It's a phrase none of us had heard a week ago, but now it's the trendiest phrase in the entire world: social distancing.

The world is a much, much different place (at least for the time being) than it was last Monday. Last Monday, all the colleges and universities were still open and getting set for a spring break. Last Monday, the NBA and NHL were looking ahead to the playoffs, and Major League Baseball's Grapefruit League was in full swing. Last Monday, Massachusetts schools were opened, concerts and shows were taking place, bars and restaurants were packed, and people were flipping each other off in Boston traffic.

In other words, the good old days.

But now, this is the time of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Now, social distancing is probably the most important and urgently needed thing we can all do for our country. It's not as easy as it sounds, and unfortunately, I feel like this may be just the very beginning of a very strange month in American – and world – history.

The social distancing effort reminds me a lot of the World War II era, when the British citizens would be forced to use curtains to "black out" the lights from their windows while shields were used for street and traffic lights. Any lighting that might give the Germans a target during night bombings.was prohibited. The British government would stress the need for "popular discipline" from the entire nation. It was just one of many huge inconveniences that the British needed to endure during wartime.

We hear so often about the Greatest Generation and how they did nothing short of saving the world. If the inconvenience of minimizing contact with others, especially the general public, can help save the lives of our fellow Americans, we owe it to each other to learn from the mistakes made in Italy and do our very best. I doubt we'll all be perfect, but we all need to do the very best we can.

Besides, a lot of fun and family time can be had during social distancing. I saw so many people enjoying the outdoors this weekend walking, jogging, raking, and spending time outdoors with their families – a much less stressful task than preparing for German air raids. If we can practice the same level of "popular discipline" that our allies did during World War II, our nation will be stronger for it.

The best meme I saw today?

"Your grandparents were called to war. You're being called to sit on your couch. You can do this."

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