It’s amazing how certain words and terms come into vogue so quickly in our society. The latest example is now “social distancing.”
I’d venture to say that there’s not a handful of people you know who used that phrase until the last month or so. It’s sure not new — lepers practiced social distancing in Biblical times, shouting “unclean, unclean” whenever they came near a person not afflicted with that disease.
Nine years ago television networks relayed photos of a massive tsunami in Japan — for many Americans, that was the first time they heard that word. Of course tsunamis have been around for quite awhile. Those giant waves are rare events that can cause devastation along coastal areas. Americans don’t hear much of them since the 10 largest ones in history have not come close to U.S. borders.
In the past decade, we’ve seen the advent of the word selfie. Anyone who has a smartphone is knowledgeable about that word — even though it didn’t originate until 2002 when it was used in Australia to describe a self-portrait photo.
A blogger this week suggested that social distancing is not the ideal description about how people should live in the COVID-19 era. Perhaps we should say physical distancing.
We agree. Physical distancing is more accurate since people are encouraged to stay six feet apart. The last thing we need at this time when fear and anxiety abound is to be social. Being distanced socially can do nothing but exacerbate the feelings of loneliness or depression someone feels.
We are blessed to have technology help us to maintain our social contacts. Various social media platforms enable people to maintain contact with each other. We have FaceTime that allows us to not only talk to people, but see them when we do.
Take advantage of those social media opportunities to stay in contact with family and friends. Don’t distance yourself socially, but by all means do so physically.
And whatever you do, don’t distance yourself from God. Like the sheep in Biblical times, we have a Great Shepherd who cares for us and protects us against dangers that are seen and as well as those unseen.