How to talk to your neighbors about social distancing

Completamente gratuito: Al momento le lezioni giornaliere sono completamente gratuite per tutti, ma in futuro ci sarà un costo accessibile di solo 30 euro per 30 lezioni.

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!


Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentence from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary


For Zeke Quezada, the shaming was fierce and totally unexpected. There he was, mere blocks from his home in South Pasadena, California, walking with his wife and teenage son, when a mask-wearing, dog-walking neighbor stopped to chat. Standing at least 10 feet apart, the foursome loosely held court for about five minutes on the grass in front of the local library, catching up on the state of the world and the challenges of homeschooling. Then the yelling began. The screams came from another neighbor — an older woman Quezada did not recognize. On and on she prattled about social distancing. Calmly, Quezada explained that he, his wife and his son all lived in the same house. The woman turned her ire toward the dog walker, even though he was well beyond the 6-foot-minimum guidelines laid out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “She shrugged and looked at us with disgust,” said Quezada, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly two decades. “Under normal circumstances, I might have told her to mind her own business, but I understood she was concerned.” Thankfully, the ugly incident petered out after a series of disgusted looks. Still, it was uncomfortable, unfortunate and awkward for everyone involved. Interactions like this one are becoming commonplace these days, sparked largely by a difference of opinions on social distancing recommendations across the country. As states begin to relax certain rules about who can go where, when and how, neighbors who once got along peacefully now are experiencing and exacerbating tensions over simple choices that could — at least in theory — put everyone in the community at risk.

shaming – make (someone) feel ashamed.

fierce – having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness.

mere – used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.

neighbor – a person living next door to or very near to the speaker or person referred to.

foursome – a group of four people.

held court – Be surrounded by and command the attention of admirers, subordinates, or hangers-on

catching up – an instance of two or more people meeting to discuss what has happened since the last time they met or spoke.

challenges – a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities.

yelling – shout in a loud, sharp way.

screams – a loud, piercing sound.

recognize – identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.

prattled – talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.

ire – anger.

laid out – sprawled or arranged, depending on context.

nearly – very close to; almost.

mind her own business – refrain from prying or interfering.

petered out – to diminish gradually and stop; dwindle to nothing.

awkward – causing or feeling uneasy embarrassment or inconvenience.

sparked – provide the stimulus for (an event or process).

exacerbating – make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.

Optional Reading Assignment

Chose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.


Per Zeke Quezada, la vergogna è stata feroce e totalmente inaspettata. Era lì, a pochi isolati da casa sua a South Pasadena, in California, a passeggio con la moglie e il figlio adolescente, quando un vicino di casa che portava la maschera e camminava con il cane si è fermato a chiacchierare. In piedi ad almeno tre metri di distanza l’uno dall’altro, il quartetto ha tenuto il campo libero per circa cinque minuti sull’erba di fronte alla biblioteca locale, mettendosi in pari con lo stato del mondo e con le sfide dell’istruzione domestica. Poi sono iniziate le urla. Le urla provenivano da un altro vicino – una donna anziana che Quezada non ha riconosciuto. Continuava a blaterare della distanza sociale. Con calma, Quezada spiegò che lui, sua moglie e suo figlio vivevano tutti nella stessa casa. La donna rivolse la sua ira verso il dog-sitter, anche se lui era ben oltre le linee guida minime di un metro e ottanta stabilite dai Centri statunitensi per il controllo e la prevenzione delle malattie. “Ha scrollato le spalle e ci ha guardato con disgusto”, ha detto Quezada, che vive nel quartiere da quasi due decenni. “In circostanze normali, avrei potuto dirle di farsi gli affari suoi, ma ho capito che era preoccupata”. Per fortuna, il brutto incidente si è consumato dopo una serie di sguardi disgustati. Eppure, è stato scomodo, spiacevole e imbarazzante per tutte le persone coinvolte. Interazioni come questa stanno diventando comuni in questi giorni, scatenate in gran parte da una divergenza di opinioni sulle raccomandazioni di allontanamento sociale in tutto il Paese. Mentre gli stati cominciano ad allentare certe regole su chi può andare dove, quando e come, i vicini che una volta andavano d’accordo pacificamente ora stanno vivendo ed esacerbando le tensioni per semplici scelte che potrebbero – almeno in teoria – mettere a rischio tutti nella comunità.

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili)

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp with one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

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