Everything you need to know about social distancing
As the world is experiencing an exponential increase of coronavirus cases, authorities around the globe are promoting social distancing, a series of measures that seek to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and prevent an increase in contagion.
However, there are many questions regarding its effectiveness and how to do it the best way possible. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
What’s social distancing?
Social distancing is basically staying away from people in general as much as possible, not just infected individuals. Because of the long incubation period of the virus and the percentage of asymptomatic cases, there are many people unknowingly carrying the virus, the best way to prevent contagion is social distancing.
Why is it important?
Firstly, it doesn’t only prevent more infections. That’s one key point, to be sure. But probably, the most significant reason why social distancing is so important is that it helps to prevent a healthcare system collapse. Even if you’re feeling good, it’s essential to comply. Maybe you will just get mild symptoms, but you become the carrier, meaning that you can transmit the virus to people that belong to risks groups (elders, people with cardiac issues, etc.).
The best example of what happens when social distancing measures are not taken promptly is Italy. The country didn’t take social distancing measures for a while, and as the cases amounted, public spectacles continued, people went to work, and public transport was available for all. Now, the country is reporting more than 500 deaths per day and is set to surpass China as the country with most infected people. This has led to a collapse on the healthcare system as there are not enough beds for patients, not enough testing samples, and not enough doctors.
How to practice social distance?
- Above anything, stay home as much as you can. Limit yourself to just leaving home for crucial errands.
- When you do such errands, such as buying food, avoid crowded places. That includes bars and restaurants, even if the authorities haven’t mandated avoiding them.
- Stay at least three feet away from people. That includes your family.
- Stay outdoors as much as you can, as the transmission risk is way lower.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and don’t share items without washing them. Wash everything, especially when you get home from running errands.
- Kids aren’t primarily known for their hygiene, so the best choice with them is keeping them home at all times. Don’t send them to school even if your city hasn’t closed them.
- Only assist your elders if it is entirely essential. They are the largest risk group by far, which means it is wise to avoid contact with them as much as possible.
Is social distance effective?
According to the numbers, social distancing, when applied promptly, has helped to avoid and isolate the spread of the disease, especially to vulnerable groups, which prevents the healthcare system from collapsing. Even as the disease continues spreading, social distancing means that the infected individuals can be put in quarantine way quicker. Thus, it is the best prevention measure you can take.