Why is social distancing so difficult?

National Geographic reports on why people feel the need to congregate. It's evolution.

The best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is to stay away from groups of people. But that isn’t stopping many Michigan residents from eating out, shopping, and even going to a ballgame.

Why is it so hard for some people to stay away from groups of people? A report in National Geographic says it goes against several million years of evolution.

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“We are intensely social, as all monkeys and apes are,” says Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford. “We depend on group-level cooperation for solving the problems of everyday survival and successful reproduction. That’s the primate adaptation, above all else.”

The article goes on to say that we may be so hardwired toward social interaction that it may border on addiction.

Ultimately, that behavior has been a benefit to the human species as it allows us to protect each other and share resources, ensuring groups’ survival. At the moment, though, it’s also a detriment, allowing the coronavirus to spread widely.

Fortunately, modern technology allows many of us to connect virtually when we can’t connect in reality – an advantage our evolutionary forebears could not have imagined.

You can read the full story here.

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