As we live in what seems to be a temporary, alternate universe, where our daily routines have been uprooted and replaced with new unfamiliar habits, it can bring a lot of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and helplessness, not to mention those pesky “what if?” questions that keep our minds spinning. However, in times like this, it’s important to focus on what we can control. The good news is, there is something within our control that each of us can do to contribute in the fight against COVID-19 – that is Social Distancing.
Up until a few weeks ago, many of us had never even heard of the term ‘Social Distancing’ and now it seems to have taken over our daily conversations.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It can include large-scale measures like cancelling group events or closing public spaces, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds.
With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as “flattening the curve,” which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm health care systems.
All of these recommendations are meant to help foster compliance with what many public health officials say is one of the most important strategies for everyone to comply with (not just those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel sick): social distancing.
Social distancing is not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary when facing a pandemic. Given that it can feel extreme, lonely and sad to avoid people, here’s how you can do your part to reduce the spread of the virus, but still stay sane and feel connected to those you love. Remember, it’s a temporary measure that can help protect countless others (and yourself) in the long run.
However, to better define what public health experts and government officials are asking us to do, the term “physical distancing” is now being used to describe what we need to do to break the chain and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Physical distancing is just as it sounds, it means avoiding close physical contact with others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
- Avoid non-essential trips into the community
- Cancel group gatherings
- Work from home, where possible
- Conduct meetings virtually
- Keep kids away from group gatherings
- No visits to long-term care homes and other care settings
While keeping physical distance is very important, we don’t need to socially isolate or distance ourselves. Rather, we need to stick together now more than ever and emotionally connect with one another – we just need to do that in creative, virtual ways for the time being.
Who should be doing social distancing?
COVID-19 has been labelled as a pandemic, a global outbreak of the disease. As a result, it is important for everyone to take social distancing recommendations seriously since the virus is spread mainly from close person-to-person contact.
Everyone, in everyone community across the world, should be practicing social distancing, whether you’re feel sick or feel fine. If everyone follows these orders, it will help slow the spread of coronavirus, “flatten the curve” and protect public health.
How do I practice social distancing?
The CDC defines social distancing as it applies to COVID-19 as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”
This means “no hugs, no handshakes.”
It’s particularly important—and perhaps obvious—to maintain that same 6-foot distance from anyone who is demonstrating signs of illness, including coughing, sneezing, or fever.
Along with physical distance, proper hand-washing is important for protecting not only yourself but others around you—because the virus can be spread even without symptoms.
It is recommended to wash hands any time you enter from outdoors to indoors, before you eat, and before you spend time with people who are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, including older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions.
On the broader scale, a number of actions taken in recent days are designed to encourage social distancing, including:
- Schools, colleges, and universities suspending in-person classes and converting to remote online instruction
- Cities cancelling events, including sporting events, festivals, and parades
- Workplaces encouraging or mandating flexible work options, including telecommuting
- Organizations and businesses cancelling large gatherings, including conferences
- Houses of worship suspending services
‘Not back to normal’
The prime minister’s official spokesperson said this was due to a “lack of demand, not a lack of capacity” and the government was expanding eligibility.
On relaxing the current restrictions, Prof Ferguson said: “What we really need is the ability to put something in their place. If we want to open schools, let people get back to work, then we need to keep transmission down in another manner.
“And I should say, it’s not going to be going back to normal. We will have to maintain some level of social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available.”
BBC health correspondent James Gallagher said if a vaccine were to be found, it was not expected that manufacturers would be able to mass produce it until the second half of 2021.
“Remember, there are four coronaviruses that already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we don’t have vaccines for any of them,” he said.
Some level of social distancing will remain until a coronavirus vaccine has been developed, even though the government is working to restore people’s lives to “as close to normal as possible”, Michael Gove has said.
Mr Gove warned that people would have to live with “some degree of constraint” for many months and suggested the British public would have to accept a “new normal” going forward.
“Ultimately, unless and until we have a vaccine then I suspect that we are going to have to live with some degree of constraint because of the nature of the virus,” the Cabinet Office minister said during the daily press briefing.
As we all know know there is it is impossible to say when when a vaccine or effective treatment would be available, although he said there was “hope” that a solution would be found therefore It’s certainly true to say that we will need to adapt to a new normal until we get to that point.
Human trials of a vaccine developed by Oxford University began last month, with scientists aiming to have a million doses ready by September if efficacy tests go well.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has repeatedly cautioned that an effective vaccine is unlikely to be available for 12 to 18 months.
‘And I should say, it’s not going to be going back to normal. We will have to maintain some form of social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available.’ His comments are the clearest indication yet of a long-term plan to manage the UK’s outbreak. Scientists are increasingly arguing that the only return to normality can come from large enough proportions of the population becoming immune to the virus that it is starved of new hosts, known as herd immunity.
Many countries are planning to lift restrictions slowly to avoid a second wave of cases. Testing and contract tracing is seen as an aid to easing measures in a more targeted, efficient way, but not to stop the virus entirely. Treatments are being tested which could minimise the risk of harm or death to patients, potentially allowing the public to build up natural immunity without overwhelming the healthcare system. Natural immunity could also take longer to develop than a vaccine, depending on how long people stay immune to the virus after recovery, how contagious it is, and how many people have caught it already – none of which are accurately known to scientists.
Why is social (physical) distancing so important?
Health officials have repeatedly stated that physically distancing ourselves from other people is critical to try and limit the spread of COVID-19 as best we can.
The rationale behind social (physical) distancing is to try and avoid a huge spike in COVID-19 cases that will put too much strain on our health care system all at once. If everyone gets sick at the same time, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and won’t have the capability to provide the necessary treatment for everyone.
Instead, we can focus our efforts to “flatten the curve” and prevent that spike in cases. If everyone does their part and practices social (physical) distancing to slow the rate of COVID-19 spread, it will give hospitals a fighting chance to continue to have room, necessary supplies and health care providers for all patients who need care. This will protect those individuals at greatest risk of serious complications or death.
Social Distancing Tips
- Stay at least six feet away from others, especially those show symptoms of illness.
- Keep your normal daily routines and schedules.
- Exercise every day if possible.
- Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Connect with family and friends by phone, face chat or other online communication device.
- Replace hugs and handshakes with elbow or foot bumping, a head nod, a slight bow, or other no-touch greeting.
- Being away from others can be stressful. Manage stress with deep breathing, yoga, meditation, laughter or other activities.
- Stream movies to watch.
- Work from home and attend meetings by phone or video conferencing.
- Cancel or postpone large group meetings and optional travel.
- Take a walk or go on a hike, but keep at least six feet of distance from others.
- Sit outside to get fresh air and sunshine.
- If you order food from a restaurant, use drive-through, pickup or delivery options. Wash your hands when you get home. Transfer food to your own plates and recycle the containers. Wash your hands before you eat.
- Avoid traveling that is not absolutely necessary.
- Do not visit nursing homes, retirement or senior centres, or long-term care facilities.
- Avoid medical and dental appointments that are not absolutely necessary.
- Use delivery or pick-up options at the grocery store or go to the store at off-peak times when it is not busy.
This article was brought to you by Safe Space. Safespace is itself a provider a safety technologies and provides related services as required by its customers.
SafeSpace: A Safety System that Qualifies, Secures and Monitors travellers for Zero Contagion during Travel and beyond. It believes that there are 4 key was in which social distancing can be made a success or followed. They are as follows:
- Design the space for movement
- Control the speed of flow
- Qualify what is flowing in
- Finally Distance everything in closed space tightly
SafeSpace also believes that there are few solutions from which we can manage people’s movement in public place such as:
- Sanitization Management
- Queuing and Flow Management
- Limiting Counter
- Access and Entry Management
And for this purpose i.e. social distancing SafeSplace is also providing few products which would help people for the same.
- Counter System
- Cono Wearable System
- Smart Mirror Services
- ML Omnicloud
- Corerock admin platform
- Cono User App
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