Social Distancing: Make It Permanent

By Ikenga Chronicles May 3, 2020

Social Distancing: Make It Permanent

— Dr. Vitus Ozoke

Perhaps, one of the more painful lessons of coronavirus social distancing measure is that we don’t ‘physically’ need each other as much as we thought. Sadly, more bad things happen when we are in each other’s face and space.

Since the global shutdown and social distancing, wars between nations have ceased, crime rates have drastically dropped, mass shootings have not occurred, the skies have cleared as air pollution has decreased, incidents of racialized police brutality have dropped, and so has gang violence. All because we retreated from common social spaces.

I know we cannot resist the temptation to recongregate. We are dying to hit the movie theaters. We want to go dip and swim in the clean beach waters on hot summer days. The disc jockey mixes and blasts are summoning us back to the clubs. March Madness, Gridiron Superbowl, Serena Williams, Wimbledon, French, Australian, and U.S Opens are open and calling. LeBron James and the NBA have talents to showcase in those domes and arenas. We want all that, but do we really need them?

When we return to life as we are accustomed to, when we return to life of wars between nations, life of crimes, mass shootings, gang violence, racial police brutality, air pollution, movies, stadiums, beaches, clubs, restaurants, churches, and campaign rallies, when we return to business as usual, can we set aside a block of time every other year for social distancing?

We don’t need a pandemic to do something that reduces many bad things in our social system. As individuals, we occasionally detoxify our system. As society, we should occasionally detoxify our social system. Shut down the streets, close the malls, gate the beaches, switch off the theaters, upturn the tables in the synagogues and churches, and roll up the mats in the mosques, lock up the stadium and arenas, close the clubs and bars and restaurants and send people home to their families. For one month every two years, keep humanity from the madness and chaos of social pressure.

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