Social distancing in the age of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019)

Cases of COVID-2019 continue to spread. And, since there is currently no vaccine or medication to treat it, health experts recommend “social distancing” to prevent exposure to the virus that has already infected more than 100,000 and killed approximately 4373 people worldwide.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a set of public health measures intended to slow down or stop the spread of a contagious disease. Social distancing aims to reduce the likelihood of interaction between an infected person and those who are not infected, in order to reduce the spread of disease and eventually mortality rates.

It involves isolating infected people, quarantining those who might have been infected, and simply avoiding close contact with each other.

How can you practice social distancing?

World Health Organization recommends maintaining at least a one-meter distance between yourself and a sick person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the other hand, recommends a two-meter distance to protect yourself and others from possible COVID-2019 and other diseases.

You should also avoid physical contact, like a hug or shaking hands, when greeting somebody. A nod, Namaste, wave or a bow is considered safe greetings. You can also stay in touch with your loved ones by planning activities over a video call or social media.

What places should you avoid to prevent COVID-2019?

Here’s how you can implement social distancing realistically and keep yourself and others safe:

  • Don’t leave your house unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid holding or attending large gatherings or meetings.
  • Avoid touching anything that may have been touched by a number of other people for example doorknobs. If you do, remember to wash your hands afterward.
  • Skip the gym. Exercise at home to stay fit. 
  • Do not go to the grocery store or pharmacies at peak hours. Go at a time when these places are less likely to be crowded.
  • Avoid going to bars, cinemas, stadiums or any other higher mixing places.

How long should you need to maintain social distancing?

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, experts say it’s indefinite as to how long one should maintain social distancing. It could be weeks, a month, or maybe much longer.

Conclusion While social distancing might sound tough to practice, it can be an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-2019, if done right. It is important you practice it with other recommended ways to avoid getting infected: washing your hands more often, using hand sanitizers, wearing a mask, and not touching your face.

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