As the spread of COVID-19 continues, communities are being asked to practice social distancing.
Yet the reckless and selfish behavior witnessed around the world, from Florida to Hong Kong, has been increasing. Many people are ignoring the importance of social distancing, and disregarding how dangerous it is for them and their loved ones if they continue doing so.
This is why I decided to write this article to spread awareness about the importance of social distancing.
Coronavirus spreads from person to person, so reducing the ways people can come in close contact with each other is essential. Social distancing means staying home as much as possible, and avoiding crowded public places where close contact with others is likely. This is why stay-at-home orders are in place in so many communities. This is why governments are cancelling events and gatherings of more than 10 people, as well as closing shops, restaurants and bars. It’s also why many schools have moved to online learning. For essential trips like grocery shopping, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing masks and staying at least six feet away from others.
COVID-19 can be transmitted between people even before symptoms start. So, if someone in your family starts to feel even slightly ill, run-down, tired, or achy, it’s important to stay home and practice self-isolation. This means limiting contact with others, even family members. If more severe symptoms develop, like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your doctor. They will let you know if a COVID-19 test is needed, and what the next steps should be. If it is believed that someone in your family has COVID-19, quarantine will likely be recommended.
Social distancing is an essential way to slow down the spread of coronavirus. It’s important that you follow the social distancing recommendations in your community, regardless if you’re in one of the high-risk groups or not. With schools closed and people working from home, it may be tempting to have sleepovers and events like that, or to think that gatherings of more than 10 people are safe.
Yet social distancing only works if we all participate, and preventing the spread of the virus will save lives.
Remember that the spread of COVID-19 has been rapid. Federal, state, and local governments are doing whatever is necessary to protect all of us from getting sick. While most people who become infected will have symptoms similar to that of a cold or the flu, and children seem less affected by the virus than adults, we are all responsible for protecting those who are at higher risk.
Steps like social distancing may feel like an inconvenience, but they are the best way right now to protect our family, friends and neighbors who may be vulnerable.