I’m not sure how many people this is going to be relevant to but this social distancing is suiting me! You may have read my blog regarding introversion and picked up I’m at the extreme end of the spectrum! This is not a blog about introversion, but another oddity altogether, my ginormous personal space and my general desire to avoid people!
I’ve found it mildly amusing that people seem to be experiencing the world as I always have, trying to avoid contact with people at all costs!
As we practice social distancing we peer down the supermarket aisle – are there too many people in it?! If I start down the aisle will someone box me in?! Maybe I can do without loo roll this week? I have running water at home… or maybe I could come back when the aisle is less busy! This was my normal pre-social distancing!
Now, I like being told were to stand and I like that other people are being told not to stand too close to me! Not only are there markings on the floor, they have announcements over the tannoy!
I’ve always been aware, my personal space is gigantic! (Unless you know your personal space is particularly large, I’d be willing to place money on mine being roughly twice the size of yours.) There are very few who can casually encroach on my personal space without asking. Some, I invite willing, others through social obligation. A lot of people invade my personal space uninvited, I feel uncomfortable, even anxious at times and this is my normal. I know others want to be close, to hug hello etc and I’m fine with this, I’ll conform with social norms, I just fit in with what the other person wants so as not to make a fuss!
As concerns about rapid spread of Covid-19 started, some churches started sharing the peace without touching, using eye-contact instead(!) and the reactions were mixed. Some hated it while others thought it brought depth to the exchange. We’re all different!
Pre-social distancing, out on a run I’ve been forced off the pavement, onto roads, onto verges, into bushes, at times I wonder if I’ve been seen at all as couples or family groups walk towards me and make zero effort to enable me to remain running safely on the pavement. Now we’ve got this wonderful 2m rule, people are being courteous and walking single file past each other – why did this not happen before?! Why is it, you have to be concerned you might catch a deadly virus from me to see me?!
Even just walking passed people in the corridor at work, if someone accidentally get too close, people are apologising and moving away. It’s as though the world has finally listened to the discomfort I feel every time someone gets too close to me and they’ve put a rule in and everyone has to conform, you seriously wouldn’t believe how much of a relief it feels!