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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. 


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.


  1. I chose to be wise so I am supporting this project, a creative way to address our needs to source out our food supplies.

  2. Nkemakolam ChukwumerijeJuly 1, 2020 at 3:52 PM

    You're right, community and belonging is super, super important. Especially during the pandemic, we need ways to stay connected, authentically.

  3. I agree with you and was think about social distancing yesterday when I was at the start shopping. I came in contact with about 5-8 people buy walking past them or everything checking . We can only do some much during this pandemic.

  4. I totally agree! I think we should use the right term, physical distancing.

  5. My family has approached this exactly how you have. And just this week I was missing seeing friends even though we keep in touch my phone. This is a great and needed project.

  6. I feel it's important to remember that social distancing does not mean emotional distancing. We may be apart in distance, but we can still connect with each other in many ways.

  7. You are right, social distancing would destroy us as humans. I still feel that even physical distancing is harmful in the long term. Humans were made for interaction physically as well as emotionally. Making a whole society forsake this humanity is more harmful than letting illness take its course. And in the long run, we are only slowing down the progress of Coronavirus. We will not be able to stop it unless we all isolate completely which is not possible.

  8. You are so right! Community is super importantbto human beings and a must to be happy!

  9. Community is more important now than it ever was before. It’s tough to have to social distance and forfeit friendships that I crave

  10. I agree, social distancing is good for keeping sickness away BUT - we should not ISOLATE ourselves. We still need interaction!! And I certainly get plenty through social media!

  11. Social distancing is different from emotional distancing. I can see how it can cause sadness and upset. But then you fight back at those feelings and make the best out of a seemingly sucky situation.

  12. I think it's all about discipline! We really need it right now. Also, we need nation building!

  13. Nicely put. for my health I am not able to go out but I definitely try to keep emotionally attached to friends.

  14. I agree with this project. In general, humans are social creatures and we value our relationships with other people. So in times of stress, our instinct is often to reach out to others in our social groups to help ourselves feel better, whether that is to be comforted by a friend or a loved one, or to do the same for other people. When we can’t do this, we may feel helpless or lonely, and this may interfere with our ability to cope effectively with stress.

  15. Aaawwww....aren't you two the heroes of the hour? I love such initiatives.

  16. You are right, our lives is in our hand and these days community spread is also one of the reason to increase coronavirus. It's so much better to keep distancing and work from home as it's relieves stress as well. We should work on these initiatives.

  17. I deffo agree in terms of physical distance does not mean an emotional disconnect...hopefully things will be all gone sooner rather than later x

  18. that is a fabulous movement and mission! I wish I could get involved