Are we all having fun? Isolating like a pro? Cruising through week 6 like a socially distanced winner? Unfathomably and bafflingly relieved that the weather has turned to shite?
So this week I thought I’d actually do something useful and put together a collection of guidelines on how to social distance in the correct and most effective way. Having been doing it for several weeks now, I feel equipped to impart my knowledge and experience to ensure that we’re all on the same page. (Well, obviously not all on the same page, that would be a heinous violation of social distancing rules; strictly one person per page, or even every other page (or some in a separate book altogether, just to be on the safe side)).
Guideline 1 – Queue. Everywhere. Anywhere.
If you need to go into a shop, queue. If there is already a definable queue in place, join it. If there is an ambiguous queue, join it. If there is no queue, start one.
To demonstrate this guideline, I shall provide you with a helpful example of my own experience.
Last week I approached the local Co-op. There was a lone man standing slightly to the left of the door. I stood two metres behind him. A few seconds passed. The man turned round to me and said ‘Oh, I’m not actually queueing.’ Fine. At that moment, another man approached the shop door from the other direction and loitered by the cash point in the wall, so I went and stood two metres behind him. The man turned to me and said ‘Oh, I’m actually only here to use the cash point.’
Whilst this does not demonstrate the most successful queuing attempt, it demonstrates the intent to queue. You should always intend to stand behind someone or something for a short period before entering a shop.
Because do you really want to take the risk of just strolling gung-ho into a shop without being 110% certain that there is no queue?
Guideline 2 – Become a contortionist
If someone is standing near an item that you want in a shop, instead of asking them politely to move whilst you socially distancely reach for said item, you must contort your body into the most inventive shape possible in order to a) collect the item without disturbing the other person, and b) keep your face as far as possible from the other person whilst still being able to reach your item.
This works best if there are several socially distancing people who desire items from the same area of the shop.
Guideline 3 – Perform the Social Distance Waltz
If you suddenly come face-to-face with someone and realise that you have unwittingly entered the infested, germy, virusy, antisocially-distancey inner sanctum of within two metres of each other, you must both perform the sweeping Social Distance Waltz (or SDW, if you will) and gallop around each other whilst both apologising profusely and chuckling in acknowledgement of the mutual absurdity of the situation (see diagram below).
NB. It is crucial that everyone performs the Social Distance Waltz in a clockwise manner, otherwise the manoeuvre can become lethal.
Guideline 4 – React Appropriately to Enemies of Social Distancing (ESDs)
If someone infiltrates your two metre radius, please see the below options as helpful examples on how to respond, with thanks to various pals for imparting this guidance from their own experience.
Option 1 – Mind-bending over-reaction
Option 2 – Sarcasm
Option 3 – Passive aggression
Guideline 5 – Don’t be afraid to take things up a level
You can never be too distanced, and I admire those who are taking their social distancing seriously. The other day I was walking along a deserted pavement. This pavement was wide and had an equally wide grass verge. One could comfortably socially distance in a crisis. A middle-aged lady appeared on the pavement about 100 feet in front of me. I moved onto the grass verge, but she crossed the road. Fair enough, I thought – but instead of continuing her journey on the other pavement, she simply stood, quite irately, on the opposite pavement and scowled at me as I passed. Once I had passed, I looked back and she’d crossed back over the road. Not only is this an admirable example of top-level social distancing, but it got her message across loud and clear.
I hope that these guidelines have been helpful and will assist you in making some quality social distancing decisions.
You are welcome.