Self-distancing from the coronavirus has become a meme, of course

Some are going stir-crazy. But some are loving it.

Mar 13, 2020, 2:02 pm*

Internet Culture

Stacey Ritzen 

Stacey Ritzen

self isolating social distancing meme

Movieclips/YouTube

Life comes at you fast. It seems like—and actually was!—just days ago that everyone was hoarding face masks and hand sanitizer to prevent catching coronavirus. But now, many people are taking things a step even further by practicing your favorite new buzzwords: self-isolating and social distancing!

Self-isolating and social distancing, for the uninitiated, is essentially the concept of healthy, virus-free individuals choosing to stay home and avoid social activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This week, The Atlantic even published a piece on “The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing,'” where experts weighed in on whether people should be canceling dates, dinner parties, and going to the gym in the midst of the pandemic.

If there’s any bright side to self-isolating it’s that now, with all this free time, people have more time than ever to make memes about … well, self-isolating. However, by Friday—with many folks just starting to work from home and eschewing social plans—it seemed like shit was already starting to get dire. That is, if checking in on the #SelfIsolating and #SocialDistancing hashtags were any indication.

The A24 production company worked in the social distancing hashtag as a choice plug for its 2019 film The Lighthouse—starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as two lighthouse keepers who start to lose their sanity after getting stranded on a remote island following a storm. It seems like an extremely relevant film, very suddenly, in our brave new world of self-isolation.

However, as some work-from-homers and other introvert-inclined personality types have pointed out, social distancing and self-isolating are not actually that big of a deal when it’s basically already the story of your life.

For some of us, self-isolating and social distancing isn’t a pandemic fad or meme, but simply the we live. Everyone else just gets to have a little pandemic self-isolating, as a treat.

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*First Published: Mar 13, 2020, 2:01 pm