Social Animals

Now that “social distancing” is a sudden and strong contender for word of the year, it begs the question, how best can social animals keep sane while keeping safe distances?

As a video that crossed my radar recently showed, there are viruses and there are viruses: in the time of Covid-19, a Spanish fitness instructor’s rooftop class has now justifiably gone viral.

Two points are worth keeping in mind here:

First, the initial elation of “working remotely” soon fades. One or two days of pretending to work in pajamas feels like a cheeky return to childhood; much more than a week starts to feel like cabin fever.

Second, we’ve never had better tools to connect during a time of enforced distancing — and, as the rooftop fitness example shows, a little imagination and initiative can galvanize people at home and around the world.

From letters to phone calls to email to Zoom, technologies new and old are available for creating connections across far more than three feet of enforced space.

We might not be able to touch much, but reaching out is still powerful.


PS: Limiting or focusing incoming information is also more important than ever. Today’s a great day to sign up for Fredrick Haugen’s weekly good newsletter, Seven Good Things.