. 

These two words are also causing confusion and fear. 

These two words are clearly not understood by many in our communities.

Then there are those who choose to ignore this vital message.

For these reasons, and many more, I believe we need to change this phrase to one that is clearer and perhaps, better understood. 

I propose using "physical distancing". 

While I and many others do understand that the point of social distancing is to stay away from others, some are having difficulty grasping the notion. Perhaps telling people to practise physical distancing may be more easily understood by a greater number of people and lead to fewer cases of contagion and a quicker end to this pandemic.

Never in the history of humanity have we lived in a world that is more connected by so many forms of communication. 

Our loved ones on the other side of the world are only a call away; Facetime is a reality for many. Thanks to the myriad of social media available at our fingertips, we, for the most part, are socially connected; I am aware some are not. 

The very tools that have caused parents to worry are now a godsend. 

For those who are not digitally connected, we need to find creative ways to reach out (without actually touching) and reassure them that they are not alone.

I come from a culture that greets family and friends with hugs and kisses to show our love and delight when we see them; it is now the time to show that love by changing what we have always done, and keep our distance. 

Now is the time for a paradigm shift in how we think and behave. 

Be proactive, be positive, be part of the solution.

Physical distancing: do it, it may just save a life … maybe even yours.


Loretta McRobert,
Petrolia, Ont.

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