You say together, I say apart… the semantics of coronavirus

Is it really social distancing we’re after?

I may be splitting hairs here, but the guidelines clearly call for physical distancing for people in public and private spaces and physical isolation for those with symptoms or returning from travel abroad. That will also probably apply to domestic travel soon, if it already doesn’t given the lag between press and distribution.

We are social animals and in stressful times, when we are physically isolated, we need those social connections more than ever.

Fortunately we live in unprecedented times, when the vast majority of us have access to technology that makes it easier than ever to stay connected socially while we are physically apart.

Individually, we have telephone, text, email and even myriad apps that allow for face-to-face conversations with our loved ones and, of course, numerous social media platforms where we can connect to our extended circle of family and friends and the broader community.


Right idea, wrong choice of time to make permanent

Their capacity to forgive is beyond me

As an aside, is it just me, or has the tone on social media improved in recent weeks?

We saw great examples of the power of social media and other technologies last week. A new community support Facebook page for Smithers and area swelled to well over 1,000 members in less than a week.

Two yoga studios in Smithers did trials of online classes and have plans to offer them regularly.

Several churches have started online services.

And hundreds of individual entertainers, bands and symphonies started announcing live streamed concerts. We can only hope this will soon extend to some of our local favourites as well.

Currently, health authorities are rapidly increasing their capacity to provide remote medical care.

That brings to mind another misnomer that has entrenched itself in the lexicon: “virtual.”

We’re hearing a lot about virtual medical care, virtual concerts, virtual education etc., when, in fact, they are actual medical care, concerts and classes just done remotely.

Perhaps it is a professional hazard that I care what we call things. Or maybe I just love the mental gymnastics of words and language, but I am nothing if not pedantic about semantics.

In that spirit, I will leave you with one final thought. Our leaders appear to have become very fond of saying, “we will get through this together.”

We will get through this… apart.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Smithers Community Radio buys Lions railcar

The Lions are liquidating assets following dissolution announcement

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

VIA Rail lays off 1000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Most Read