With the spread of Coronavirus, various terms have been used to explain preventive and precautionary measures. Of those terms, social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine have been used quite a number of times. However, people do not really know what these terms mean and they use them interchangeably.
But what exactly do these terms mean?
Social Distancing is different from Self-Isolation and Quarantine
Self-Isolation means staying at home and not putting those around you at risk because you have the symptoms of the Coronavirus or think you do. It is an effective precautionary measure that involves taking simple steps to avoid contact with people because you might put them at risk.
You should self-isolate if you show coronavirus symptoms to monitor the symptoms for a period of 14 days. You should also self-isolate if a member of your family or someone you have come in contact with recently develops symptoms.
You should stay away from vulnerable people during this self-isolation period.
What is Social Distancing?
Social Distancing refers to measures in cutting down on interactions between people with the ultimate goal of flattening the curve- slowing the spread of the Coronavirus. Such measures may include avoiding public transportation, working from home, cutting down on hugs and kisses, shutting down public places like malls, sporting centers, and the likes.
While Social Distancing and Self-Isolation are often used interchangeably, Quarantine tends more towards Self-isolation.
What Does Social Distancing Entail?
In practicing social distancing, you have to stay at home and avoid large gatherings and even if you have to be around a number of people, keep at least 6 feet (about one body length) between you when possible.
Remember the movie “5 Feet Apart” and how they had to stay a certain number of feet away from each other to avoid compounding their health issues, we have to practicalize that now.
It can be very uncomfortable and boring but click on this link on fun things to do while at home.
Why Do I have to Practice Social Distancing?
You do not know if the person you are in close proximity to has the Coronavirus in its asymptomatic form, so if the person coughs or sneezes, small droplets come out of the person’s nose or mouth and you can breathe in these droplets. This will increase the spread of the virus.
People can spread the coronavirus for at least five days before they show symptoms. Social distancing limits the number of people an infected person comes into contact with – and eventually spreads the virus to – before they even realize they have it.
“Without even coughing or sneezing, if you’re standing within 3 to 6 feet to me, you may inhale some of the air I exhale. And of course, if I have the virus, what I’m exhaling microscopically contains the virus”, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
How Do I Play My Part?
Remember to stay at home, stay calm, stay informed from reliable sources-but not too much as too much fixation on the news can create panic-and finally, stay safe.