Return To A Life of Socialing after Social Distancing Recommendations End The Centers for Disease Control and prevention in the United States has issued guidelines for what they call community mitigation strategies to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus – the Coronavirus. They’re calling this recommendation ‘social distancing’, which refers to the conscious effort to keep yourself at a distance of 6 to 10 feet from other people so as to reduce the spread of this deadly virus.
This has been interpreted in many ways by government officials and those in charge. Some think that it means no socialization with anybody not in your immediate family. Others say two or three people or even four or five is okay. Others say it’s okay to invite even a small group of maybe 10 friends over for dinner. Overall the consensus is that if you don’t live with the person and don’t have to be around them except for things like shopping and similar situations that you maintain a distance.
It has wreaked havoc on people of all ages. Schools have temporarily closed, The students are studying at home and on the internet. Many people have lost jobs or are working from home. Social events have been temporarily delayed or canceled. Social get-togethers with friends have been canceled for the time being. Birthday parties have been canceled. Bounce house rental companies are temporarily closed. Gym and exercise attendance has severely decreased. Even funerals have seen fewer people at the sites because of social distancing. So how long do we expect this to last until we can finally return to interacting with the people around us?
We are encouraged to be cautious. High School proms and graduations are being postponed. Festivals and celebrations that normally have thousands of visitors may not happen this year, affecting the tent rentals and party industry. Humans are a social animal and interacting with others is part of our experience. The government has begun talking about the time when we will be able to reverse what is happening now as we work to re-boost the economy/ We will see people on dates again. We’ll see birthday parties and kids playing in bounce houses. We will see people wanting to entertain. Initially people will be cautious, as we take a moderated approach to make sure that the virus has been eradicated. Our future holds promise for doing many of the activities that we all miss so much.
It is expected the ways we interact will change to a certain degree, But the general consensus is that we will return to basically a normal life once again. I believe we will see the tent rentals and festivals going on. I believe public access to Parks and Recreation will return to basically normal. Bounce houses will continue to be rented for birthday parties. Company picnic ideas will be tossed around.
How we approach people and interact with strangers at these events may change a little. For example, somebody showing any evidence of an infectious illness will probably be shunned, at least until time has passed and we’re sure that the epidemic is completely over.
Can you imagine not being able to ever go to a festival or fair where we get to enjoy the products and benefits of other cultures? Or to socialize under the entertainment & food tents? What about the annual Easter egg hunt at the local church? Or to not be able to go to discuss company picnic ideas. I believe these things will eventually return to normal. These have provided great times where we have been able to interact with those we know. I remember many major occasions such as Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the 4th of July when it was almost impossible to get a picnic table at a park because of a birthday celebration or special events. As an employer I always looked forward to our annual company picnic or outing.
Speaking with friends that work for City Parks and Recreation and several special events planners, they believe these events will continue to happen in the future, but that we will see much more cleanliness before and during the event. At least for a time we will be more aware of the people around us and how we interact with them.
As we become comfortable more and more of us will dine out and meet with family and friends and tell stories about our sacrifices with social distancing. We may never fully return to doing things exactly the same way, but at least now we see a brighter future and are more prepared. Perhaps some of us will take advantage of exercise opportunities away from the crowds where we can enjoy those close to us and take advantage of the incredible systems we have already created for our enjoyment,
I see a bright future. The thing I miss most is watching a new release on the big screen and munching on popcorn.