Social Distancing in the New Normal: Its Implication for Community Well-Being in Ikwerre Society of Rivers State, Nigeria.

This paper examines social distancing in the new normal and its implication for community well-being in Ikwerre society. Among the numerous diseases mankind have had to deal with over years such as: SARS, HIV/AIDS, Lassa fever, Ebola, Corona Virus Disease is the most recent. So far, there is no known cure for the virus although vaccines to help curtail its extreme effects have been rolled out. There are other non-pharmaceutical measures of prevention of the virus which includes: the social distancing, use of hand sanitizer, frequent washing of hands and wearing of face masks. Using the qualitative analysis of research method and the descriptive approach the paper x-rays the implication of social distancing for community well-being. Findings are that although social distancing in the face of COVID-19 is adopted as a measure to save and preserve life, there are merits and demerits and one has far more reaching effects than the other. The practice may lead to eroding the communal life of Africans, Ikwerre society inclusive are known for and are used to if prolonged. Pre-existing socio-cultural activities in Ikwerre society impede the capacity for the people to totally observe social distancing. The paper recommends among others, that wisdom is required in keeping to the compliance with prescribed precautionary measures of social distancing in order not to lose the very core values, socio-cultural lifestyle and customs of the Ikwerre people to the pandemic. As well as noting that, it is only a communally stable society that is capable of breeding a developed nation.

Keywords: Social, distancing, New-normal, well-being