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Monday, July 20, 2020

"Social Distancing" MAY be the wrong phrase. (Monday's Memo)


The other day a lone Mourning dove and a young American robin came to my garden and spent time in the home of my Pyracantha coccinea (AKA Orange Charmer). She is a shrub that is featured in my garden-themed movie, The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame... almost, which can be viewed on Vimeo and/or You Tube. These birds spending time in the home of my shrub can be seen in the image atop this entry and if they look familiar to you, dear reader, it may be because I included them in yesterday's blog post.

At first glance, one might assume these feathered characters were practicing what has become to be known as "social distancing." 

However, ever since that phrase was coined, experts have disputed its implications. Studies concur, the idea is to clarify that an order to stay at home during the current coronavirus outbreak isn't about breaking contact with your friends and family — but rather keeping a physical distance to make sure the disease doesn't spread. 

The sentiment was echoed by Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. "I would argue that what we are doing right now is physical distancing, not social distancing," she said during a town hall today, as quoted by the Dorchester Reporter

"We are creating physical distance between us to limit the spread of the virus," she added, "But we should be doing that in the same breath as we are maintaining our social connections and sense of community and common sense of purpose."

Stanford University professor of psychology Jamil Zaki also argued that we should cut it out with all the talk about "social distancing," saying, "I think we should begin by re-framing what we're doing right now," Zaki said, "We should think of this time as 'physical distancing' to emphasize that we can remain socially connected even while being apart."

"Social distancing is vital to slowing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus)  but it also pushes against human beings' fundamental need for connection with one another," Zaki added, then went on to say, "Ironically, the same technologies we often blame for tearing apart our social fabric might be our best chance, now, of keeping it together."

Rather the birds who visited me prefer to coin their activity as "social distancing," "physical distancing," or "wellness distancing," is something only THEY know; some of what I know about these avian types can be found in my book series, Words In Our Beak...


... where you can also learn more about the Pyracantha coccinea shrub.

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