Opinion: Social distancing is not that bad

This+improvised+workspace+is+in+a+quiet+space%2C+so+I+take+my+video+calls+from+there+too.

Elise Hsu

This improvised workspace is in a quiet space, so I take my video calls from there too.

A couple of months ago, I predicted that 2020 would be a good year.

Of course, this was before the coronavirus (COVID-19) scared the world into canceling important traditions and closing school campuses.

When San Mateo County issued a “shelter in place” order, I became a pessimist, worried that social distancing would mess up education and ruin my life.

However, after a few days inside, I have realized that life at a social distance is not that different from ordinary life. The only difference is that I can’t go anywhere unless it’s essential.

If anything, staying inside is a benefit. I get to spend more time with my family, and I don’t have to see people I don’t want to see. And besides, it’s not like I have a reason to venture outside anyway; almost everything has been canceled.

A Daily Schedule at a Social Distance by Elise Hsu

If anything, social distancing has helped me be more productive. This is because distance learning allows me to set my own schedule.

In the past, I had to attend all my classes in order; now, I get to prioritize my tasks. I also set my own sleeping schedule and take my breaks whenever I want. My new schedule includes time to keep up on my hobbies and chat with my friends as well.

My primary complaint about social distancing was that it would prohibit me from seeing my friends. Thanks to resources like Zoom, this was not the case. Every day, I schedule meetings with my classmates to talk about classwork or to check in. Of course, nothing beats meeting up in person, but video calls are a temporary fix.

Another benefit to distance learning is that it made everyone brush up on their technology skills. Sheltering in place forced teachers to move their curricula to Canvas and communicate with their students.

Thanks to their work, almost every resource is now available online. Students can now learn at their own pace as opposed to being stuck with the group. This gift will keep on giving past this year, as it will be there for students who miss school.

Perhaps the only downside of social distancing is that every day seems the same. However, each day will bring new challenges and accomplishments, so use your time inside to overcome them. Staying inside every day for three weeks will feel strange, but it is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Remember: COVID-19 is only out of your hands if you don’t wash them.