Saturday, April 18, 2020

Physical - Not Social Distancing


I stumbled across the Hour of Power broadcast last week and heard the Rev. Bobby Schuller (grandson of Robert H. Schuller, of the same Hour of Power). My father loved watching Robert Schuller and always wanted to go see the Crystal Cathedral, sadly - he never made it there. The Crystal Cathedral is now Christ Cathedral - an actual cathedral of the Catholic Church for the Diocese of Orange in California (Christ Cathedral, 2020). Ironically, when Bobby Schuller moved from the Crystal Cathedral to Shepherd's Grove, it is located in a former Catholic church called St. Callistus (CBN, 2020).

But I digress... I stumbled across Rev. Bobby Schuller's Easter sermon and was struck by him making the distinction between social distancing and physical distancing. The message is that we need to continue to be socially close to each other - while in this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, we need to practice physical distancing to help stop the spread of this virus.

Schuller Is Not Alone

Since hearing Schuller's sermon I did a little research, and he is not the only one making this distinction. Dr. Joe Kort made virtually the same claim stating "We have to stay socially connected through this (COVID-19 pandemic)." He continues:
We can stay in connection with each other on the phone, webcam, and many other online formats. Now is a time to be intentional and interactive and not to isolate. We are wired to be social and luckily can maintain that with technology. (Kort, 2020).
Anderson reports that even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is changing its terminology to physical distancing instead of social distancing (Anderson, 2020). Continuing, "social distancing implies not socializing; physical distance mans not being physically close."

In another report it is stated that "social distancing is a misnomer." This article continues, "While we must be physically distant, it is crucial we maintain, or even increase, social contact with others during this unprecedented time" (Greenaway, Saeri, & Cruwys, 2020).

Not Just For COVID-19

The concepts of frequent hand-washing and physical distancing we have all been a party to for the past several weeks are and have long been the recommendations to help stop the spread of any virus or other infectious disease. Every year we encounter the seasonal flu, which mutates from year to year. We have figured out how to make vaccines for the flu, but since it mutates, each year we need a different vaccine. Thus far there is no vaccine for COVID-19, but it is expected we will see one later this year, or perhaps next year. The point though is during flu season and presumably, now we may see a COVID season, frequent hand hygiene and physical distancing should be and should have been the norm. Keep in mind, thus far the most recent seasonal flu (for which we have and widely distribute a vaccination) has killed more in the United States (and the world) than COVID-19 has and since it is a new virus there is no vaccine for it (Maragakis, 2020). So again, good hygiene and physical distancing is something we should constantly be practicing. Welcome to the new normal.

References

Anderson, J. (2020). Social distancing isn't the right language for what Covid-19 asks of us. Quartz. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1830347/social-distancing-isnt-the-right-language-for-what-covid-19-asks-of-us/

CBN, (2020). Bobby Schuller helps you find happiness through Jesus. The 700 Club. Retrieved from https://www1.cbn.com/bobby-schuller-helps-you-find-happiness-through-jesus

Christ Cathedral, (2020). About Christ Cathedral. Diocese of Orange. Retrieved from https://christcathedralcalifornia.org/explore/about-christ-cathedral/

Greenaway, K.H., Saeri, A., & Cruwys, T. (2020). Why are we calling it 'social distancing'? Right now, we need social connections more than ever. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/why-are-we-calling-it-social-distancing-right-now-we-need-social-connections-more-than-ever-134249

Kort, J. (2020). Practice physical distancing, not social distancing; How to cope with the coronavirus quarantine. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-the-erotic-code/202003/practice-physical-distancing-not-social-distancing

Maragakis, L. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 vs. the flu. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu


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