This Is How Social Distancing Really Impacts Us
In this day and age, staying connected and maintaining relationships seemed a piece of cake – until the pandemic. Unbelievably, a microscopic virus took the world by storm and shook everything we thought we knew about ourselves and the world we live in.
Social distancing is our safest option against COVID-19, but is it keeping us mentally healthy too?
Why we keep breaking the rules
You’d think that 100,000 deaths would make America take social distancing rules seriously. Wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, avoiding direct contact with people at risk are all essential and could literally save lives.
So why are New York parks full, Missouri pools packed with people and so many other cases of citizens breaking the rules?
‘Gaining control is a basic way we cope.’
Rajita Sinha, psychiatry professor at Yale University, explains that people generally have a hard time assessing risks, especially in terms of public health. A strange virus, not knowing when the pandemic will end, new social distancing rules to obey – these things can be overwhelming for anyone. Depending on a person’s beliefs and social status, he or she may just be unable to cope with social distancing properly.
“Those features of the current pandemic really put into gear people’s need for control which is an important aspect of coping,” explains Rajita Sinha. ‘Gaining control is a basic way we cope.’ Simply put, there’s so much uncertainty in the world right now, we just need to feel in control of anything.
But this is not the time to break the rules.
What you can do
Obviously we can’t control other people’s choices either. The best we can do is understand that some of us may be overwhelmed by the pressure of current events, and try to talk them into doing the right thing.
On the other hand, you and I must continue to stay as safe as possible and follow health experts’ recommendations. We all miss our loved ones, our old lifestyle, getting out of the house especially now that it’s summer – I get it. However, it’s one thing that matters more right now: your actions can literally save someone’s life.