Differing opinions on ‘social distancing’

Social distancing in corona times
Photo Credit: Eindhoven Media Library/pxfuel.com

In these corona times, some people want to meet up with (a maximum of three) friends. Others keep their doors closed to all visitors. Omroep Brabant made an appeal on Facebook about this. Many people gave their interpretation of ‘social distancing’.

But the question is: how do you deal with it if you aren’t entirely in line with friends or family and a discussion arises? Two meters away from each other, a small group visiting or no one at all. How people adhere to the new corona rules varies. And then, sometimes there can be dissatisfaction or discussion about what is and what isn’t allowed.

Different opinions

“I get angry that some people just pretend nothing’s wrong, while they’re a danger to other people, including me,” says Anne-Marie on Facebook. “I’m greatly irritated to see people meeting with others who aren’t from the same household,” Linda writes. “Don’t worry,” writes someone else. “Everyone deals with this in their own way.”

Why do such ‘corona discussions’ start? It’s mostly because people interpret the same rules in different ways, says sociologist, Peter Achterberg, of Tilburg University. “At most, you can visit with three people, but rather don’t. Some people take that ‘rather don’t’ part seriously, while others think – it’s fine, let’s go and visit.”

According to Achterberg, people with different expectations and ideas look at what is and isn’t allowed differently. “Then, differences can arise. That’s why people with the same advice do different things.” The sociologist also thinks much of it also has to do with our own situation – how we look at and apply the corona rules.

He mentions acquaintances he has in Spain as an example. “In their housing complex, one family has a dog. It’s constantly loaned out, so people can go outside anyway. Walking the dog’s still allowed there. People always look for the interpretation that suits them best, so they can continue to do what they want”.

Different opinions

But what do you do when you have differences of opinion about social distancing? “I think it’s all about talking to each other,” says the sociologist. “And also, give each other the space to refuse visitors. Or maybe tone it down a bit once in a while.”

Because no matter how clear the rules are, discussion remains. “That’s part of living together. It’s the same as in traffic: there are regular discussions about what’s allowed and what’s not, although the rules are clear enough.”

Source: omroepbrabant.nl

Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering classes. Click here for more info.

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