Forum: 'Physical distancing' a better term to use

In Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belonging.

In addition, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, social isolation has been linked to a 50 per cent increased risk of dementia, a 29 per cent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 per cent increased risk of stroke.

Therefore, we should be adopting the term "physical distancing" to help flatten the curve and reduce the risk of the local spread of Covid-19, instead of "social distancing" (Leaders urge Singaporeans to heed social distancing rules, March 22).

It is rather confusing to stress the need for social distancing and yet remind everyone to stay socially connected.

In view of the current situation filled with uncertainties and amid daily reports of infection cases, panic buying and lockdown taking place in different countries, it is likely some people, especially those with a sensitive nature, will be affected emotionally.

Hence, it is helpful for them to stay connected with their family members and friends via social media or other online communication tools.

To build psychological resilience among the community, it is important to ensure that messages on precautionary measures are being clearly defined and conveyed to avoid unnecessary confusion during this period.

Porsche Poh

Executive Director

Silver Ribbon (Singapore)