First, the toilet paper and hand sanitizer aisles were bare. Now your boss gave you instructions to work from home, your kids’ are home from school and you can’t go out for dinner, to a movie or the mall. While it may feel extreme, these steps are being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, you’re participating in a public health strategy known as social distancing.
So you should stay at least 6 to 10 feet from anyone except your immediate family. The goal of social distancing is to reduce exposure to large crowds, like ones you’ll find at concerts, crowded bars or schools.
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.
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.
Software companies develop tech safety nets to measure social distancing
Construction remains essential in many states, meaning work on jobsites can continue. But CDC guidelines and local governments emphasize the importance of maintaining proper health procedures such as regularly washing hands and maintaining a safe social distance even while working.
In response, several construction apps have implemented or updated programs that allow site managers and workers to have an idea of ongoing social distancing practices to ensure everyone on site remains safe, including before and after coronavirus symptoms or diagnoses.
- Genda Tech:
Israel-based construction tech company Genda Tech had begun to expand to the United States prior to the virus, said Erez Dror, CEO and co-founder. Now, dealing with a handful of sites in Texas, the application is using location tracking to ensure workers maintain social distances, as well as conduct contact tracing following positive coronavirus cases.
When workers arrive on jobsites, they are required to fill out a health questionnaire on the Gendar app, Dror said. If no red flags are raised, they are able to work while monitored by battery-powered tracking beacons placed onsite that ensure workers stay 6 feet apart, or another predetermined distance.
Since social distancing can be challenging on a construction site, Dror said, Genda allows site managers to customize a limit on the number of workers in a given space, and when that is violated or changed, a notification is sent both to the workers in the area and the site manager in real time.
By using the tracking technology, superintendents can identify workers who were in close contact with someone onsite who had been deemed affected based on questionnaire results, and in what location, and work to clean the area or inform workers they need to quarantine.
The new safety notifications were rolled out on top of the other safety capabilities of Genda Tech, which Dror said is talking to more companies in North Carolina, Washington and the United Kingdom.
Earlier this month, construction software provider Smarvid.io announced an addition to the capabilities of Vinnie, the software’s artificial intelligence system. Using cameras onsite, Vinnie is able to identify workers, as well as potential safety hazards, such as workers without gloves, hats or proper fall protection.
Vinnie now can update site managers in real time, as well as in a daily PDF report, when workers have been within 6 feet feet of one another. The images allow specific moments to be documented and shown to all stakeholders, to ensure the minimum safe distance is maintained.
The Predictive Analytics Strategic Council, a group made up of contractors using Vinnie for identifying potential safety incidents, was named Construction Dive’s Innovator of the Year in 2019.
Construction analytics platform Kwant.ai developed a COVID-19 response plan for its clients. Using wearable tech sensors, Kwant.ai, like Genda, can set a specific threshold for a number of workers within a given space, notify them if they come within a certain distance and perform contact tracing to investigate those who may have been diagnosed or displaying symptoms, according to Kwant.ai CEO and co-founder Niran Shrestha.
The tracking can penetrate walls, and use sensors to determine how many workers were in a crowded space like an elevator or restroom. Using alarms, visual cues or text messages, Kwant.ai notifies workers of a potential hazard. Kwant.ai’s app and software also allows for specific scheduling to maintain who is onsite.
The software takes around a day for installation to allow it to be fully up and running.
- Triax Technologies
Last week, Triax Technologies introduced wearable IoT sensors to help workers maintain social distances. A device, usually affixed to a hard hat or lanyard, can detect close interactions and sound an alarm that gets progressively louder if not responded to, according to Triax President and CEO Robert Costantini. The alarm can be dismantled for short amounts of time when short, close work is essential.
The data captured by the IoT devices is stored and allows for contact tracing. Contractors can use Proximity Trace data to determine who had been close to a diagnosed worker and the duration. At the same time, Spot-r, a different Triax IoT system, can measure worker density on project spaces, Constantini said.
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