Issue 26: Living IRL While 'Social Distancing'
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Issue 26: Living IRL While 'Social Distancing'

Unless you've been a hermit, you know that we are living in strange times thanks to the growing coronavirus epidemic. If you weren't a hermit before, you're likely forced to be in a period of confinement to contain the spread. This week on The Slow Scroll, we're looking into the role of technology in this pandemic, and how we can live IRL while keeping 'social distance'.

Why we don't have self-cleaning, virus-killing smartphones

We touch our cell phones hundreds of times a day—and as a result, our phones are ten times dirtier than a toilet seat. Pro-tip: don't bring your smart phone into the bathroom with you, and in the times of coronavirus, don't take it out at all. 

Since this particular strain can survive up to three hours on plastic and stainless steel (and up to 4 days on glass), this WIRED article explores why a 2015 technology of self-cleaning, virus-killing smartphones isn't used widely today.

In the meantime, if you're stressed about the potentially dangerous microbes on your phone, Apple has finally admitted that you can clean your devices with disinfectants instead of only a 'soft, lint-free cloth'. Here's how to clean it.

What, exactly, is 'social distancing'?

Around the globe, the everyday hustle of real life has slowly trickled to a halt. Last Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against any gatherings of 50 or more people, and many schools, restaurants, and bars are shut down. Spain is on lockdown while France has closed borders and also any ''non-essential' businesses and travel. Israel is apparently even tracking mobile phones of infected persons.

Social distancing has been a trending term during these confined times, but it actually means keeping a good six feet away from another person. Even if you're healthy and able to survive a coronavirus infection, you can put others at risk for death by socializing and going about your day normally. 

Here are some excellent visualizations of how social distancing can help flatten the curve. Stay at home if possible, and stay safe.

IRL Prompt: Sing From a Balcony

Maybe you're on lockdown and need some tips on how to deal with confinement with your family. Or maybe social media is stressing you out and causing you to consider stockpiling groceries in your home.

Our IRL prompt this week is to do it like the Italians (watch the heart-warming videos here), especially if you live in a city where you can sing to your neighbors from a balcony.

Thank you for reading The Slow Scroll this week! Please feel free to share your thoughts on how you're dealing with these times—just e-mail us here with any feedback, thoughts, or other tips on living IRL.
Send this to a friend who needs to stop scrolling on Instagram. Then maybe keep some social distance.

Why ‘The Slow Scroll’?

Social Isolation is Killing Us. Tech companies are failing us. And we’re all hopelessly addicted to our screens.

Living IRL has never been more important.

That’s why we created The Slow Scroll, a biweekly newsletter by IRL Labs, sent directly to your inbox (oh the irony). The Slow Scroll curates the latest and most inspiring content and resources, empowering readers to untether and live slowly.

Brought to you by...

Ivan Cash, Editor-in-Chief
Cyrena Lee, Editor and Lead Writer
Erin Ellis, Illustrator

Mailing Address
IRL Labs
PO BOX 24213
Oakland, CA 94623
Copyright © 2020 IRL Labs, All rights reserved.
The Slow Scroll is a curated newsletter dedicated to helping you live IRL. 
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