Transmuting the Term “Social Distancing”

2 min readMar 30, 2020


Andrew in the Gorba forest

We need to physically distance ourselves, while evolving our social connections.

Something didn’t feel right when I started hearing about socially distancing ourselves, however, I couldn’t quite figure out why. Then, thanks to a chance encounter with Andrew, while I was hiking — I found out what it was.

He enlightened me about the potential ramifications of the term “social distancing” and suggested that: “physical distancing” is intuitively accurate and applicable to the current situation. To me, the insights he shared with me felt right and it brought about an important shift in my thinking and associated behaviour.

Later that day I heard our Prime Minister use the term physical distancing in conjunction with social distancing as a clarification for how current social-physical restrictions help safeguard our wellbeing.

I believe that during this time of self-isolation we need to at least maintain our social connections, if not even increase them.

Thanks to technology this is not only possible, but even enjoyable and advantageous.

We have countless benefits over previous generations that had to endure similar contagions without the connectivity, knowledge, and social support available today.

Myself, I’m calling family and friends more than ever. I’m connecting with countless new people through the surge of newly established online meetings.

Socially my connections are growing exponentially, so the term social distancing is actually becoming quite misleading.

Physically distancing ourselves is paramount right now and the term is clear and directly describes what we must do to protect ourselves and others.

Over the last few days I’ve been noticing the term “physical distancing” gaining some traction.

I encourage you to consider this important distinction and to help inspire the change in terminology by adopting it in speech and correspondence.




Curating the garden of my being 🌈 Reading and writing are part of that process to me.