To the editor:
Is “social distancing” the right term?
There is nothing social about COVID-19. It is a nasty little physical entity that can hide unseen anywhere — on living creatures, inside living creatures, or on physical objects of any type or description.
It also hides undetected on people, on others, and on us. And if it is on us undetected, which we cannot recognize, the only way we can keep it from traveling to us or traveling to someone else is physical distance.
So why don’t we call this exercise of preventing the easy travel and spread of this nasty little creature among us, if we are close together, “physical distancing”? We can, for example, sit on two chairs that are 10 feet apart and enjoy socializing all day long, without ever spreading the virus from one of us to the other — if one of us unknowingly has it on us, or in us.
We are fully and happily socializing — we are not socially distancing, we are physically distancing. And that is the way it should be. We are doing everything that makes us happy social creatures, but we are doing it physically apart, yet not out of sight or out of mind. We are preserving both our body and our mind.
So let us, right now, rename this important thing we now call “social distancing,” and from now on call it “physical distancing.”