(Issue #534) Physically Distant Yet Socially Connected

As you, your family, and community practice physical distancing,
how are you nourishing the appropriate
social connections vital to your wellbeing?

We have been inundated with an updated vocabulary this year. Not necessarily new words. The context has changed.

I came across a social media post (thank you, Njeri!) that reminded me how we can become desensitized to words. We accept them as the new normal (there’s one of those updated context concepts). We become immune to their meaning.  We may even mix meanings and interchange labels.

Like, social distancing and physical distancing. We hear these and we probably envision six feet of separation, masks, and avoiding crowded places. But according to an article in Johns Hopkins Medicine (July 15, 2015), there is a difference between the two that came about early in the pandemic here in the USA.

The article states,

“The practice of social distancing means staying home and away from others as much as possible to help prevent spreading of COVID-19. The practice of social distancing encourages the use of things such as online video and phone communication instead of in-person contact.  As communities reopen and people are more often in public, the term ‘physical distancing’ (instead of social distancing) is being used to reinforce the need to stay at least 6 feet from others, as well as wearing face masks.  Historically, social distancing was also used interchangeably to indicate physical distancing.  However, social distancing is a strategy distinct from the physical distancing behavior.”  [emphasis added]

Six of one; half-dozen of the other. Maybe.  But still it gives pause for thought.  While it is prudent to maintain our physical separation and practice proper hygiene practices, we would do well to remember that we also thrive on/depend on social connections.

Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The first two levels address our needs for sustenance and safety. We could argue that practicing physical distancing falls here.

Level three of Maslow’s theory addresses belonging, love, intimacy, and friends. Or in other words, social connections. If we were to quarantine or isolate, we would/could socially distance ourselves from other people. Over a prolonged period of time that could have a negative effect.  Our challenge has become to stay socially connected while physically distancing.

Another social media post shared, “The mental health issues related to our lockdown and the pandemic are especially hard for people with depression.” There are organizations in place to lend an ear and coping strategies.

As you, your family, and community practice physical distancing, how are you nourishing the appropriate social connections vital to your wellbeing?

Until next week, may you remain safe, physically distant, and socially connected.


Video recommendation for the week:

Listen to Mental Health Counselor Eileen Crawford explain how one community Developed programming to help residents socially connect and thrive. (NOTE: This is a smaller clip of a longer podcast.)


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

About stevepiscitelli

Facilitator-Author-Teacher
This entry was posted in Life lessons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to (Issue #534) Physically Distant Yet Socially Connected

  1. marianbeaman says:

    Here’s to staying safe and thriving “in community,” Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

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