Social Distancing Thoughts

We are now two weeks into trying to flatten the curve through social distancing. How are you doing?

If you are like us, you have become an infectious disease “expert” and can detect micro-changes in the John Hopkins COVID-19 global map at a glance. For all of us, the map, unfortunately, shows a still rapidly increasing number of cases in the United States.

For many, the social distancing is becoming tiring already, but it is vital. And there may be added benefits to it, other than flattening the curve.

It seems a by-product of social distancing that people are being nicer to each and listening to each other. A quick one-minute conversation with a friend turned into a 45-minute chat as we talked while she drove from backcountry to Cos Cob and back to deliver dinner to her nephew.

In the course of the call we commented how people are craving social interaction with friends and others not in their immediate household. Then we laughed realizing that was exactly what we were doing. We had not talked that long to each other since the last time our families socialized together – last summer!

When we have to go out to the market, we find others, while keeping a safe distance, are smiling more, saying hello, and wishing us good health. It feels a bit like a throw-back to a bygone era. The stores are not crowded, at least the ones we went to, and people were moving a little slower and being more polite to one another.

It makes sense. Our community is a busy one, and a social one. We like to be with people, be it work or socializing. When we are forced to give up that interaction and only have limited opportunities for it, we treat it differently.

Our non-scientific, anecdotal analysis indicates it takes two weeks for Greenwich to reboot and be more polite to one another. Can it last? We certainly hope so, especially once the social distancing comes to an end.

A piece of advice that was sent to us via social media – at least once a week, for the duration of social distancing, put your jeans on. They will be more honest than your leggings and sweet pants.

Please do not let the social media deter you from supporting local businesses. We said as much (and more) last week, but it bears repeating. Our local stores and restaurants are struggling to survive. We encourage you to call, order and pick up items that you need or want.

You may be tempted to order online because you do not want to go out, but many of our local stores will now deliver for free. We need them to survive to keep our local economy going.

For all who’ve procrastinated projects around the house and ended the discussion with “I’ll do it when I have time,” how has this week been for you? Greenwich Hardware is open.

While we may at times try to be a little light-hearted, there are many for whom this current situation is very stressful and filling them with anxiety. If you are one, or know someone who is, do not let these feelings get out of control. Call your church or synagogue. Even though they are closed for worship the priests and rabbis are there for all of us.

Finally, good writing is good writing. Here is a quote we like from C. S. Lewis: “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”





About Author: Peter Barhydt

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