Posted in Get Connected

Let’s Oust Social Distancing and Embrace the Physical Distance Between Us

As a space filled to the brim with words, we know that words matter. Many of them have multiple definitions and fluid connotations. As an introvert, the term “social distance” is permission to embrace the natural tendency to withdraw from social settings.

Photo by Marta Longas on

For those balancing extroversion against the forced isolation of social distancing, the line isn’t so easily walked. Six feet suddenly feels like six miles of seclusion.

That said, even introverts need socialization and can feel nostalgic for daily interactions. I know I do. I miss the days when our library was filled with patrons bustling in and out, sharing snatches of conversation, and swapping snippets from daily life. I miss the times when all of our staff schedules overlapped and we touched base as a collective, not as individual runners merely passing on the baton in the work relay. I miss the times when social was what you did, not what you thought about day in and day out.

But words matter, and they can help us get through this. Instead of focusing on staying apart and not engaging with those around us, we should focus on staying apart safely. Swapping out “social distancing” with “physical distancing” just feels better. This way, six feet is merely six physical feet. It’s no longer a phrase directing us to stay away from each other at all costs.

Patrons should feel welcome to come into the library and share tiny slices of life with staff and other patrons. From the CDC guideline of six feet apart.

We can be social. And we can be safe. It just might take a change in our vocabulary to keep us from feeling isolated along the way.

Please call or email for a 20 minute browsing appointment. When you arrive, adhere to the state mask mandate and keep your six feet of physical distance while enjoying a moment or two of social connection. For patrons not wanting to enter the building, we continue to offer curbside pickup. Your safety and peace of mind are important to us.

stay safe and keep reading~ jody


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.