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.
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.
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.
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.
“Don’t wait for evidence that there’s circulation [of COVID-19] in your community”. Go ahead and step up that hand-washing right now because it really does help to reduce transmission.”
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
“Community interventions like event closures play an important role,” Rivers says, “but individual behaviour changes are even more important. Individual actions are humble but powerful.”
What are other ways to limit the spread of disease?
Other public health measures could include isolation and quarantine. According to the CDC’s latest guidance:
Isolation refers to the separation of a person or people known or reasonably believed to be infected or contagious from those who are not infected in order to prevent spread of the disease. Isolation may be voluntary, or compelled by governmental or public health authorities.
Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic from others who have not been so exposed in order to prevent the possible spread of the disease. With COVID-19, the CDC has recommended a 14-day period to monitor for symptoms.
Here is how you can practice social (physical) distancing
- Stay home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Exercise at home or outside
- Use food delivery services or online shopping
- Limit your trips out of the house
- Go outside for essential trips only such as groceries, work and exercise
- Keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others
- Greet others with a wave, a bow or a nod (in place of handshakes or hugs)
- Sanitize or wash your hands when entering and exiting buildings
- No more than three people per elevator and use an elbow to press buttons if you can
- Avoid long line-ups and maintain space between others in line
- Use tap to pay rather than handling money
- If taking public transit, avoid prolonged close contact with others:
- Travel during non-peak hours
- Take shorter trips rather than one long trip
- Use technology to keep in touch with family, friends and co-workers
- Use programs like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime to connect
- Conduct virtual meetings
- Host virtual playdates for your kids
- Keep up with everyday hygiene actions
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm (elbow)
- Regularly clean high-touch surfaces in your home
How long will we have to practice social (physical) distancing for?
At this point, it is unclear as to how long we will have to follow these strict social (physical) distancing practices. As we’ve seen, the COVID-19 situation evolves daily and health experts are doing their best to get ahead of this and be as proactive as possible. However, the sooner we can get everyone on board with social (physical) distancing the better!
When life begins to return to normal, we may have a new-found appreciation for things that we took for granted – hugging our loves ones, meeting up with a friend for coffee, attending a hockey game or going to the movies – before March 2020 rolled in. Social (physical) distancing is our best protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so let’s flatten that curve together…but from a 2-metre distance apart, of course!
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
EMAIL ADDRESS [email protected]
PHONE NUMBER +919654677057