COVID-2019 continues to spread globally. While there is no vaccine to prevent it or medication to treat it, ‘social distancing’ is one of the few ways to prevent exposure and further infection.
The CDC defines ‘social distancing’ as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” It is different from quarantine or isolation, which is meant for people, who are suspected to be carrying the virus or infected with the virus.
Social distancing has the potential to reduce the transmission of virus, the spread of disease and mortality rates by reducing interaction between infected and non-infected people.
In simple terms, social distancing means avoiding close contact with each other.
How should I practice social distancing?
The CDC recommends maintaining a distance of 2 meters between two people to prevent possible transmission of the virus.
You should also avoid physical contact, like a hug or shaking hands. To stay in touch with your loved ones, use a video call or social media.
Here are other ways you can practice social distancing –
- Don’t go out of your house, unless absolutely necessary. If you must, maintain a distance of at least 2 meters with anyone else.
- Don’t hold or attend any meetings or gatherings
- Don’t touch anything that may have been touched by a number of other people, such as doorknobs. If you need to, you must wash your hands afterwards.
- Don’t go to the gym. You can exercise at home.
- Do not go to the grocery store or pharmacies, unless absolutely necessary. Even if you need to, don’t visit these places when they are likely to have more people.
- Don’t visit cafés, bars, cinemas, stadiums or any other places that are likely to be crowded.
How long do I need to maintain social distancing?
The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise and even experts can’t predict how long this state will persist. And hence, there is no definite time period you should maintain social distancing. It could be weeks, a month, or even longer. Follow the guidelines prescribed by your health authorities or CDC.
Humans are social beings and social distancing might sound tough. But, if done right, it is the only effective way we can stop COVID-2019 from spreading further. It is important for all of us to practice it, along with other recommended preventive measures, such as washing your hands more often with soap and water, using hand sanitizers, wearing a mask, not touching your face and avoiding all contact with an infected or suspected person, unless you are a healthcare worker.