March 24, 2020

We will not mock...


No making fun of something just because it's obvious to you. But I got a question for next week's Ask Max and it's timely and I felt like it needed to be answered now.*

"Max, my kids keep telling me about social distancing and how it can save my life. I agreed to do it. Now all my club friends and gym friends are calling me to video chat, and it feels rude to not answer. I don't know what to do or what to tell them, but I promised my kids. I don't understand most of it, either. But I do remember that one of your humans is in medicine and you might be able to help me figure out what the harm is. I'd like to at least talk to friends and I've cried almost every night because of it all."
All right. No worries, you're fine. You can answer your video chats without worrying about breaking the social distancing rules.

This is when better phrasing would help. People under 50 might grasp exactly what social distancing means, but the older crowd, where a lot of the cool kids are, might not. And don't feel bad; those kids who are on your virtual lawn playing where they've probably been asked not to probably don't grok the language of your youth, either.

I think the better term, one I heard yesterday, is physical distancing. It has nothing to do with being social. Trust me, people are finding ways to be social, even going so far as to have in-person meetings with neighbors...while sitting in lawn chairs more than 6 feet apart, while they drink coffee and just hang out. Or something better than coffee.

Be social with the friends who are calling. It's important that you keep those connections. Talking to other people is vital; maintaining those friendships is vital. Technology has been an amazing tool for people who are doing the right thing and self-isolating. They're still able to see their friends and talk to their friends, and many of them have learned to do group video chats and spend hours just talking and laughing.

So go for it. Answer the calls, and have as much fun with your friends as you can. I'm super happy you're tech savvy enough to video chat, but even regular phone calls are pretty freaking sweet. Go ahead, surprise someone, and pick up the phone to call. Hearing your voice is totally going to make someone's day.


Doods...I know this is hard. Staying home when you want to is one thing; staying home because you have to is another. But I am super impressed with how seriously most of you are taking this, and I am grateful for it.

You're awesome.

I just thought you should know that.


*I did reply to the email to make sure that the person who asked saw the answer. Not everyone who reads Ask Max over at Mousebreath reads my blog, and vice versa. Though you should be reading both, you really should. ;)


Random Felines said...

Thanks for helping her Max. Language does make a huge difference and we all need social interaction while bring safe.

William’s Kith & Kin said...

You are one good cat, Max.

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

It was good of you to explain to her, Max. This should remind us all that what we take for granted is not always straightforward to others.

Anonymous said...

You rock Max.I loved you before but I love youeven more now for understanding and respectfully helping this lady in distress.You are a mighty fine knight.There should definitely be more Maxes in this world.��

Eastside Cats said...

I read both, Max!
We humans are such social beings, even the ones who are introverted.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

Physical-distancing is the thought. BTW, happy birfday to the Pest. Sorry we were late but we were off line for a while.

Just Ducky said...

Social distancing, not social isolation!

Elisa said...

Max,I have been in the house since March 1. My kitties think it's time they push me out the door and off the deck. The dogs on the other hand are happy as can be because they never want me to leave. I tried to explain social distancing to the kitties and why I have to stay home. They now think social distancing from me is an excellent idea and if I walk toward the deck door, they rush me and push.