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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Physically Distant, Socially Together

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Stay six feet apart. Don’t leave home except for groceries and essentials. Don’t go to the playground and don’t go visit your neighbors. Spray all the doorknobs with Lysol every hour. This is all excellent advice for keeping your body healthy. It isn’t such a great way to nurture your soul.

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For many of us, the social distancing mindset has left us feeling alone and anxious. For those living in abusive situations or with abusive partners or families, social distancing might even be dangerous. We’re missing trips, birthday parties, get-togethers, or just missing the person who used to check in on us each day at school or work. It is important to flatten the curve and keep our community healthy, but we can’t lose the connections that keep us safe.

I suggest we ditch the word social distancing and switch to physical distancing. Many prominent leaders are suggesting this and I’m jumping on board. We need to stay home. We need to keep our distance. We need to sacrifice so our brave healthcare workers, our loved ones, and our country can stay safe. But we don’t have to feel alone. We can be physically distant, but socially connected. Call a friend. Facetime your sister. Check in on that co-worker you’re worried about. Drop off groceries for your elderly neighbor. Be a voice of hope, even when you can’t be a helping hand. We may be standing apart, but we are still standing together. Physically distancing, but socially connected.

I’m Lynnea Erickson Laskowski, and that’s my Perspective.

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