It’s no surprise to any of us that coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Our lives have changed, mother Earth is taking a breather, and we are finally realizing that most of us can work from home! But I think like most people I just keep wondering, what will become the new normal?
In Miami, the quarantine feels a little unfair because we have to stare out of the window and gaze at beautiful weather and/or beaches. Ideally we’d prefer rain/snow/mudslides to gorgeous sunshine because then we’d be FINE staying indoors. I get you boo, it sucks. We are all in the same boat… erm… couch?
Social distancing seems to confuse many people and it’s perplexing because it seems like the rules keep changing across the US – wear a mask? don’t wear a mask? is it 6ft apart or 12ft?
So I wanted to help the City of Miami with a PSA to help break down social distancing.
The Importance of Social Distancing
Social distancing is important because its one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
When you practice social distancing, you’re less likely to infect other people or become infected. This virus is extremely contagious. Plus, asymptomatic infected persons are capable of spreading the virus. So keeping your distance from others is the most efficient way to keep your self and others healthy. When we stop the spread, we’re able to flatten the curve of infection and hospitalization models scientists have created.
Help flatten the curve.
Our goal is to make the COVID-19 curve more blunt. So that there is less of a spike in the infection and hospitalization rates. That way, our health care system doesn’t become overrun with COVID-19 patients.
Ease the burden on our healthcare system.
When hospitals are overrun, a shortage of medical equipment and staff become a major problem. That means that everyone seeking treatment whether it be for a stroke, car crash, fall, or coronavirus are less likely to have access to life saving care.
Every life lost to this disease is a tragedy. Hospitalized coronavirus patients are quarantined from family and friends. They typically spend their final days in isolation. They are unable to kiss their loved ones goodbye. Their loved ones aren’t able to hold their hand, give them a hug, or tell them they love them in person. This is a terribly lonely way to go. All death is a tragedy, but when its due to a disease like this one it becomes even more terrible. So staying home prevents you are someone else’s loved one from losing their life, alone.
What Is Meant By Social Distance?
I have been updating myself online with recent developments on coronavirus mitigation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing means “keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.” Basically, you need to keep distance from people when you are in social situations. However, this can also mean just overall staying at home to avoid social situations.
Below are a few ways you can practice social distancing:
1. Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
This is important especially these days that governments around the world are learning from each other on how to deal with the coronavirus situations in their area. Local government units and health care systems are always updating the measures and precautions that each person should take to flatten the curve. So if your government has issued a shelter in place order, you should do so. Avoid high risk individuals. If your area is highly infected or considered a hot zone, refrain from travel or self quarantine for two weeks if you absolutely have to travel.
2. Stay at least 2 meters or 6 feet away from other people.
It is easy to get the virus when you are in close contact with another person. So it’s advised to keep six feet away from other people when out in public. So in line at the grocery store, when walking the dog, etc. stay six feet away from others. COVID19 can spreads through droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. There is some debate about how far COVID can travel in the air. Current recommendations expect that it can travel 6 feet before it drops to the ground. It’s also recently been advised by the CDC to cover your mouth and nose out in public. So when you need to get out of the house for your groceries or medicines, wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
3. Refrain from gathering in groups.
For now during the quarantine, avoid big or small gatherings in private or public places. It is hard to know if people are infected because some do not show the symptoms of this infectious disease. You can still be social in many other different ways like doing video calls with your friends or family.
4. Work from home.
Hang your coats and suits, you don’t need them for a while. Welcome with open arms your time to work from home. Some people may find it weird and challenging, especially those with kids at home. Try to be productive while you’re working from home. And feel good because by staying home… you can treat yourself with a new wardrobe with athliesure!
5. Close all establishments that are not considered essential.
Work is suspended, schools have closed. Nobody is inclined to go out and visit bars and restaurants. Most of these types of establishments have already closed to avoid small or big gatherings which may cause spread of the virus. If you are concerned for the welfare of establishments like your favorite bars or restaurants, ask if they have take-out or delivery service that you can order. If you’re a businesses owner and wondering if you should close, see if your business qualifies as an essential business or not HERE.
Social Distancing FAQ
I’ve compiled a few questions that I frequently hear from my friends and family. Read on, these might be your questions, too.
I need to get my groceries today, how do I make sure I’m safe?
Grocery shopping is one of the essential trips allowed. Otherwise, please stay at home. If your pantry is depleted, go shopping during off-peak hours. There will be less people then. Also be sure to practice social distancing while shopping. Supermarkets and groceries these days usually offer hand sanitizers at the entrances to disinfect your hands. Shopping carts or baskets can be carriers of the virus, too. So, wipe the handles first with wet wipes or alcohol.
It is always better to be on the safe side. After unpacking your groceries, make sure to wash your hands. Wash the packaging of your groceries before storing them too! The virus can live on surfaces for hours or even days. A quick wipe down with a clorox wipe or wet wipe will do the trick.
I am young and healthy, can I visit my grandparents?
Do not visit your elderly relatives unless it is absolutely necessary. Like they need food, supplies, or are running out of prescription medicines. In which case, wear gloves, wipe off your deliveries with a clorox wipe, and leave them at the door like a delivery person. Older people are more susceptible to get infected by COVID19. Especially those with underlying medical problems like diabetes, heart or respiratory problems. You can just easily talk to them through phone calls or video calls. It’s high time they use technology.
Is a kid’s playdate still safe?
Parents who are now working from home due to the coronavirus lockdown have a lot on their plate with the schools closed and the kids to attend to. Playdates seem to be the best way to use up their energy to get some work done. But playdates might put children and adults at risk not only of COVID19. Something else to consider is that kids are often carriers for other diseases. So a playdate may end up prompting you to seek medical care. At this point in time, we do not need to overcrowd the health care system. Plus, now is not a time that you want to have to go to the doctor and put yourself or your family at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
There are many steps you can take recommended by health organizations to avoid further spread of the virus. It is advised to wash your hands as often as you can for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer or alcohol to disinfect hands. You should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Finally, staying at home and practicing social distancing are key safety measures that will slow the spread.
This coronavirus crisis is bringing out the anxiety in me and of everyone else. So if you’re feeling down, don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that anxiety right now is normal, and we will get through this together. There is just so much we can do at home, see my quarantine to do list if you need ideas. Follow the advice of public health authorities and help each other stop the spread of COVID19. Stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy!
Want more ideas?