Social distancing is our new norm

5 April 2020

Vusi Nzapheza

  • Straight & Two Beers

Intimate space is strictly for family, nyatsis, girlfriends, as well as our wives

We all know that per­son with no sense of personal space whatsoever. These are the people who believe in getting up close and personal at every turn.

In their world, they can only be heard if they shove their mouths right under your nose. These invaders seem oblivious to your dis­comfort even as you slightly tilt your head away to show them they’ve crossed the line. Heaven forbid if they don’t shower you with their spittle.

Personal space is, of course, that physical space surround­ing you into which encroach­ment can feel threatening and uncomfortable. There are four zones of personal space – intimate, personal, social and public – and some people confuse them.

Have you ever been in a queue at a bank or supermar­ket and had the customer be­hind you so close you could feel their warm breath on your neck?

Some people are so insensi­tive that even as you squirm and slide forward, they would advance to close the gap between you. It’s downright debilitating and nothing less than telling them off will get them to stop.

I remember attending a Fresher’s Ball with a class­mate many moons ago.

T-Kzee were the flavour and the varsity stadium was filled to the rafters. We were sway­ing to their hit song Phalafala when Suzan nudged me that she was being bothered by a guy standing behind her.

I urged her to ignore him but the dirty pig was not deterred. We were so pressed together with occasional shov­ing as fans jostled to catch a glimpse of band members Kabelo, Zwai and Tokollo.

Suzan suddenly felt mois­ture on her behind. She turned around only to find the pervert had ejaculated. I lost my mind and made such a racket that the people around opened up and the pig was exposed. He was justifiably embarrassed and sent pack­ing with a kick in his ass.

Since women were allowed to work in the male-dominat­ed mining industry, it’s been tough for our sisters. The mine cafe, the elevator used to transport workers in a lined shaft, get overcrowded during the peak hours.

The minute it sinks down a shaft, it gets completely dark and offers perverts the oppor­tunity to deliberately grind against the ladies’ behinds. Masculinity has never been that toxic.

During these times of the coronavirus, we have all been urged to observe social distanc­ing to curb its spread, but many people have not fared better.

As the government allowed grants recipients to go about their shopping this week, few people observed this cardinal rule at the queues. Most peo­ple found it nonsensical to open a metre between them­selves as the gap offered temp­tation to a queue jumper.

We all know that queues are hotspots for boiling tem­pers but its utter poppycock to offer this excuse in the era of Covid-19.

I certainly hope that when the pandemic is behind us, we would have learnt valua­ble lessons and keep observ­ing social distancing and re­spect others’ personal space. Intimate space is strictly for family, nyatsis, girlfriends and wives.


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