March 20, 2020 | by: Jamie Paterson


While practicing self isolation at home, I looked out the window to see a group of neighbourhood kids playing basketball.  As the game progressed to a wrestling match on the front lawn I realized that not everybody is on the same page in the social distancing rule book.

Like many others, I was infuriated by the scenes of “spring-breakers” coming out of Florida.  Hundreds of college students crowded onto beaches and bars.  When interviewed they said they were willing to “take the risk” because Spring Break was important.  It was then I realized people didn’t know that social distancing was for.

It isn’t for their safety, it’s for the safety of OTHERS!

It’s not their fault.  People are obviously not getting the message.

Kids play and roughhouse… that’s their job.  College aged kids feel they’re “bulletproof” and will take unnecessary risks… that’s their nature.  A new CNN poll shows that four out of five people who have contracted the virus got it from someone who didn’t know they had it!

That bears repeating.

Four in five people who have contracted the virus got it from someone who didn’t realize they had it!

We all need to know WHY we’re practicing social distancing.

If we ALL make sure we don’t pass the virus on to somebody else, we can end this.  The buck stops with YOU.

This 15 second video demonstrates it beautifully …

Most of us can eat peanuts.  Personally I LOVE them.  But if a handful of our kids get violently ill and even DIE by simply coming in contact with them.  So it’s simple, we don’t bring them to school.

Social distancing is the same principle, but it’s our parents, our grandparents, or those with a medical condition who could die!  Plus, unlike peanuts, the COVID-19 virus is DESIGNED to infect us and reproduce… and it’s VERY good at it!

Every one of those basketball playing children could have unknowingly brought the virus back to their house, their parents, possibly their GRANDPARENTS.

So, does this mean we have to lock our kids and ourselves in the basement until a vaccine is developed?

No, we just need to look at social distancing in a different way.  More on that in a moment.

First, here are the BASIC Dos and Don’ts of social distancing, as advised by the Public Health Agency of Canada and chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam:


— Stay home as much as possible.

— Get fresh air, go for a jog or walk your dog but always keep two metres (six feet or about two arms-lengths) distance from other people.

— Go to the grocery store or pharmacy as needed but keep the two-metre distance and wash your hands upon your return home. Shopping online and arranging to have things dropped off at your home is even better.

— Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. The extra scrubbing time matters. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

— Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands afterwards.

— Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). This includes things like doorknobs, toys, toilets, phones, electronics, remote controls and bedside tables.


— Don’t attend non-essential gatherings. That means no visits with your neighbours or friends, no play dates, no sleepovers, no parties and especially no public gatherings in crowded spaces, like conferences, concerts or sporting events (if there are any on).

— Don’t (unless necessary) use public transportation.  If you must use it, travel at uncrowded hours (which is pretty much always now).

— Don’t shake hands or kiss cheeks in greeting.

— Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.


Remember, we aren’t practicing social-distancing for our own health.  Were practicing it for the sake of others!  If you ARE in an at-risk category, you should be self isolating.

It’s much easier to think of yourself as one who already has the virus and that you’re making sure you don’t give it to anyone else.

Also, be good to each other.

Help out the elderly and those who have a weakened immune system by bringing them much needed items.  Leave these items at the door so as not to introduce the virus to their environment.  Even a short visit could be devastating to some (remember, you already have the virus).  Wipe items with disinfectant and/or seal them inside a plastic freezer bag.  You’re not being rude or anti-social, you’re keeping others safe!

Hopefully this new perspective helps clarify the concept of social distancing.  We are basically big-hearted social animals.  I have a feeling the Florida beaches would have been empty had those college kids known they were staying away for the sake of someone else.

We just have to get the message out there