Televised news, social media, and other communications sources show instances where people are ignoring social distancing. So what, exactly does that mean and why should we be practicing it?
In addition to personal actions like handwashing, social distancing is a strategy that our community can do together to slow the spread of COVID-19. By slowing the spread of COVID-19, we can reduce the number of people who get sick at any one given time. This helps protect those most vulnerable in our communities as well as our healthcare resources. This has been referred to as “flattening the curve.”
What is social distancing?
According to the CDC, social distancing means keeping space between yourself and other people who you don’t live with. To practice social distancing:
o Stay at least 6 feet away from other people
o Do not gather in groups
o Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
How does social distancing work?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It is possible that a person could also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces. Anyone can get and spread COVID-19.
Tips for social distancing:
- If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
- Consider a grocery pick-up or delivery service.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public.
- Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
- Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice also applies to teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out.
- Work from home when possible.
- If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
The purpose of social distancing isn’t simply to protect yourself. Social distancing is done for the greater good and to protect our healthcare resources and those who are vulnerable. You should stay apart from people physically during this time, but it is still important to stay connected with those you love. Use calls, video chat, or social media to communicate and stay connected. Social distancing is difficult but remember that it is temporary…and it works!
”Make sure you test positive for faith; stay 6 feet from doubt and isolate from unbelief; and wash your hands from wrongdoings.” – borrowed from a friend
Article by Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent