Civic Signals takes a look at social distance as the United States enters a period of social distancing to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

The photos of empty public spaces around the world and the growing list of canceled events remind us just how much of our lives revolve around coming into contact with other people each day. As the pandemic proceeds, it could also lay bare our societal challenges and highlight our greatest divides, revealing the sociological sense of social distance. Coined by urban sociologist Robert E. Park, the term describes the distance between groups and measures levels of nearness and intimacy within social networks.

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