As society adapts to guidelines to stay at least six feet apart from others, the closing of restaurants, bars, and other public spaces used to interact with people have made it difficult to stay connected. It is important to remember that there are other ways to stay socially connected with friends, family, and your community. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Professor Daniel Aldrich has been speaking out about the importance of practicing “physical distancing” and not “social distancing”, using evidence from his research that social ties lead to more resilient communities.

Daniel Aldrich is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Masters Program in Security and Resilience at Northeastern. Read his publications and featured interviews over the past few weeks about COVID-19 below.


  • Cultivating social ties in the age of physical distancing – “As I write this, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 1,400,000 people and killed 75,000 across the world. While many governments are seeking to contain the outbreak, too much discussion of COVID19 has ignored the importance of social ties. There is growing evidence that our bonding, bridging, and linking social ties impact our lives, resilience and exposure tremendously.”
  • Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees. – “The government, media organizations and meme creators have all embraced the term “social distancing” when discussing how to stem the coronavirus pandemic. But Daniel Aldrich, a professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University, is concerned that the term is misleading and that its widespread usage could be counterproductive.”
  • Isolation is hazardous to your health. The term ‘social distancing’ doesn’t help – “Is the phrase “social distancing” sending the wrong message to millions of Americans who are struggling to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s the case being made by Daniel Aldrich, director of the security and resilience program at Northeastern University in Boston.”
  • TG18: Resilience in the time of COVID-19 – “In this episode, we were joined again by Professor Daniel Aldrich of Northeastern University in Boston to discuss how communities might get through the tough times ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Aldrich reminded us again of the unparalleled importance of caring for the ties that bind us together during times of uncertainty.”
  • Ways To Communicate With Employees During Distancing: HRBP, Uber India – “The Washington Post recently reported a research study by Professor Daniel Aldrich of Northeastern University that found “communities that survive and rebuild most effectively after disasters are those with strong social networks, which can share lifesaving information with one another.” By keeping employees engaged through this phase, we can reinforce overall organizational trust and loyalty so that we come out of this pandemic stronger, together.”