COVID Thoughts: Social Distancing

As the world reels under the COVID-19 pandemic, "Social Distancing" (maintaining a minimum distance of at least 1m between individuals) is recommended to be the most important way of keeping the virus at bay. Countries across the world have had to enforce their citizens to maintain Social Distancing during these days.

Social Distancing -
the new buzz word.

I wonder why all the fuss,
on a behaviour that should
come naturally to us.

I grew up in a world
where boundaries
were still getting drawn;
they were dotted lines then,
not yet bold and strong.

In school,
if you looked hard, you could possibly see
the early sketches of social classes;
the lines though, were still very hazy.

There were the bookworms
and the backbenchers,
the teachers' pets and their terrors,
the sporty and the clumsy,
those who were dropped off in cars,
those who took the school bus,
and those that drenched in the rain
walking to school from the
bus-stop of the public bus.

In college,
admissions were based on quotas,
on reservations that made no sense.
The hierarchies were very clear -
at the top were the doctors,
followed by the engineers
and then all the rest.
Those who could not get into Science,
had to make do with the Arts!
The bookworms did not change,
but the backbenchers,
emboldened and liberated,
proudly became the "bunkers"*.

I live in a world now
where the boundaries
are no longer dotted lines;
no longer hazy, apologetic,
they stand now bold and strong,
dividing, segregating, isolating.

Nations are categorised -
first, second or third-world;
developed or developing,
super-powers, lesser-powers
or those without any powers.

Slaves and masters,
not so obvious anymore.
Greedy, unreasonable employers
sucking blood from helpless employees,
just more of the same old wine,
in bottles now of different shine.

We build walls so high
around our houses,
barring them with gates so strong.
The message is very clear -
your place is on the outside,
don't even think of stepping inside;
I don't want anything to do with you.
Beware, I won't think twice
before letting the dogs loose on you.

Political inclinations and beliefs
make divisions even more radical.
You are either
national or anti-national
and nothing much to choose
in between.

Hospitals treat people differently
based on the size of their wallet;
you may have a suite or a room
all to your own,
or you may lie on the floor
on a dark dirty corridor.
Some are rescued before they slide,
others are merely flicked aside.

Churches are very considerate too -
the influential may stand
right in front, privileged
and closest to God;
while those not so privileged
quietly make up the rear,
straining to see beyond the
proud heads of those
standing far ahead.

Social distancing is in our blood
and over time,
it has ingrained in us
and become a part of us.

And so,
I wonder why all the fuss,
on a behaviour that should
come naturally to us.

*"Bunking" is the act of skipping a class in college - the one who bunks is a bunker!

Add Comment

* Required information

Comments (41)

Deedhi says...

Dinu, really a powerful thought about "Social distancing". A different way of writing style. Thank God.

Dinu says...

Jai Shanker Sharma says...

Good Observations

Denni says...

Beautiful writing ✍️ Dinu achacha

Dinu says...

Anne G says...

Very thought provoking indeed

Indira says...

Can relate to this so well! Was just thinking in a slightly diff angle that I was taught social distancing so earlier on that this is a cakewalk for me.Handshakes and hugs still seem way too odd for me!

Dinu says...

Don't worry - you will soon get over it

Manoj A says...


RPSM says...

True picture

Sathish says...

Very well expressed.. Dinu

Smitha A says...

Bindu says...

Usha M says...

Very nice...

Peter M says...

Good one

Grace V says...

very thought provoking..thank you for sharing

Alex S says...


Paul M says...

I get the feeling that the paranoia is overdone - sincerely hope I am proved wrong!

Benny S says...

Loved it Keep writing

Aby Abraham says...

Totally Agree,except, unfortunately I am one among those who prefers to stand in one of those front Rows at the Church not that I want to show of to others that I am a pious one but being a below average tall person it gives me a clear view of the altar and participate in the service. Moreover almost in all Malayalee Churches In America the front rows are mostly empty except for children who are designated, I am talking about the men's side, most adults think that it looks bad on their social image to stand in the front. Besides at the time of the Kiss of piece, I like to receive it from the innocent hand of those children and that of course is a very special feeling. I think it is time to end social distancing in Malayalee Churches, why can't families stay together and participate in the worship, it is oK for children old enough to stand in the front by themself but no need to force the 3 & 4 year olds to stand in the front.

Dinu says...

I do too and I am not short! "standing in front" was more of an imagery - how we all sometimes become "obstacles" in one way or the other for many sincere worshippers.

David P says...

While all divisions are bad, what I see in churches saddens me most

Anthony S says...

Be careful with the anti-national stuff - you have been warned

Adarsh K says...


George M says...

Indeed, how the world has changed and become so divided

A Thomas says...

Excellent - I am not sure everyone gets the fact that it is a satire

Brian P says...

I think so too. Paul, you should have added a disclaimer at the very top "This is a SATIRE!"

Dinu says...

will do next time

George Varghees says...

Beautiful writing. I also wonder why social distances already ingrained is used to keep the safe distance necessary to keep the virus away. Thanks Dinu for your article.

Dinu says...

Anil P says...

Lovely poem..

S George says...

Beautiful poem

Alan C says...

I was wondering why you didn't write anything about covid happy now

Susan G says...

I don't think they should call it "Social Distancing" - maybe "Physical Distancing"?

Dinu says...

Agree - I have also heard it referred as "Safe Distancing"

Anoop B says...

You were always the teacher's pet

Dinu says...

Someone is jealous

Joshua C says...

Brilliant sarcasm! Loved it..

M Johnson says...

Yeah, I was a bunker! Good poem

Dinu says...

The word was made for you

Rajesh P says...

Too Good - loved it - keep writing

Chris J says...

Can relate well - I guess it was not much different all round the world growing up - nor is it much different now

John S says...

The reference to the Churches where the privileged stand closest to God

S Mathew says...

"Some are rescued before they slide, others are merely flicked aside." - sad, but true

Mahesh S says...


Rani P says...

Loved it, Dinu

Alan G says...

Good piece after a break Write more frequently..

N Sunil says...

Food for thought - thank you Dinu, for sharing

DG says...

Indeed, COVID has shown us that there is no social distance!

A Kumar says...

Couldn't agree more - COVID breaking all boundareis has shown us that all of them were nonsense anyway. Some wonderful thoughts, Dinu

Suresh G says...

Beautifully expressed!