In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the coronavirus outbreak as a world pandemic that has since wreaked havoc on humanity, with millions of deaths across the globe. The worst part about the COVID-19 pandemic is the communicability of the virus. The virus can easily spread through the nose and the mouth in humans. According to WHO, the new strains of the virus that have been recently discovered are transmittable at a much faster rate.
What is social distancing?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described social distancing as an effective way of maintaining a distance of approximately 2 meters or 6 feet and avoiding any type of mass gatherings. The key to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is to stop visiting all public spaces that are crowded and through which there are chances of any close contact. Some of these places are – markets, shopping malls, stadiums, and movie theatres. Social distancing aims to reduce the spread of the virus from one person to another through coughing or sneezing. It is extremely easy to spread the virus from an infected person to a healthy person. That is precisely why we all need to adhere to social distancing guidelines with full seriousness. This is the only way in which we can help flatten the curve.
Hanging out with friends and family
To reduce the communicability of the virus, medical specialists have been endlessly emphasizing the need to follow social distancing measures and to use face masks as much as possible. Social distancing today has become a necessity for each person. These two words have changed our way of interacting with people around us. Therefore, you should avoid hanging out with your friends and family unnecessarily. It is not only to ensure your safety but that of your friends and family as well. Of course, you will be living with your immediate family during the lockdowns, but interactions with extended family, colleagues, neighbors, and friends should be maintained using digital mediums like video chat or phone calls. There are various social media platforms to help you stay socially connected while following all social distancing measures.
Food Order - Takeout and delivery?
Food is an important aspect of our lives, whether it be the times of pandemic or otherwise. Many bachelors do not know how to cook and are now forced to stay away from their families. They must therefore rely on ordering food from outside. As per WHO, COVID-19 does not spread through food products, so you can order your favorite food products using online delivery apps or by directly placing the orders with your local restaurants. If your area is outside the delivery ambit of food delivery services, you can opt for pick up from the restaurant. Many restaurants and fast-food chains are offering contactless deliveries for their customers in the form of curbside pickup. But it is advisable for you to observe all precautions while venturing out, even for picking up food.
Dos and Don’ts of Social Distancing
There are many dos and don’ts of social distancing that you must observe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Stay at home as much as possible: The most effective and efficient way to prevent coronavirus spread is to remain at home to avoid any physical contact with an infected person who may transmit the virus through sneezing and coughing. You should only step out in cases of emergencies, including grocery shopping, medicines purchase, and medical appointments. If you are not working from home and are required to physically report at work, then you should follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a safe distance from all your colleagues as much as possible.
- Avoid using public transports: It is especially important to keep in mind that public transports are the hotspot for Coronavirus as multiple passengers use public transport for commuting. You can never be sure of which passenger may or may not be infected. One infected person can spread the virus to hundreds of individuals. That is why you should only choose to travel when it is a necessity. If you are traveling, you should make sure that you wear a mask and carry a hand sanitizer. Avoid touching the surfaces on your vehicle. Use hand sanitizer once you get on and get off the vehicle.
- Avoid stepping out for exercise or religious gatherings: If you exercise regularly and take walks outside your house, you should try to walk and continue your exercises in the immediate neighborhood. If you have a terrace or a garden, you can stick to that very place for physical exercise as it will minimize the chances of encountering outside people. Avoid attending any religious gatherings as well to ensure safety from this deadly virus.
- Wear your mask whenever you are out: Face masks are indispensable for tackling the spread of Coronavirus. As we pointed out earlier, it is common for the virus to be transmitted through sneezing and coughing; face masks protect your face and nose from the airborne virus. The most effective masks available today are the N-95 respirators, as they have 95% efficiency in preventing the transmission of viruses and bacteria. Surgical masks are also an option, but they are not known to be very effective in handling viruses.
- Wash your hands: When you return home from somewhere outside, the most important thing that you should do is to wash your hands with soap for at least 15-20 seconds. Coronavirus can easily last for multiple hours on various surfaces, so if you have touched any public surface, you should wash your hands to clean all the viruses you may have come in contact with.
- Choose non-peak hours for shopping: It is impossible to get everything at home, so you may have to step out for some necessities, including groceries and medicines. In that case, you must choose the non-peak hours for shopping. As in the non-peak hours, the crowd will be sparse, and it will be easy to follow social distancing with people.
- Do not go out if you feel sick: If you feel sick, you must not step out because your immunity level is reduced, and your body is prone to attacks from external agents, including the Coronavirus. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not step out because it will put other unsuspecting individuals at risk.
- Try to get delivery of essentials, if possible: If the delivery of groceries is available online, you should choose the best alternative to shopping outside because it will minimize coronavirus exposure. When you receive your items, try to wear gloves and your face mask. Maintain social distancing from the delivery person and ask him/her to drop the items at your gate and return. This is the safest way to receive any delivery items.
- Follow all COVID rules: Governments around the world have been introducing lockdowns and COVID rules. You should follow all the rules strictly. Stay updated on what the government has been instructing the citizens. Note the timings and never go out without your mask and hand sanitizer.
- Be kind to everyone around you: These are tough times, and people should cooperate with one another as much as possible. Some people are risking their lives to serve you – you should show some appreciation and thank them for their selfless service.
Getting info from trusted sources
One of the key aspects of ensuring your safety as well as that of your family is to get all your information from trusted sources only. This will help dissuade most of your apprehensions and equip you with the necessary tools to stave off the pandemic. Hence, your information regar̥ding the COVID-19 pandemic-related protocols and precautions should originate from reliable and trusted sources only. This includes official websites and apps of government authorities, health ministry, World Health Organisation, and reputed medical professionals. Do not blindly trust information circulating on social media, as it is more often than not incorrect.
By following the above do’s and don’ts of social distancing, you can learn and teach others how to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus and stay healthy.