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Clemente Writings

Keep it Six Feet

“Six-feet” is a new phrase many use nowadays: the way to tell someone to stay back or keep your distance. Call it social distancing or physical distancing, whatever you call it, it’s the new norm we have to live with now, maybe even forever. The way I see it, it’s going to take time to adapt to. Speaking for myself, I find it quite difficult to adapt, but I know if I want to stay safe and keep my family safe and others around me, I have to take the initiative and practice this new norm of life, and just hope and pray that soon it gets better and we have a cure and go back to the way things were. But I don’t think that will ever be possible.

I can’t tell you how many times I struggled adjusting to this life change, from having to wear face masks everywhere to keeping my distance from everyone I come into contact with. How we have to live today, reducing close contact between people, keeping six feet apart from family, friends and social gatherings is a new pill to swallow and something we have to get used to. When we gather at events or public places, we have to be prepared, make sure we have facemasks, make sure there is a certain amount of people, and keep our distance. For me personally, social distancing has really taken a toll. I find it hard to keep my distance, I forget to grab my mask, and when I visit a family member or friend, I want to go in for a hug but I have to remember to keep it six feet. Many need that interaction with others to feel normal. I fall in the category of not having regular interaction so this situation takes a toll because I need that interaction, everyone does, it’s the normal thing. Normal interaction really has had an effect on me mentally and emotionally. I find myself feeling more depressed, which is new for me.

The fear of how we have to live today is scary and can make anyone second-guess and our thoughts run wild. Feeling isolated can bring on a lot of health and mental issues like anxiety and stress. I find myself following these issues and it’s scary. Yes, we are going through a scary time right now and it’s affecting every aspect of our lives in good and bad ways. We have to follow these rules to stop the spread of the viruses and that means changing the way we used to communicate and interact. I try to look at this in some positive ways, like taking this time to do things I didn’t have time to do and finding new ideas and things to do to occupy my time physically and mentally so when this is all over I come out stronger than I was before. I think this is a test to see how strong I can be mentally, physically, and emotionally. Yes this is a new thing for everyone, the new normal in life we have to accept; no, I’m not saying this is going to be an easy process. If we want to be safe and have everyone around us, we must take this seriously and change the way we socialize.

It is hitting everyone differently, some can process change easily and some it takes time to adapt. I’m saying we have to try hard if we want to go back to normal living and that means slowing down the spread of this virus. Following these rules is going to get us there. It might not happen next week or next month but it will happen if we follow these rules wearing masks and most importantly social distancing. In other words staying six-feet apart.

The world we knew as normal has changed. This pandemic has made everything so different. Our everyday routines will never be the same from our gatherings to going out. We have to welcome a new norm in our life and it’s called social distancing.


We, Too, Are America is made possible through “Democracy and the Informed Citizen,” an initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Council through a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

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