Re: Terminology: "physical distancing" vs "social distancing"
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2020 13:35:11 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 9, 2020, at 4:12 PM, David Jaggar <davidjaggar [at]> wrote:
> So within community and cohousing networks and elsewhere I’d like to
> suggest dropping the term “social distancing” in favour of “physical
> distancing” or some such equivalent.

One good thing about social is that it reminds people that this is something 
that applies to social situations. It means distance from other people in 
social settings.

Physical could mean anything — distancing from tables, walls, cars, etc. The 
most frequent topic of emails in the last 3 days has been about buttons, for 
example. How to protect yourself from them, how to clean them, etc. How to use 
an ATM safely.

It’s evoking the connection to people that is most important. Other people and 
me, other people and buttons I want to touch, etc.

Why the cars are still social distancing on the usual busy street outside by 
window, I think is also the result of people thinking about distancing from 
other drivers. I haven’t measured but when they stop at the stoplight, they are 
now 6’ apart. Last week it varied from 1-2 car lengths.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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