NO to Social Distancing !

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.


Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 11.14.41

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 ❤


11 thoughts on “NO to Social Distancing !

    1. Absolutely ! I am so thankful for internet, it’s such a blessing to be able to call at the other side of the world and have a free conversation. Waking up to a sweet message on WhatsApp.
      Too bad we can’t shop those days, I would have found the time to finally cook your recipes! Is all your family living nearby you?

      1. Hope they are getting better and better! Your support must be invaluable in those times. Take good care ❤

  1. Excellent distinction! While my distance is not as great as yours to the rest of my family, I am also feeling the stress of knowing I cannot get to them (or them to me) even if we want to be together. We have done one family FaceTime with our kids, which was great, and those poor millennials are getting soooooo many texts and emails full of jokes and cartoons from me that by the end of our time hidden away, they will be sick of me!

    Who would have imagined that being in Asia would be a huge plus during this health crisis? You are right that societies there already understand what’s necessary in these cases, and they are also more prone to obedience to government rules. We who are overly attached to the idea of individual liberties are the ones who will suffer longest, I fear.

    1. What would we do without Facetime and Zoom those days? The videos I receive on WhatsApp are so hilarious, wished I could upload them on the blog but seems that I can only share them on WhatsApp ..
      There is no such thinh as the individual liberties you are so rightly mentionning in Vietnam and in the neighborhood. Plus large families still traditionally live together, so they need to care for each other more than us who are pretty individualistic.

      It’s sad to see that many foreigners would refuse to wear the mask, pretending it was useless. That didn’t understand that it s a sign of respect for the community. Here you don’t only wear a mask to protect yourself from the people around you but also to protect them from your gems.

      The Government had to announce formally that the mask was compulsory for everyone in the public space. And we do wear it all the time actually. No wonder Asian can’t understand why Europe has such a shortage of masks!..

      Let’s hope for the best and stay home for now. Those times are so incredible when you see them as an observer. What a small world we are living in .. Take good care X

  2. I recently read a conversation on Facebook that said, (and I’m paraphrasing), ‘Now I understand why the Victorian nursery rhymes and songs all have to do with dying.’ Gallows humor. Made sense.

    1. I hope our nursery songs will be more about washing our hands and wearing masks 😛 At leasts we are in the 21rt century, much more connected to each other (other than physically obviously) so we can support each others in those challenging times. Stay safe and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I totally agree with “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 ..” From day 1 of my isolation, I was setting up regular FaceTime and Zoom with friends, and it has been brilliant

    1. You’ve been doing the right thing 💖took me a while to be regular because we’ve been into this for months before the rest of the world and I didn’t think it would last. At times I was feeling so isolated and exhausted, mentally and physically. Then I realized that I had let myself being driven so far from my social needs, so I started reaching out again. To realize how good it feels to be with our friends and fam, you feel the hug even miles and miles away. Glad you realized it right away 😊
      Take good care of you my dear X

      1. I have always known that I would be no good with total isolation… So the first thing I did was look into how I could manage this Thanks, and you look after yourself 💕

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