Since the wake of COVID-19, the expression ‘social distancing’ has been popular and in constant use. From advice by the World Health Organization (WHO) to calls by different medical professionals worldwide, we have been left with no option but to learn and adhere to this new practice. Before COVID-19, which first struck in Wuhan, China in December 2019, this term was unknown to many people.
What Then Is Social Distancing?
These are measures and interventions you are advised to take to minimize physical contact in an effort to lessen exposure and cut the transmission of a highly contagious infection. Also known as physical distancing, this is when you maintain a greater than usual distance from other people or completely avoid contact with them so as to stop the spread of disease. It involves avoiding public gatherings and keeping the safe distance of at least a meter from others where complete isolation is unavoidable.
Popular Social Distancing Measures
Now that you understand the social distancing meaning, you are probably wondering how to go about it especially if you have children or you need to go out to work or shop. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, governments across the world, including the Australian government, have come up with several measures through which their people can reduce the spread of the virus. Such measures include:
Closure Of Schools
Since schools tend to have a high number of people in small spaces so there is a high probability that the virus can quickly be passed from one child to another. This has led to the indefinite closure of all learning institutions.
Cancellation Of Mass Gatherings
Being social creations, we always find a reason to gather with our family and relatives. Sometimes it is to celebrate a wedding, a birthday or other times to mourn one of our own. This, however, can pose a huge risk of transmission and hence such gatherings have been put on hold.
Be it for business, work or leisure, moving from one place to another increases your chances of interacting with more people and with it the risk of passing the virus. This has led to the restraint of trips abroad and within Australia except for those that are really necessary.
Closure Of Work Places
As a measure to reduce interactions and the spread of the virus, governments have paused operations on all workplaces apart from for those that render essential services in the community like security, health, media and food and water supply.
Why Do You Need To Practice Physical Distancing?
While you might not have been used to the idea of staying away from your friends or workmates, it is important for you and your family to practice social distancing for corona to be defeated. Having in mind that medics across the world are still struggling to find a vaccine for COVID-19, you need to play your part by helping them minimize the spread.
By practising it, you reduce:
Since the virus can remain on a surface long after an infected person touches, sneezes or coughs on it, you can get infected by touching that same surface then your nose, face or mouth. Without physical distancing, the rate of such incidents increases in huge numbers.
2. The Chance Of Contacting
When you meet others in a crowded place, you are likely you catch the virus droplets from the air if an infected person in the crowd coughs or sneezes.
The COVID-19 symptoms do not show right after infection, meaning you could easily mingle with infected people who do not know their status. By avoiding crowds or gatherings you reduce the chance of meeting unsuspecting infected people.
4. Infection rate
Going out to work or school or to mind any other business heightens the chance of infected people mingling with uninfected ones. This, in turn, increases the number of infections as compared to when you isolate.
5. The Risk To Other People’s Health
As reported by WHO, many people are walking about undiagnosed even after getting in contact with infected persons because the virus takes up to two weeks to incubate. By going out, you could be risking more lives including those of your loved ones if you are already infected.
Seeing that many people are still getting infected and the death toll is rising, you have all the reasons to continue practising physical distancing for the good of everyone on the planet.