There seems to be no stopping of the spread of the deadly Coronavirus across the globe. The death toll continues to rise while the number of people affected by COVID-19 has crossed a million. The potential vaccines for Coronavirus are on human trials for examining their effectiveness. These vaccines will not be available for use until the end of 2020.
In such a scenario, the public health experts suggest that maintaining social distance seems to be the only valid measure to curb the spread and contact of the deadly virus.
This article reviews the relevance and urgency of social distance in the time of coronavirus pandemic.
What is Social Distance?
The novel coronavirus is highly contagious. Scientists are predicting that It is one of the worst pandemics that the world has ever seen by calculating the reproduction rate of COVID-19. COVID-19 spreads exponentially. An infected person may spread the virus quickly to 1.5-3.5 persons, and over a few weeks, the number of infected persons can skyrocket from 1 to a million.
Health experts see Social Distance as a tool to halt the controllable spread of coronavirus. In this method, the people in society need to maintain a certain distance from each other (6 feet). According to the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing is a vital strategy to stop community spread of the virus.
Self-isolation at home, quarantine, maintaining physical distance from other people, avoiding public gatherings, not using public transports, working from home, the lockdown of certain areas in a country — are all parts of social distance during COVID-19.
Why Social Distancing Matters?
COVID-19 spreads through the respiratory droplets of an infected person. These droplets may be produced when a COVID-19 infected person sneezes, spits, and coughs. According to research, respiratory droplets can travel up to 6 feet from the place it originates.
People of any age group are prone to be contaminated by SARS-CoV-2 or the new coronavirus. COVID-19 is making exponential growth. Hence, if we limit human contact, we may be able to slow the transmission level of the virus.
We can’t control an unmanageable peak of coronavirus cases. Medical equipment, resources, and hospital facilities are limited all over the world. Implementing social distance will reduce the number of contagion cases and keep them to the minimum.
The health service providers can give medical supervision to some affected people that is manageable. Researchers suggest that the sooner we implement social distance measures, the better we can cope with the present pandemic.
Guidelines for Effective Social Distancing
1. Avoid Physical Contact
Coronavirus is highly contagious. You have to avoid unnecessary handshakes, hugs, kisses, and other types of physical contact during this time. Moreover, you have to stop touching your face and mouth with your hands. Keep your hands off from touching any surfaces, things, etc. that might be contaminated. You need to wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a good sanitizer as recommended by WHO.
2. Limit Your Trips Outside Home
You should not go outside the home unless it is very urgent. You can buy necessary groceries and medicines enough for at least two weeks before you lock yourself inside the house. By limiting your short trips outside, you can avoid the risk of contracting the virus. If the situation demands you to be out, you should keep a distance from others and always use proper safety kits — mask, hand gloves, etc. moreover, wash your hands and clothes thoroughly when you are back home.
However, you might get sick or have a family member with a mental health problem who needs regular counseling. In that case, opting for online or telephone counseling is a smart choice.
Telephone counseling is less expensive than meeting a counselor in person. Besides, you can get your therapy from home at a convenient time without the fear of getting infected.
3. Follow Social Distancing Even at Home
If your family members show signs of coronavirus— dry cough, throat pain, fever, etc. you need to isolate him/her to a separate room. The infected person should also use a different bathroom. You should maintain extreme care in matters of hygiene of the home environment. You should use tissue or elbow to sneeze and cough. It’s recommended that you sanitize the floor, surfaces, etc. and wash your hands and clothes frequently.
4. Tips for Social Distancing When You are Out Shopping
With the onslaught of coronavirus, our shopping experience has changed. Even under the stay- at- home orders, we need to go out to buy essential supplies once in a while. Here is some guideline to follow while you are out at shopping:
- Wear a mask and hand gloves when you are at the shop.
- Keep a distance of 2 meters or 6 feet from other shoppers or staff.
- Avoid touching your mouth, face, and eyes after you have used self- service check out, pin pads, trolleys, fridge handles, or any other things or surfaces.
- Try to go out shopping alone and not in groups.
- Avoid panic-buying being worried about the long period of lockdown. You should plan and buy what is essential and necessary for you. You should always be thoughtful of the other person during this global crisis.
- If feasible, it is always recommended to use a delivery service to get your medical and grocery supplies at the doorstep.
5. Social Distancing — a Total Lockdown is the Key
Our social distancing measures will be fruitful if we strictly follow lockdown or stay-at-home orders from the authorities. Some of the government had even implemented curfew to keep the people inside the home. All educational institutions, industrial factories, offices, public transports to be completely shut down for the time being. Statistics show that countries that implemented an earlier and stringent social distancing policy faced a slower rate of COVID-19 contagion.
Many cities around the globe are under a stringent lockdown situation due to the coronavirus outbreak. The respective governments are trying to impose strict social distance measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets and is highly contagious. The virus has proven to be of exponential growth. The vaccine for the pandemic is yet to arrive. All we can do right now to prevent the contagion is maintaining social distance measures as recommended by health authorities and experts.