Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: The Physical vs. Social Distancing Edition

Happy June everyone! We’ve arrived at what normally is the first of our summer months but this year continues to be very different than other years while our “new normal” is being defined. As mentioned in previous newsletters, events have basically been cancelled throughout the city (and elsewhere) until the end of August. Universities are now postured to offer only online courses in the fall, and despite the gradual re-opening of some businesses, there are still major closures and extensions of physical distancing regulations.

Physical Distancing vs. Social Distancing

According to the definition of Physical Distancing is: “making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including: avoiding crowded places and gatherings. avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes.”

Also, according to, the definition of Social Distancing is: “making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including: avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings, avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes, limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health), and keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others as much as possible.”



So, what’s the difference, right? Well, there isn’t one really, according to official definitions, but in reality, the difference is huge. We should try to get into the habit of using “physical distancing” as we as humans rely on social exchanges with others to keep our sanity. Mental health is becoming a major concern as this pandemic carries on, and with the media ramping up their spin on a second phase, this isn’t likely going to change any time soon. We need to continue to interact with friends, family and coworkers in order to maintain our mental health and stay sane.

There’s a great article on that explains the difference and highlights the point perfectly.

“Rather than sounding like you have to socially separate from your family and friends, ‘physical distancing’ simplifies the concept with the emphasis on keeping 6 feet away from others,” says Dr. Shahida Fareed



Each week, I see more and more examples of how we cope, and it’s not only through online meetings and conversations. I saw a great example last week in Barrhaven. Early in the morning, I saw three girls who had apparently arranged to meet in the parking lot of the Broadway plaza on Strandherd. Each of the three girls drove a hatchback and they backed in facing each other with several metres between each of their cars, popped their hatches and sat and chatted with a coffee. It was really cute, and their perfect little social triangle with their cars was perfect. I wanted to stop and take their picture for this post, but I wasn’t in the Covert Cruiser, and didn’t have a good camera so it may have seemed creepy…especially with my unshaven COVID face and hair.


**(Not actually me) –  Photo from

In the religious world, more and more pictures have been surfacing of brilliant ideas to carry out baptisms. We have ways to cope, and we will continue to be creative.



Reality TV

Now for something a little lighter. I said in last week’s post that I was going to be lost without my Masked Singer, so how would I cope? America’s Got Talent and World of Dance seasons kicked off last week! World of Dance is far too late for me to stay up and watch but AGT is always fun, and produces some incredibly talented people who later take their show on the road (Piff the Magic Dragon). Episode one was fun with a good mix of crazy, talent and just obscure. I’m going to try and post a clip each week of one of my weekly favourites. 🙂

Last night was the final episode of 90 Day Fiancé (before the 90 days) and it ended fairly uneventfully. Next week is the “Tell-All” which is usually pretty funny so I look forward to my Sunday night date night with my wife. ?


The NHL is back….but we just don’t really know when yet, and we’re not too sure where yet either. Players are slowly returning to the rink for practice, and the league is hashing out the choices for what arenas will be used to play out the changed season. As it stands, the regular season is over, and the playoff format has been adjusted to allow 24 teams rather than the usual 16. Either way, Ottawa is done, and are looking to the future for the draft lottery at the end of June.

Baseball is still in the works with a major counter proposal from the players union offering a shortened season to 114 games and a larger number of teams in the playoffs.  You can read the CBC Sports Article by clicking here.

Festival Season

Nothing too much new to report on Festivals, but we can now see that some of the many Ottawa Festivals are finally starting to adapt, and not just cancel events. Montebello Rock Fest has announced that through their social media, they will be showing past concerts from some great bands:

“We’ll use the downtime to keep our social media alive by bringing back Rockfest archives so we can all remember those incredible moments that we have lived together, as well as livestream concerts from bands.” –

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival has also adapted and is now offering online performances by some of it’s most popular acts. This week, you can see the first weekend of performers including Twin Flames, Amanda Rheaume and Jahkota.



Shop Local

Each year, there are many markets and produce stands throughout Ottawa. These sales are necessary to help local farmers make a living and keep providing us with delicious and fresh food. We have focused lately on small businesses, but are forgetting the impact that COVID-19 has had on farms. Starting today, June 1st, the Beechwood Market is opening up again to the public, but only virtually with curb-side pick up to take place on Saturdays. This is a great way to support local, and hopefully the other Ottawa Markets will take part in something similar.



So that’s it for me this week, I hope you all enjoy your first week of June, take care of yourselves, and keep PHYSICALLY distancing with others.

2 thoughts on “Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: The Physical vs. Social Distancing Edition”

  1. Your weekly updates are much appreciated. I’m impressed with how quickly you pivoted to stay relevant and adjusted to the new normal seemingly quickly.
    You contribute greatly to my sanity!
    Thank you for all that you do to keep to cover the Ottawa scene.

    Stay healthy and well,


  2. Larry Charlebois

    Thanks for this. Specially the AGT clip. Hilarious.
    Social vs physical distancing difference are small but profound.
    Good segment on what’s produced locally to shop for and buy.

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