Social distancing might seem relatively normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. That’s especially true right now when the country is reopening and people are starting to go back to their old daily routines.
Of course, there are plenty of people who are still taking it seriously. But there are also plenty of others who have decided that the pandemic is basically over — despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths — and are getting a little more lax about social distancing. In fact, data show that social distancing has decreased significantly over the past couple of months.
If you’re still trying to protect yourself and the people you love (and, you know, society), it’s natural to be really annoyed when some people seem to have forgotten about this whole staying away from each other thing.
You can always ask them politely to keep their distance. But if that doesn’t work — or if you’re simply looking to have a little fun — try these foolproof ways to keep people at least six feet away from you.
1. Stink To The High Heavens
Stop what you’re doing right now and throw out your deodorant and toothbrush. While you’re at it, consider getting rid of your body wash.
The single best thing you can do to keep people away from you is to smell awful. That means forgoing deodorant and giving up teeth-brushing. And showers? Absolutely out of the question.
If you feel like you really must shower, use water only — no soap, shampoo, or anything that smells good. And limit showers to once every week or two. The fewer showers, the better.
Oh. And no laundry, either.
2. Eat Foods That Fend Off Foes
Along the lines of smell — if you have to eat in public, be sure to only eat really stinky foods. Things like onions, garlic, or tuna will definitely keep others at bay.
You may also want to experiment with eating spinach or things with lots of poppy seeds. These get caught in your teeth easily, and it’s super uncomfortable to watch someone talk when they have stuff in their teeth. So that awkwardness could keep people away, too.
And definitely don’t eat anything that looks or smells good. You don’t want people coming up to ask you what you’re eating.
3. Turn Up Your Speaking Volume 10-Fold
Talk as loudly as you possibly can. Speaking loudly means a greater opportunity for respiratory droplets to come out of your mouth, which is a good incentive for people to get out.
If there are young children around, say things that parents wouldn’t want their kids to hear (e.g., “Santa Claus isn’t real”).
The louder you shout and the more obnoxious you come off, the less likely people will want to be associated with you.
If you have to be on your phone, talking loudly might not be an option. But keep your conversations either:
- a) so incredibly mundane and boring that no one will care enough to come talk to you, or
- b) so inappropriate that people will be massively uncomfortable and won’t want to be anywhere near you. We’re talking swearing, information on how your poop looked this morning, etc.
4. Release Your Inner Bully
What happens if you run into someone you know and they start making small talk? Obviously, this is a situation that is far less than ideal.
Take this opportunity to sever all ties with such a person who would consider something like small talk even mildly appropriate during a pandemic.
Go in hard with the insults. The more specific, the better. You want them to take it personally so they really stay away. General insults might make them think that you’re just “having a bad day” and that maybe you can talk another day.
Consider preparing a list of insults ahead of time — including specific ones for people you might run into in certain locations — so that you’re not caught off-guard.
5. Leave People A-GAS-t
And if all else fails … eat a diet of solely asparagus, cabbage, and beans. Gross, but you’re welcome — this is literally guaranteed to make people flee from you.