By The GNI Team

Just a couple short weeks ago, most of us were blissfully unaware of what it meant to “socially distance” from our friends, neighbors, and loved ones — but with changing times, we’re learning it’s important for us to be open to changing our lifestyles and routines for the greater good of the communities around us.

Last week, social distancing came into the public consciousness (in the U.S.) on the heels of CDC guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. And as a result, we’ve had to make some hard decisions about canceling plans and time with our people in the days, weeks, and months to come.

But fear not, friends, social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation when we’ve got technology on our side. If you’ve got plans you need to cancel, but you’re not sure how to broach the topic with friends resistant to postponing, here’s what we’ve been saying as we do our part to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of Coronavirus in our communities.

1. When you have to cancel a small gathering with friends…

Option 1: Hi friend! I’ve been thinking about it and think taking a raincheck on [insert activity here] might be best for me right now. I’ve been doing some reading on flattening the curve and feel like the best way for me to help fight this thing is to stay home and bow out of hanging out with people for now. Happy to be a FaceTime buddy for anyone at anytime though. 🤗 My goal is to practice social distancing without going into complete social isolation, so let me know if you want to hop on a call. See you all on the other side of this (and hopefully on video calls or via text until then)! Stay well! 💗💗

Option 2: Hey! I know we had scheduled hanging out for tomorrow at __, but would you mind if we postponed brunch and did a FaceTime catch up instead? Given the current Coronavirus situation, I’m trying to be as cautious as possible, especially because I have [people in my life] who are at higher risk for this virus. I still really want to catch up and see you though, so I’d love to hop on a video call.

2. When you have to cancel a trip, bachelorette party, or large-format event…

Hi all, just wanted to provide an update on [Friend]’s bachelorette weekend. In the interest of safety and everyone’s health, we may have to cancel or postpone the celebrations. I know this is heartbreaking on a variety of levels (we want to celebrate our friend, spend time together, and we’ve all invested some money into this) so please know we’re doing our best to help recover everyone’s funds. Here are the steps I’m taking to recover funds where possible:

  1. [Insert your plan for reaching out to hotels, AirBNB, or other vendors here]
  2. [Insert your plan for reaching out to hotels, AirBNB, or other vendors here]
  3. [Insert your plan for reaching out to hotels, AirBNB, or other vendors here]

I’ve talked this over with [FRIEND] and she understands and is supportive of the decision. Again, safety first in times like this (see this article about the importance of social distancing and flattening the curve), but please know I’m just as sad as you are. If you have any questions or concerns (or ideas on how to celebrate together but apart), I ask that you send me a personal message and we’ll do our best to put an alternative plan in place. More to come!

3. When your friend has to cancel their wedding…

“Just want you to know I’ve been thinking about you today, my friend. 💗 I saw the CDC recommendation about canceling all 50+-person events for the next 8 weeks, and I know it must be devastating to even have to consider postponing the wedding. I know how much work (and love!) went into making this day possible.

Please know if you have to postpone it, I’m here to support you. I’m hearing from others that venues are being cooperative when possible, but I know this must feel like a mountain to tackle. Please know I’m here to support you if and when you make the call. I can help you organize your thoughts, make a list of calls that need to be made, I can draft a note to family, or hop on the phone with vendors. We’ll get you through this. Promise.”

4. When you have to tell family (you don’t live with) that you won’t be able to come over for dinner, holidays, or much of anything in the coming weeks…

“Hi! Just wanted to talk to you about [X event]. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and though it breaks my heart, I know it’s best for all of our long-term if I didn’t come. With Coronavirus spreading so easily, I would hate to be an asymptomatic carrier because at the end of the day, your health is my top priority. I hope you can understand and please know I’m sad about this too. This is a helpful article I found about what we can all do to help stop this thing.”

How have you been postponing plans, staying safe, and communicating with friends and family about social distancing? Let us know in the comments below. 👇