IMPROVE WELLBEING: Change the conversation from social distancing to physical distancing

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Given the most consistent finding in the research to support our wellbeing is that “other people matter,” it has been staggering to hear well-intentioned health experts around the world suggest we should be “socially distancing” ourselves from each other.

Of course, what they actually mean, is that we need to be “physically distancing” right now in order to care for each other’s wellbeing.   However, given words create worlds, this has been a most unfortunate choice of language at a time when most people are already feeling vulnerable and confused.  And on March 20, 2020 even the World Health Organization agreed.

Despite this a month later, news outlets around the world, government health officials and retail outlets continue to tell us to "socially distance" from each other.  With caring for people's mental health now becoming as much of a concern as caring for their physical health, it would be one of the great tragedies of our time for people’s wellbeing if we emerged from the current challenges stuck on the idea that ‘social distancing’ keeps us safe and well.  

We need to change this conversation and we need to change it now.  And we need your help to do it.  Add you name to this petition and we will send it to the leaders of news organizations and government health officials around the world who are unintentionally keeping us stuck in a conversation that could have tragic consequences.