Practices for a Distant Socializing Difference

by Christine Sine

by Lisa DeRosa

“Social distancing” – two words that are both a benefit and a curse.

We were created for connection with people and yet, the physical connection in this time is dangerous. The effects of “social distancing” have kept people safe and decreased the spread of the virus and flu, but has also increased isolation of people, created in God’s image to be in community with one another. After 3 months of stay home, stay safe, I feel the effects of “social distancing”. Trips to visit family and friends were cancelled and I cannot foresee when I will travel again. I am grateful that I and my housemates are safe and that we do live in a community so we are not alone. But I have become weary of not meeting with my church family, my blood relatives, and having friends in my home.

As we continue to stay home and stay safe to protect and care for others, to keep ourselves, our medical workers, janitors, and other essential workers safe, I want to branch out from my weariness, from my lack of connection, and think of creative ways to safely be present with my friends by “distant socializing“. Not on a screen. For my mental and emotional health, I need this switch from “social distancing” to “distant socializing”. This reduces my tendency toward fear and isolation to connection and creativity. The social norms of Happy Hour after work, going to the movies, or grabbing dinner at a restaurant together are not doable right now in Seattle. Activities together look different. Last weekend, my husband and I drove to Chick-fil-A to get lunch with our Life Group leader. It was pouring rain, so he stayed in his car with the window rolled down and we sat in our hatchback trunk facing each other to enjoy lunch “together”. It was the most life-giving interaction with a friend we had had all week.

This post, Seeing Differently as a Way of Life, was helpful as I have pondered this next season ahead. As we move into summer here in the northern hemisphere, the possibilities for “distant socializing” greatly increase! We want to share ways to connect with family and friends that is safe and respectful of each other’s physical space but breathes life into our much needed relationships! This NPR article also helped me discern what safe practices could be possible for this summer. For our southern hemisphere readers, we have included indoor activities too! Please share what ideas you have with us!

Outdoor Ideas

Indoor Ideas

What other ideas do you have that we should add to this list?

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