Importance of Social Distancing

What is Social Distancing? 

Social distancing is to physically keep people away from each other to help stop the spread of a virus. By limiting social interaction, it prevents sick people from coming in contact with healthy people and spreading illness.

Why is Social Distancing Important?  

COVID-19 is spread by coming into contact with the respiratory droplets from an infected person. This can occur when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or even talks near you. You may also come into contact with the virus when you touch surfaces where these droplets have fallen and then touch your face with your hands. People who don’t have any symptoms may still have the virus and can spread it to others in this way. 

Social distancing doesn’t mean things have gotten out of control. In fact, it aims to prevent that from happening. It is done to “flatten the curve,” – which means it slows the spread of the virus, so there aren’t too many cases at once. This not only makes it less likely you’ll contract the virus, but it also stops hospitals from getting overwhelmed and being unable to provide proper care to those who need it.

What Should You Do?

Here are some basic social distancing guidelines:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Exercise at home or outside
  • Use food delivery services or online shopping

Limit your trips out of the house:

  • Go outside for essential trips only such as groceries, work and exercise
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others
  • Greet others with a wave, a bow or a nod (in place of handshakes or hugs)
  • Sanitize or wash your hands when entering and exiting buildings
  • No more than three people per elevator and use an elbow to press buttons if you can
  • Avoid long lineups and maintain space between others in line
  • Use tap to pay rather than handling money
  • If taking public transit, avoid prolonged close contact with others:
    • Travel during non-peak hours
    • Take shorter trips rather than one long trip

Use technology to keep in touch with family, friends and coworkers:

    • Use programs like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime to connect
    • Conduct virtual meetings
    • Host virtual playdates for your kids

Keep up with everyday hygiene actions:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm (elbow)
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces in your home

How long will we have to practice social distancing for?

At this point, it is unclear as to how long we will have to follow these strict social distancing practices. As we’ve seen, the COVID-19 situation evolves daily and health experts are doing their best to get ahead of this and be as proactive as possible. However, the sooner we can get everyone on board with social distancing the better!

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