Coronavirus Best Practices: Social Distancing
With the current coronavirus pandemic, many state and local governments have suggested or mandated various guidelines for social distancing. Just what exactly is social distancing, and how can it help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
What is social distancing?
According to many health professionals, social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact with people, especially in places/situations where large groups of people tend to gather. The purpose of social distancing is to reduce the spread of illness. It helps reduce the contact between healthy and infected people in an effort to slow down the transmission of a highly contagious disease. Social distancing has a few main practices:
- Staying at least six feet away from people
- Working remotely instead of at a job site
- Attending classes online instead of in-person
- Delaying or cancelling events where large people gather
How does social distancing help to “flatten the curve”?
Social distancing is often used with the term “flatten the curve.” Flattening the curve refers to the estimated spike of people being infected with a disease. With social distancing, we limit the opportunities for people to get infected, thus flattening what would be a massive spike in reported infections. Most importantly, flattening the curve allows hospitals and other healthcare providers to operate within their limits instead of being overwhelmed and underprepared to deal with a massive influx of patients.
How can I properly practice social distancing?
While social distancing may seem uncomfortable or boring, it’s important to have the right tools and mindset so we can all do our part to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Remember all the people you’re trying to protect. COVID-19 spreads rapidly. Practicing social distancing helps to protect your family, friends, neighbors and more. More people practicing social distancing adds more power to flatten the curve.
- Use technology to stay together. To help fight boredom, loneliness or cabin fever during your time social distancing, it’s important to reach out to others. In our information age, instantly connecting with people has become increasingly simple. Messaging apps, video conferencing apps and other social media help to make us feel connected and engaged with the world around us.
- Find new ways to pass the time. Use this increased time at home to catch up on your to-do lists or try learning or doing something completely new to make your time at home feel different.
- Keep home and body clean. Good hygiene is essential to help protect yourself from the coronavirus. Be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds or more using soap and warm water, use hand sanitizers that have at least 60% alcohol and cough or sneeze into a tissue (or upper part of your sleeve) covering your mouth and nose. Use disinfectant cleaners to kill germs on surfaces of high traffic areas in your home.