The whole world changed with the beginning of 2020 when the World Health Organisation came forth and announced that a novel virus from Wuhan china is a worldwide pandemic. This changed a lot of things in the world, cities upon nations were shut down, and social distancing was imposed.
This meant keeping space between yourself and others, especially outdoors. It was deemed to be the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease- limiting facial contact. Social interactions with other people these days is now different. What we deemed impolite is now the norm. That turned out to make a lot of awkward situations and changing what most people called etiquette.
A few tips
· Physical Distancing
Many have chosen to name it as physical distancing. If outside, keep a minimum of six feet away from everyone. If others don’t seem to maintain the same healthy guidelines as you, it’s best to speak up and step back, tell them that you’re stepping back to uphold social distance.
When you step outside in a group, it is crucial to use a single file, especially in narrow spaces. Stay two arm lengths away from everyone. Cover your mouth when encountering strangers and ask them to maintain social distance. Use an upbeat tone when speaking to avoid making strangers feel offended.
We are not allowed to touch each other when we are outside during this pandemic anymore. As much as we want to hug and shake hands, greetings have now changed to germ-free gestures. It’s best to stick to waves, hops and skips. A popular greeting gesture being used amidst many is the namaste, where one puts both hands together, like in prayer and makes a little bow. A classic favourite is a tip-of-the-hat.
· Non-Verbal Cues
One has to communicate with facial expressions when wearing masks. Face masks can limit the way we talk, having us to speak up when you can’t be heard clearly. Smile, nod and wave.
Contact tracing is used to track the way the coronavirus spreads through individuals. Trained staff interview people who have been diagnosed with a contagious disease to figure out whom they may have recently been in contact with. Contact tracing individuals has become common. Contact tracing by businesses through events are now frequent as well.
· No longer rude
If you come across a stranger without a mask, it is no longer rude to keep your distance from them. It is also not rude to not attend an invited event. Just as it is also not an insult to sanitize in public. It is better to limit close contact with others outside your household.
Lastly, the virus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. The droplets from the mouth and nose spread into the air and surfaces, and people nearby can get it. As the pandemic causes constant changes in our social behaviour, experts emphasize on physically distancing ourselves and using protective measures like masks.