Family Personal

Six Feet to Sanity: Social Distancing and my Visitation Circle

How to work from a distance and have fun.

To bring a little levity to the workplace, everyone was given a yard stick to play with and carry around as a reminder to stay 6 feet apart. It’s been really fun! The yardsticks have become swords, light sabers, microphones, walking sticks and more. But social-distancing and remembering to stay 6 feet apart after-hours is not as easy.

In some ways, America is lucky that COVID-19 is spreading in our country at the onset of Spring. I’ve never seen so many people out walking. As for me, I walk to the coffee shop each day and queue up outside, awaiting my turn to order and support my local restaurant. Since the days are longer, I spend after-work hours in the yard, weeding and cleaning up the garden which, along with other stories of outside gatherings, gave me a social gathering idea.

How to Visit Safely with the Elderly

It’s been weeks since we have seen our family octogenarians, Ann and Grady McCoy. My husband, their son, has been calling and texting them to avoid face to face contact. To remedy this isolation and take advantage of the nice weather, we planned a visitation circle on Sunday night.

I texted the invite to 8 people, careful not to exceed the 10-person rule. The invitation was very specific and easy to decline:

“If you would like to get out of the house, I have placed 8 chairs, 6 feet apart, in a visitation circle. Please meet in the yard between 5:30-6:30. BYOB.”

The New Social Norm

This style of socializing eliminated the need to come into the house, had no community food or drink and, of course, we refrained from hugging each other. Because the time was limited, everyone was very punctual; a rarity in our family.

The gathering was a huge success. Who knew sitting in a big circle would be such a great way to visit with a lot of people at one time! Another unforeseen plus: it required no preparation or clean up by the host.

When this is all over, there are going to be a lot of new norms. This “family visitation circle” might just be one of them. If you don’t have a big yard for sitting, buy a yardstick.