By now you’ve heard all of the buzzwords and phrases associated with COVID-19. There’s flattening the curve, self-quarantining, congregate settings, and so on. Perhaps the most pervasive of this new breed of jargon is social distancing. Late-night talk shows joke about the phrase, the internet’s meme kings riff on it, and practically everyone has their own definition. So what does social distancing mean? What are the rules? How does it make us safer from the Coronavirus?
The best practice for social distancing is to maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and other people. Infectious disease experts say that 6-feet is a reasonable distance to provide a roadblock to sprayed or sneezed droplets. Health authorities believe this practice will dramatically slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This measure will also help to ease the burden on the health care system. While you may be disappointed that sporting and other cultural events are canceled, contact with large groups can exacerbate the spread of the virus.
Local and state governments have taken serious social distance measures. Some of these measures include shutting down schools, shuttering businesses that involve contact, limiting retailers and restaurants to only delivery and pick-up, and canceling large events.
List of Social Distancing Rules
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- If you’re sick, stay home
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Apply hand sanitizer before and after contacting foreign surfaces
- Work from home instead of the office.
- Avoid large crowds whenever possible
- Pick up or have food and other supplies delivered when possible
- If you have to go out, wear a mask over your mouth and nose
- Contact friends and co-workers using electronic devices
Humans are social creatures, so keeping apart may seem counterintuitive. However, social distancing initiatives in places like China and England have significantly flattened the curve in those countries. The more vigilant we are in following these guidelines, the sooner our lives can return to normal.