In light of the recent pandemic, the CDC has urged every citizen to practice social distancing, also known as physical distancing. The measure is meant to lower the number of new infection cases by reducing social contact.
Unfortunately, not everyone is eager to hop onto the social-distancing bandwagon. This is especially true for individuals who believe that the measure is uncalled for (hence, they are likely to underestimate the severity of the pandemic). Others may believe that they have the freedom as citizens to act as they please.
Regardless of the reason, it is important for each individual to do their part in curbing the rate of infection. Softer approaches might improve the chances of cooperation to keep everyone safe during these tough times.
It is important to inform others about the details and severity of the situation. For example, the CDC has reported that older adults and individuals with underlying health conditions face the highest risk of complications. You may consider sharing useful information on your social media sites or group chats on platforms like WhatsApp. It is important to explain how the virus spreads via human contact and why social-distancing is an effective measure toward locking it down.
Also, always be mindful of the source of information. Fake news is being circulated by malicious individuals during these tough times, so always authenticate a source before re-posting or sharing any information.
It is important to share the guidelines that you will be following closely. This helps to establish the expectations for yourself and others. Hence, through a clear action plan, others will be more likely to understand your perspective and possibly be inspired to do the same. Social distancing is a common term these days, however, many individuals may be unaware of the exact practices involved.
Such action plans may be posted on your social media profile and shared among your contacts. Always remember, the three drivers of changes are awareness, acceptance, and action.
Social norms define how members of society react to a situation. Non-compliant individuals are more likely to engage in social distancing if they realize that most people around them have already made changes to their daily lives. The human tendency of copying behavior – also known as the descriptive norm effect, is known to result in pro-social decisions in communities.
Humans are social creatures with a sense of belonging for a community. This is why social media has remained an extremely popular form of communication. There are many memes, jokes, and cautionary messages being posted and exchanged on social media. These improves the overall mood as society goes through hard times. In fact, such light-hearted stress relief and social bonding may form a part of treatments for anxiety and mood disorders.
The messages behind online content may influence individuals to take on a more active involvement in social distancing.
It is important to understand and accept that social distancing is a challenging process. Thus, it is essential to be empathetic when communicating the concept to another person. Some people have operational jobs that prevent them from committing to full-scale social distancing, thus they face greater exposure to infection.
In such cases, it is best to be sensitive when broaching the subject. Swap out hostile demands for words of kindness and concern. People are more likely to practice social distancing through support and appreciation from fellow members of society. Considerate behavior is often inspired, not coerced. Each person has a special role in the crisis.
Above all else, people should stay connected despite the physical separation. Call to check in on loved ones to see how they are coping with the situation and leave positive messages to raise their spirits. Regular catch ups provide mutual moral support that keeps societies united throughout the crisis.
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