Social distancing would be better off termed “physically distancing.”
Technically, we can still find ways to be social. It’s being physically close to people outside our homes that we need to avoid.
Since this is a very weird and new time, some people have trouble figuring out what physical distancing means in their daily lives.
Based on many countries’ government guidelines right now, here’s shortest answer to that: If your work is non-essential, stay home unless you need necessities. When you go for necessities or a walk, keep 6 feet between you and other people.
This list is a more detailed breakdown of that definition. It basically states the same thing in 100 different ways. Sorry for the redundancy, but feel free to send this list to anyone who argues about what social distancing is. If you have anything to add to this list, email me.
Confused about what you need to do? If a healthcare professional hasn’t given you specific instructions, this lays it out pretty clearly.
Social distancing is recommended for every non-sick citizen by the Canadian Government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. (state recommendations and laws vary). We’ve detailed exactly what that means in this post. For starters, it’s a public health practice meant to control the spread of a disease. Its effectiveness is scientifically-backed.
For you if you have no symptoms of COVID-19 and you’ve travelled outside of your country in the last 14 days OR you’ve come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you’ve been told to by a health authority. Self isolation means to stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days. You should avoid contact with others. If you have NO symptoms but you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you can still go outside for a walk. If you’re thinking “this sounds a lot like social distancing,” yeah, it does. That’s because we don’t really know who has and hasn’t been infected at this point. Since symptoms can take weeks to show, few of us can be sure.
For you if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you’ve been diagnosed for COVID-19 or if you’re awaiting results or if you’ve been advised to do so by a health authority. This means to stay at home and avoid contact with others, including other family members. If you know you have COVID-19, make every effort possible to physically avoid those you live with and to avoid transferring germs. More severe symptoms may have you quarantined in a hospital. If you live with someone who is elderly or immune compromised, you may be quarantined outside of your home.
To be clear, most of us fit into the social distancing category. Social distancing is an extreme measure. It does suck. But it is scientifically effective. And it doesn’t last forever, if we listen.
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