In what looks more like an Orwellian nightmare, we’ve been told it’s necessary to social distance from others to prevent spreading coronavirus.
On the surface, that seems to make sense, right?
Social distancing, also called physical distancing, is a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions or measures intended to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other and avoiding gathering together in large groups.
It may make some sense to protect the vulnerable from infected persons and some level of social distancing may be appropriate for certain populations. Those precautions are really only common sense and may be advisable not only for Covid-19 but all infectious disease. But unlike what we see today, I believe it needs to be done in a reasonable and compassionate way. Blanket isolation of the elderly in care facilities from their loved ones hardly seems reasonable or compassionate. Keeping parents from visiting their sick children in hospitals does not seem reasonable or compassionate. That behavior seems more like cruel and unusual punishment, not to mention its common use in behavior modification and mind control.
Perhaps the earliest known reference to the practice is found in Leviticus 13:46. Keep in mind this was referring to quarantining infected people – not the uninfected. What we see happening in society today is quarantining and social distancing healthy people. Any reasonable person should be asking, “why”.
It would seem this social distancing may be a form of the ancient tactic of “divide and conquer” to control and dominate us. This is nothing new… divide and conquer is an agitprop strategy used by authoritarians throughout history to gain power over their subjects. It is being used to politically divide us and to herd us into groups at conflict with one another in order to manipulate events for some undisclosed agenda. It seems to be being used to keep us apart and unable to communicate achieving a group consensus. It has been used as an excuse to prevent us from gathering together to worship God in our churches. And, it’s being used to instill fear.
Much of the social distancing phenomena is driven by a fear of other people. Certainly, we all feel uncomfortable when people invade our “space” and get in our face. But, SARS-CoV-2 has created a comfort bubble around each of us of 6 feet in the name of “safety”. And, like quarantining, this division is keeping healthy people apart, not just the sick. As a result, group gatherings have been restricted, businesses where people gather closely have been closed, and we’ve been told not to gather in churches to worship God. People are even being trained to conform to sitting in predesignated circles painted on the ground.
What social distancing effectively does is to isolate people.
Humans need social interaction. We need to have physical contact with others. Unfortunately, the fear of COVID-19 has caused our leaders to react in ways that do more harm than good. With a CDC reported death rate of only 0.26%, it seems more people may die because of the crazy reactions taken to flatten the curve than will die of Covid-19.
Walling people off from one another for months means the secondary effects of the pandemic, such as recession, social unrest and unemployment, could trigger unpredictable and widespread mental health challenges. Loneliness and isolation may harm overall health across age groups. In one meta-analysis of 70 studies involving more than 3.4 million participants followed for an average of seven years, the likelihood of dying during the study period increased by 26 percent for those who reported loneliness (feeling alone), 29 percent for those who were socially isolated (having few social contacts) and 32 percent for those living alone.
We’ll likely see increased rates of anxiety, with more and more of us worried about our health and safety going back out in public again. I know many people afraid to leave their homes and have been isolated for months. For some people, the anxiety may develop into a mental health condition: Agoraphobia. People with this particular anxiety disorder feel a deep fear over leaving their homes ― or any other safe place ― and finding themselves in an area that may cause panic or make them feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
Social distancing can result in a decline in both perceived and received social support from close friends and family. Sarah Lowe, an assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences at Yale’s School of Public Health said, “A lack of social support can increase the risk for a variety of mental health problems, including depression. Although people are connecting virtually, that’s not always equivalent to the types of support that people get from a large variety of social network members — neighbors, colleagues, store clerks, etc. — on a regular basis.”
Poor social support has been linked to depression, and loneliness has been shown to increase the risk of depression, suicide, alcohol use and cardiovascular disease.
Some of the least vulnerable to SARS Co-V2 are children and the negative effects of social isolation inflicted upon them may take years to fully comprehend.
While children make up relatively few cases among confirmed COVID-19 patients in the U.S., the pandemic response measures are taking a toll on the wellbeing of some. They especially need social interaction as they grow but are being denied that now in their formative years. Children with special educational needs and disabilities may be among the hardest hit.
In a Gallup Panel polling of parents with school-aged children conducted via the web in May, nearly three in 10 (29%) say their child is “already experiencing harm” to their emotional or mental health because of social distancing and closures. And, all the fear and misinformation being instilled into their young minds may leave them scarred for life as they become more socially isolated, depressed, fearful or become germaphobic (a pathological fear of germs, bacteria, microbes, contamination and infection.)