Even though many of us have spent the last year far apart, this global Covid pandemic we're living through has raised its own set of social distance-related etiquette concerns. From the nuances of written correspondence to propriety around digital video communication, and even pet behaviour in public—changes in how we're used to interacting with other people have created new rules of engagement.
Besides the obvious guidelines—wear a mask; avoid shaking hands; stand over there; avoid gathering in groups; remember that not all disabilities are visible—we wanted to find out from etiquette experts what some non-obvious coronavirus-era etiquette rules they might recommend are.
"Ultimately, etiquette during Covid-19 isn’t just about being kind and respectful; it’s also about being considerate of other people’s health and safety by taking appropriate preventive steps," says Bonnie Tsai, founder and director of Beyond Etiquette. "It’s important to not be hypercritical of others and yourself as we are all adapting to this new normal, especially since everyone has varying degrees of precautionary measures when it comes to their health and safety. In the end, the core values of etiquette which are kindness, respect, and courtesy will continue to ring true."
Here's what we learned from the pros.
How to gracefully turn down in-person invitations
"If your friends insist that they want to get together at a restaurant, let them know you still have anxiety or concerns about gathering in an enclosed space," Tsai says. "Furthermore, you should express your appreciation for their invitation and suggest they get together without you this time. Let them know that you’ll join them in the future when you feel more at ease about dining in a restaurant."