Social Distance ≠ Emotional Distance


At least it shouldn’t. I daresay the technology our culture is absurdly blessed with was made for these very strange times, where we’re forced to live life from our living room couches and in person contact with others is vastly limited.

I really worry about what the long term societal effects of such isolation will be, especially with already vulnerable people like seniors and those dealing with existing mental health issues.  We were made to be social creatures, in fact the very act of conversing with someone stretches the mind and increases the feel good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin.

Without human interaction the brain becomes stagnant and a person’s world can shrink down to just their own problems and issues. It’s a really stifling way to live.

Reaching out to others really takes minimal effort. Here are just a few ways:

  • Texting is ok but pick up the phone and call people too, especially those you wouldn’t normally.
  • Use a video calling app like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.  It can be awkward at first but seeing people is a big mood booster.  If my 83 year old mom can be taught how to use “The FaceTime”, anyone can!
  • Drop flowers off for someone who could use a lift.
  • Leave a note with your phone # for a vulnerable person in your neighborhood who you think may need help.
  • Make eye contact and say hi to people when you’re out doing your socially distant appropriate exercise.
  • Make a point of starting up conversations while waiting in line to buy toilet paper.

This post is really written more for myself than anyone else. At times I’ve let the Coronavirus take up so much mental space in my head, that I’m forgetting about the very real people around me who are suffering.

What are some other ways we can connect with others?  Please share if you have ideas.



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20 Responses to Social Distance ≠ Emotional Distance

  1. Bruce Cooper says:

    If you’re picking up a coffee at a drive through, pay for the person behind you. Everyone needs a little pleasant surprise. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ColorStorm says:

    I notice a sense of American patriotism trish- people are more inclined to ‘stop and talk,’ if even from an agreed upon unspoken distance understanding.

    But simple words like ‘yay, spring’s here,’ or ‘be safe,’ goes a long way towards knowing this thing too shall pass. 😉

    Be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Tricia! Love that, “social distancing doesn’t equal emotional distancing.” Our officials have actually just changed the wording to “physical distancing.” I’m chuckling here, but this area I’m in is already isolating, paranoid, and socially distancing! Throw a pandemic in the mix and people are even worse than usual, downright scary!. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when some leaders, cops, etc, decided language does matter and we will now be engaged in “physical distancing,” not “social distancing.” Just watched the PSA and I’m feeling more encouraged.

    Everything you’ve said is spot on! Try to smile at people on the street, in the store. Make phone calls, send texts, zoom, facetime, photos. Be extra kind on the phone talking to unemployment, banks, SS, whoever has the misfortune of taking our calls. Tip heavily if you’re getting take out food.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Trisha, these are great ideas. We have these tools for a reason and these ways to connect will make a difference.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on The Culture Alternative and commented:
    Here are some great ideas from our friend Trishia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful words of wisdom Tricia — this is indeed such a crazy time

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dennis says:

    Why does it take a dragic event to make us act in a way we should anyway?
    If you didn’t do these kinds of interaction BEFORE this event, shame on you!
    Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Yes and no Dennis. I mean we all should be making eye contact, saying hi to people and being extra nice to servers anyway (and we all know we don’t do this all the time) but we are in uncharted waters here with mandated isolation for who knows how long. Extra efforts above and beyond the usual ways of being human are called for, especially connecting with the vulnerable. Being aware of how technology can assist and utilizing it is a big part of this too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I meant to add that I hope you and Martha are doing well!


  8. artaxes says:

    this is my first comment here. I like your positive attitude.
    The one thing that helps us most to endure the current situation is hope.
    We shouldn’t spread panic. We should spread hope. I do this whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
    There are good reasons to be hopeful. Most of the media and politians are more interested in spreading panic and fear.
    That’s why they put almost no emphasis on the positive possibilities. I’m no polianna but I’ve seen too much in my life to be infected by another scare.
    Though I live in Europe and not in America, I live, like you, in the northern hemisphere. This means that as spring is fast approaching (we have beautiful weather here) the number of corona infections will most likely go down. Why? Because the Corona virus spreads the same way as the flu. And we all know that the number of flu infections goes down as the weather gets warmer. This is not mere speculation on my part.
    This scientific article shows that Corrona viruses on surfaces “die” the faster, the higher the air temperature is:
    This article takes not into account that surfaces that are directly exposed to sunlight can get pretty hot, which kills the virus even faster.

    Furthermore, here is a link to the model that is always cited by Dr. Birx at the President’s press conferences:

    Originally, this model predicted the total numer of deaths to be about 76,000.
    This model which is constantly updated, at one point predicted more than 93,000 deaths.
    In the meantime that number has fallen to 81,766. This could be the beginning of a slowdown in the number of deaths.
    Though there is no way we can know today whether that model is accurate, it’s certainly much more accurate than the infamous imperial college model which predicted millions of deaths.
    The author of the latter model has corrected his overblown numbers way down.
    I’m also positive, that in the coming months one of the many treatments which are tested worldwide will be the one which will be effectice.
    So, no need to panic. I wish you and everyone else all the best. Courage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Well thanks so much for coming by and leaving your thoughtful comment, very well said. I agree with you that there is much to be positive about in regards to this virus. In fact what has me more nervous is the panic which is causing some very poor decisions to be made in public policy and in alternative views like your own from being shunned from discussion.

      COVID-19 is no joke, especially for older people and those with compromised immune systems and we should take it very seriously. It doesn’t mean we drop common sense out the window.


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