SOCIAL DISTANCING: ‘Spatially challenged’ West Seattle resident’s solution

From the WSB inbox, this photo and message from a West Seattleitei:

Dear Neighbors,

You might see me out and about with my “Six-Foot Pole” and I wanted you to know, it’s not you, it’s me! I have always been terrible at estimating distances. Plus, I am such an extrovert and people person that it feels ridiculous to me to have the proper distance that keeps our community safe. So I made myself a reminder:

I made it as bright, friendly, and visible as my available materials allowed. It is bamboo, so it’s light an easy to carry. I don’t want my terrible space-estimate issues to intimidate you! However, I do want to be doing my very best to be six feet away. Perhaps I will see fellow spatially challenged neighbors trying out a “Six-Foot Pole” of their own as we maneuver this crisis, and we can wave or chat from an accurately measured, safe distance. Thank you!

Stay safe and healthy,
A Neighbor

44 Replies to "SOCIAL DISTANCING: 'Spatially challenged' West Seattle resident's solution"

  • Just wondering March 23, 2020 (11:45 am)

    I laughed out loud!  Thanks!

    • Pelicans March 23, 2020 (1:50 pm)

      To accurately measure lengths , since the 80’s, I’ve always laid down my ex-fiance on the floor/ground. He’s 6ft 2 in. It works every time. For longer lengths, I lay him end-to-end.

      • nf March 24, 2020 (10:41 am)

        lol. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Steve March 23, 2020 (11:49 am)

    That is so DUMB

    • See the positive March 23, 2020 (12:29 pm)

      I love it! Kudos to this blog reader for sharing your idea and bringing some light and levity to our newsfeed. And kudos to WSB for sharing this and other cheerful posts as you have been doing. We so desperately need it! Every day these days I ask myself, “how can I bring cheer and kindness into the world today?” I wish I could say I have done that every day of my life, but I haven’t. But now seems like a great time to start. 

    • mrsB March 23, 2020 (1:01 pm)

      no, dumb is being one of the many people at Alki who think for some DUMB reason that they’re invincible.

    • Pelicans March 23, 2020 (1:33 pm)

      Yeah, but it’s so funny and cool at the same time. Laugh, it’s good for ya.

    • LyndaB March 24, 2020 (7:00 am)

      Cool!  So many uses for bamboo.  I appreciate that our neighbor cares enough to do this for themself and others.  

  • flimflam March 23, 2020 (12:07 pm)

    what on earth is Inslee waiting for? we’ve had the biggest outbreak yet still no shelter in place like NY, CA and now OR?honestly, what is he waiting for?

    • WSB March 23, 2020 (12:18 pm)

      He is addressing the state at 5:30 tonight.

    • Pilsner March 23, 2020 (1:48 pm)

      I believe he was trying to avoid even more panic. The general public is almost as dangerous as the virus. But, the hammer is prolly comming down tonight.

  • TJ March 23, 2020 (12:29 pm)

    Actually seems like the curve is “flattening” here looking at the numbers the last few days. I don’t quite understand people begging for a shelter in place order, but if Inslee is going to do it then he needs to now. The fact is people are going to grow tired of social distancing and especially a shelter in place order after a couple weeks, and we are already a week into it. 

    • AMD March 23, 2020 (1:32 pm)

      You are correct.  Numbers here are doubling roughly every 5 days, compared to most of the country where it’s doubling every 1-2 days.  Bearing in mind that it takes 2-3 weeks to start seeing the full effect of distancing measures in place, looking at numbers only (and not pictures on Alki), the situation looks a lot better here in Washington than most other places.  I do understand why people are asking for extreme measures; they’re scared and action makes them feel safe.  I’m hopeful the decision will be driven by data and science, whatever it is.  Forcing everyone in Okanagan to shelter in place to keep people off Alki doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me (either Durkan or Constantine has the authority to order us to shelter in place locally if we’re worried about Alki).

      • datamuse March 23, 2020 (2:39 pm)

        I take your point, AMD. But the other issue is that I hear from friends in coastal towns that they’re getting flooded with people. They really don’t have the medical facilities or supplies to deal with the situation if Alki-sized head to the coastal beaches and then get sick. There’s no one-size-fits-all here, though. The state’s population density is too variable.

      • oakley34 March 23, 2020 (2:49 pm)

        We don’t know how far ahead we are, if at all, because the number of folks being tested varies so much place to place.  NY is doing the most testing in the US and they show the most positives, but how much is increased testing and how much increased transmission.  And less populated places in WA state have just as much an interest in maintaining social distance as we do because their capacity to deal with an outbreak is that much more limited.I do think we are doing better, but we can’t know for sure and should not be overconfident.  My brother works for NYC Health Dept and the situation there is bleak heading bleaker.  We must be overcautious.

    • Kim Kressin March 23, 2020 (3:05 pm)

      It may look like it’s flattening because we are simply not testing. 

      • AMD March 23, 2020 (8:27 pm)

        We are still testing.  Testing is being tracked, too, not just positive results.  Washington has been testing ~3000 per day for the last week.  Other states, not so much, but Washington currently has the highest per capita rate of testing in the country.  About 93% of those tested are negative.

  • MJ March 23, 2020 (12:29 pm)

    From the economist I have read a difficult choice lies ahead in the next few weeks, destroy the economy or allow businesses to open back up with added precautions. 

    • Ice March 23, 2020 (3:11 pm)

      Link please, I think you are horrible misinterpreting the article. Additionally, people are, by their own volition, staying inside. This is going to be a unique economic disaster one way or the other. Pretending like nothing is happening isn’t going to fix much at all

  • DD March 23, 2020 (12:41 pm)

    This is a great idea and much more practical than one I had: wearing a hula hoop with a six foot  radius held up by suspenders!  Whatever we can do to remind ourselves …as well as the folks we encounter… that distance is “where it’s at” these days should be applauded!

    • LK March 23, 2020 (12:54 pm)

      My friend and I had the same idea…hula hoop on suspenders, or for fun, as a hoop skirt! 

    • LG March 23, 2020 (1:02 pm)

      I’m all for the hula hoop, but have no where to put it in my apartment ;)

    • Pelicans March 23, 2020 (1:39 pm)

      LOVE the hula hoop idea! Had it myself last week, but didn’t know if they even made a 6ft. hoop? Make it with curved pvc pipe maybe ;-D

  • Tracey March 23, 2020 (12:44 pm)

    I want to do this myself but wonder how many people could fit in the aisle at Trader Joes if I took this shopping with me?

  • barbara s spector March 23, 2020 (12:59 pm)

    My idea ,which I was surprised hasn’t been capitalized online yet ,is a hat with a 12ft diameter brim.  It might have to be filled with helium so its not too heavy.

    • Pelicans March 23, 2020 (1:44 pm)

      Rolling on the floor, just laughing :-D

  • LG March 23, 2020 (1:03 pm)

    Now this could fit in my apartment. :) I was mentioning to someone it almost feels like I need to carry a bat outreached to get close to 6’… seriously was contemplating when I saw the crowds this weekend.

  • Chris March 23, 2020 (1:05 pm)

    Awesome! I wonder if this is the same person I saw with the dog. She kept taking a step closer to me because she was so excited to talk to me and I kept taking a step back. :)

  • Jennie March 23, 2020 (1:10 pm)

    I love it! I hope I see you out-and-about!

  • sc March 23, 2020 (1:11 pm)

    Someone on a news show quoted an official”We are not out of the woods yet, we haven’t even entered them.”

  • mok4315 March 23, 2020 (1:30 pm)

    Yes!!! This is awesome! Thanks WSB for publishing this!

  • Mary Jo Bukovic March 23, 2020 (1:42 pm)

    It seems that the people who make an effort to keep 6 feet apart when I’ve been out walking at Lincoln Park are also more apt to smile or nod  or say good morning.  Yes to social  distancing and emotional closeness as we get through all this aloneness together! 

  • ms March 23, 2020 (1:47 pm)

    I think your idea was a great one!!!  Thanks for keeping your self safe and others isn’t  that what its all about!!! 

  • Karen March 23, 2020 (1:48 pm)

    🙂🙄🙏 levity for a reason, love it

  • Aly March 23, 2020 (1:51 pm)

    I love it. Really helps define just how far 6’ is, good check for all of us. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mark March 23, 2020 (2:57 pm)

    Someone could trip,lol.and think if someone was on beach and 6 feet would be in the water.and what if your on a roller coaster,6 feet you would be falling down.just making light of situation.maybe I can do a 6 feet hug.have a great day.

  • Kathleen Warren March 23, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    Thank you for doing and sharing. I, too, have spatial challenges and the other night we brought out the tape measure to show the kids how much 6ft actually was. It’s definitely a lot more than most people realize/are allowing.

  • Mi March 23, 2020 (4:51 pm)

    Thank you! I love it!

  • WS dad March 23, 2020 (6:27 pm)

    Conngrats WS blog, most news outlets wouldn’t touch this story with a…

    • Lanise March 24, 2020 (6:25 am)

      OMG Thanks everyone for starting my day off with giggles. I can totally see you all screaming and waving Hello. I’ll keep an eye out for you!!! 

  • Eddie March 23, 2020 (7:22 pm)

    When is the next meeting of the West Seattle Jousting Club?
    Seriously, could use the same tactic for the “No smoking within 25 feet of doors and windows laws. And my favorite one is at farmers markets (in San Diego) where dogs are not allowed within 20 feet of food, maybe if they had those “collars of shame” that the vets use that showed dog owners what 20 feet clearance looks like.

  • Karen March 23, 2020 (9:49 pm)

    For those who don’t have a pole…just dust off that selfie stick..

  • Kristina March 23, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    I love it!I walk my very energetic, bouncy, young, large dog on a six foot leash, so now I don’t pull him tight when walking by someone, I just make a much wider loop. I don’t want my dog to jump (in friendliness, but it’s still obnoxious, and yes, we’re still training) on people, so I have to take a minimum six foot loop around people. It’s a good reminder to me!

  • Jenny smith March 30, 2020 (2:09 pm)

    The most concerned should be the one to jump out into the street and risk injury either by twisting an ankle or being hit by one of the few cars 

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