Social distancing: maintaining a greater than usual distance from other people.
I can’t stand this concept of “social distancing”. It makes me feel even more isolated from the rest of my community.
Can we please only refer to Physical distancing instead? That’s the only kind of isolation we all need to respect in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Far from the eyes but more than ever close to the heart.
We are not expat anymore, just citizen of the world
It’s the first time ever, in 20 years of expatriation, that I am feeling the incompressible distance between us in Hanoi and my family in France.
As long as the Covid was an “Asian business“, I didn’t feel the pressure. I have spent a over a decade working in violence affected countries with the ICRC, so I am used to play by the rules, and repeat the mantra “In any case do not panick. Situation is under control“. In the worse case scenario, an evacuation to Europe could always be an option.
Last week, we were asked by our Embassy whether we wanted to be on the last flight to France. We refused: we have a house here, we are together and I feel safer in Hanoi where people are so disciplined. I was also scared of exposing us to the virus during the 10h trip and importing it back home.
In Hanoi we’ve been practicing informal quarantaine for weeks now and the mask is now compulsory in public places. We are used to it.
But I am definitely not used to seeing my French family and friends confined at home, with very strict rules to obey. This really came as a shock. I feel their vulnerability, their anxieties and most than everything, I feel that I don’t have a safe place to call home.
From today onwards, we are locked in Hanoi. No more plane to Europe.
The need to create social closeness
Because our mental health going through this is just as important as our physical health, we need to connect to each others. Calling, texting, zooming, skyping ..
We French people communicate with our sense of humour. As long as we can laugh about it, we are fine :
I love when they send me those kind of pics and I can share them too. Laughing is part of the medecine. It helps so much in setting up my mood.
What else can I share with them that would cheer us up a little ? Maybe counteracting the effects of the containment by teaching them some basic yoga poses?.. I so need to feel grounded again and I believe they do too.
So I am working on setting up a 40mn yoga class on Zoom with the family, so we can connect also to keep us fit, physically and mentally. Then I ‘ll open it to my friends all over the world. That’s my way of bridging up the gap for now.
What about you? how are you practicing social connection those days?
Stay safe everyone ❤