Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Why we can't practice too much distancing?



Last March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak known as COVID-19 as a pandemic. The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica where confirmed cases are rising daily in Africa, America, Europe and Asia. 

This infectious disease is caused by the recently discovered coronavirus and spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It can also spread when a person touches a surface or thing that has the virus on it, then touches his/her eyes, nose, or mouth. 

As of June 17, 2020, there has been a total of 7,914,404 confirmed cases and 434,796 deaths worldwide. While in the Philippines, there has been a total of 27,238 cases and 1,108 deaths recorded.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for or vaccine against COVID-19. Thus, the Department of Health (DOH) continuously advises the public to frequently clean or wash hands, cover cough with a tissue or the bend of the elbow, practice social distancing and minimize any form of social contact. 

The government also ordered the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine where the movement of people is severely restricted, with most only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips such as to buy food or medicine. Group gatherings were not allowed.  Graduation, weddings, and other social events were canceled as well. 

The key was to stay away from others and observe social distancing from others in order to stop the transmission of the virus.  

In our case, my family and I decided to simply stay at home. Work was not an issue since I had been working from home for the past 5 years. 

We also decided to stop going out even for errands. Thus, all our basic needs such as food, groceries, medicine, water, and other necessities are purchased via home delivery. Bills payment and other bank transactions are also done online. 

To be honest, I have been in home quarantine for 150+ days. I was not able to go out since February but I am willing to make this sacrifice since STAYING AT HOME is our biggest contribution in this fight against COVID-19.

Am I okay with it? Yes, I am okay with it since I made this decision voluntarily even before the government-mandated quarantine. However, it won't change the fact that... 

I miss the outside world. 
I miss going out with friends. 
I miss our coffee dates.
I miss eating out with family.
I miss shopping.
I miss being with other people. 

I realized this is why we can't afford to practice too much distancing. 

Humans are social beings. We have the need to interact with each other.  We love to sing, dance, have fun, and attend social gatherings. We prefer the sense of community than isolation. We enjoy a friendly atmosphere. It brings us joy.



According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the third level of human needs is social and it involves the feeling of belongingness. We have a strong need for interpersonal relationships that motivates our behavior. 



Thus, social distancing is impossible no matter what the circumstance is. We can instead practice physical distancing but we can never be socially distant from one another. 



This is the primary reason why my husband and I initiated the A.V.E.N.G.E.R.S. project in Negros Occidental. No, it's not about Iron Man, Captain America or the Hulk. Instead, the project stands for Addressing Various Needs and Establishing Security through Network and Group Building using Emerging and available Technologies as Response to Social and Health Crisis (A.V.E.N.G.E.R.S.)


The initiative aims to create an online community or group in response to the health crisis brought about by coronavirus. 

Inspired with what T’Challa/ Black Panther said In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we are one single tribe.”

In our case, we created a community called Bacolod Food Supply and Sources


Today, we have over 7k+ members and through the project, we can look after our fellow Negrense. We share information on where we can source of basic needs. We support local sellers and businesses. We share food ideas and recipes. We give tips and advice that can be helpful in the current times.  We have a sense of community and belongingness. 

Here are some of the feedback from our community members:




This project made me realize that we can still do so much for others even if physically apart. Thus, we also hope to inspire you to explore your creativity on how you can help your own community. YES TO PHYSICAL DISTANCING but no to SOCIAL DISTANCING. 


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This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet, and Teleperformance.
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