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Physical Distancing vs. Social Distancing

Here at CMHA, we’ve been talking a lot about the phrase ‘social distancing’, which has suddenly become part of our vocabulary.

We think that ‘social distancing’ sends the wrong message and is, in fact, the opposite of what we want people to do. It suggests we should be turning inward and closing ourselves off from friends and neighbours in the outside world. However, we all need social connections to thrive during these uncertain times.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) independently started using the term ‘physical distancing’. We think this is a much better way of describing the good choices we’re all making to protect our physical health, while continuing to support our mental health by staying in touch with friends, family and our community. From now on, this is the phrase you’ll be hearing us use in all our communications, too.

There are many ways we can still stay connected while being physical apart: calling, video chatting, leaving a note for someone on their porch, speaking to neighbours from over the fence or across balconies, helping to get groceries or run errands for people who can’t leave home, going for a walk in your neighborhood, gaming sites where friends can play with each other virtually, or taking part in an online fitness class to condition body and mind. All these options are good for you, as well as good for our community.

So, while we’re physically apart from many of those we care about at the moment, let’s make sure we’re not socially apart. We hope you’ll stay connected with us over this time as well–we love hearing from our CMHA community.

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