OPINION: Two metres of separation? | Squamish Chief

OPINION: Two metres of separation?

I was wondering about that thing that we used to do.

That thing where we used to stand two metres apart from each other at all times and hold our breath, hoping that we wouldn’t catch the plague.

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It feels like a distant memory now, that social distancing thing.

With the COVID-19 numbers looking fairly good for the last few weeks, and with the province starting to reopen and our being allowed to double our bubble, we’ve been lulled into thinking that things are back to normal.

People have been letting their guard down.

Even me. And I’m high-risk.

The process of allowing people into our bubbles again has been a major relief, but has also brought its own set of challenges.

It’s been great seeing people again — many of whom I haven’t seen in the months.

But it’s also been a bit nerve-wracking. I’ve learned that it’s virtually impossible to literally always stay apart a full two metres when hanging out with people — unless you’re comfortable shouting at each other. (I’m not, though.)

Even in small groups, it’s hard to hear the person you’re talking to from two metres away when there’s background conversation all around you.

For me, I’ve at least tried to make a point of keeping myself outside during these occasions, as the provincial health officer said that transmission rates are quite low in the great outdoors.

But I do wonder how much risk we’re running into. To quite a few people, the idea of social distancing doesn’t even enter their minds anymore, it seems.

Once, when I was trying to walk around people gathering on a trail, I was called out for not walking completely on the trail. They expected me to continue through the trail and go right through the crowd. Definitely less than two metres of distance there. And they were all strangers I didn’t know. Ain’t happening, sorry.

I’ve tried to pick my battles, but I’m beginning to realize there are a lot of battles to pick from.

At every turn there’s a question.

Do you say hi to friends of friends? Is it OK to say hi to friendly strangers when we’re all outside? Do you call someone out every time they get slightly closer to you than you’d like? And can you prove it? Anyone carry measuring tape?

It’s exhausting, navigating this new normal. But let’s keep trying.

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