Keeping 1m apart should be no hindrance to bonding
Date : 15 July 2020
Reported by : Roslan Bin Rusly
Category : News
Letters: Physical distancing is a more appropriate term than social distancing, which is our tendency to avoid close contact with others. It means making changes in everyday routines to minimise close contact with others. We have to make sure that there is a distance between everybody.
Physical distancing still allows us to go to work, students can attend classes in university, pupils are allowed to attend school and everything will resume as usual as per the "new norm".
While "social distancing" is still widely used, it may be sending the wrong message and contributing to social isolation. Physical distancing simplifies the concept with the emphasis on keeping 1m away from others.
The practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical space between oneself and others, and avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places, will minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection.
There are suggestions to practice physical distancing in other ways, such as limiting our time and exposure in public; bringing our own hand sanitiser; washing hands correctly and using face masks.
Although the 1m distance should be maintained at all times, social bonding should not be hindered as our relationships among family members and friends play an essential role in human society.
This bonding will affect our psychological, physiological and behavioural functions. Their disruption can lead to a negative impact on mental and physical health.
For example, low levels of intimacy between partners, friends as well as perceived loneliness have been associated with negative psychological states like depression.
Staying in touch with people feeds the human connection. We all need to thrive daily, but physical distancing is vital to slow down the spread of Covid-19.
Dr Mohd Ramzi Mohd Hussain
Department of Landscape Architecture, KAED, cum director of Occupational Safety, Health and Built Environment (OSHBE), IIUM