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Don’t call it Social Distance – it’s Physical Distance !!

These tough days, where everyone one who is working as an architect is doing it from home, when people are spending the half of their time in a video call or a meeting because you don’t have your coworker next to you, one person told me that we are all wrong. Every month, in our HMC Architects office in San Diego, the design team have a internal meeting to discuss how everything is going, new projects, Brainstorming or any ideas to improve our work. Last month the main discussion was COVID-19. We are trying ourselves to provide us a guideline and redesign our office in order to make them safe to go back to work. This wouldnt be any special situation but one co-worker suddenly stopped all of us and said: we are doing it wrong, it isn’t social distance, it is physical distance. We didn’t realize what she was talking about but she continued: we are only trying to avoid physical contact each other to prevent the spread of the virus, we don’t want to stop talking each other, going out together, work together. We still want to socialize with the rest of co workers, maybe not in person, but still using other media as video calls.

Those words changed complete our mind and the direction of the meeting from, increase social distance to reduce social distance meanwhile we keep physical distance.After that meeting we are having happy hours after work through video calls, we are sharing pictures of our weekends and also we made a group of running trying to run or walk at least 5 I’m every day to keep us fit and healthy.

Right now I’m still working from home. Finally I setup my workstation and I feel comfortable doing it, but at the same time I feel that I’m more conected with my coworkers than ever. We are developing by ourselfs the new architectural guideline in order to go back to the office. This is the first time that im working in a project in which I am the client, so we are doing our best.Things are changing fast here in California, the restaurants are open again and you can go to eat something and grab a drink, always following the safety guidelines. Finally I went out for the first time to see the sunset again from a rooftop bar with one of my housemate.

Please, to everyone, try to enjoy any moment, maybe a sunset, a phonecall with your friends abroad, a refreshing cocktail or just a walk to relax, but remember, it isn´t social distance, it is physical distance.

Alberto Lozano

Trainee at HMC ArchitectsSolana Beach, California

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