To the Editor:
Words have an impact. The way we phrase something creates an impression and provides meaning. Although it may not seem like it, using the word ‘social’ has different implications than ‘physical.’
During this time, we need people more than ever to support our emotional and mental well-being. In a time of global crisis, we thrive on communication and togetherness, however that can be achieved.
As humans, we have a basic need for love, support, and belonging and without that we can’t survive. That is why our words are so important.
By telling people to ‘social distance’ we are encouraging social isolation. We are telling people to cut themselves off from the world and to avoid others. We instill fear. Six feet is a physical distance and we should treat it as such.
While we can’t reach out and hug someone right now, we can offer them comfort through our presence, whether virtually or physically at a distance, to remind them that they are not alone.
And we aren’t alone. We are all going through this pandemic together as a society, not as individuals. As the stay at home orders lengthen and people start to lose hope, now is the most important time to shift our focus to things we can control, like our words.