Missing out on your daily diet of social interactions? Feeling anxious and irritated about being cooped up at home? Well, we have no choice but to adhere to the directive that has been put out in the wake of the recent widespread and rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus infection across the world, including India.
As few states and cities across India confront the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases, doctors say that the next two weeks is the mitigation phase of the outbreak. The virus has already spread into our communities, so now, the idea is to mitigate or reduce the risk and damage from the disease.
Newspapers, TV channels and social media are abuzz with updates revolving around COVID-19. Schools, colleges, gyms, clubs and religious places of worship have been shut till the end of the month. Public gatherings have been banned and most businesses have asked their employees to work from home.
In the wake of all this, the buzzword doing the rounds is Social Distancing. A phrase that has never seen mention in normal course but since the past week, it has been drilled into our heads constantly, reminding us to maintain distance from one and all. Social Distancing is going to be the key phrase that is going to remain for the next few weeks to come.
What is Social Distancing?
In simple terms, it means maintain distance or avoid contact with another individual. In the current scenario, it refers to staying away from another individual so as to avoid catching the virus yourself and to also avoid passing it on.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one should maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has been infected.
Lots of us might be relatively healthy or so think we are and hence feel that we might be able to withstand the rigors of an infection, but there is a concern about spreading it to vulnerable individuals and also the pressure it can put on our healthcare system if we are unable to stop the spread.
According to doctors and also directive by WHO, everyone has to practice social distancing as it helps to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. Social distancing is critical at this point in time as COVID-19 is spreading fast and how.
It is spreading through:
- Direct close contact with a person while they are infected or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
- Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face
According, to doctors staying home as much as possible, even if you believe you aren’t infected, is the type of altruistic decision that, when performed en masse, has the potential to slow the infection rate. When you maintain social distance as recommended, the harder it is for the virus to spread.
What Should One Do?
It is all about getting back to simple actions that can help reduce the risk to you and others.
- Staying away from people if you are sick. In the current COVID-19 scenario stay more than 1 meter from people). When at home and if you are sick, ensure you are inside your room – that is the most important thing you can do.
- Practicing good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
- Regularly disinfect high touch surfaces, such as tables, kitchen floor, and tables and doorknobs
- Increase ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjusting the air conditioning
- Visit shops sparingly and buy more goods and services online
- Consider whether outings and travel, both individual and family, are sensible and necessary
All these simple things if followed well during social distancing will help slow the spread of disease in the community. Think of this as an ethical and moral obligation towards our society and curb your activities, practice social distancing and substitute it with safer alternatives such as was video calls, skype, hangout meetings and calls instead of in-person meetings. Let us all work towards and support our Government and our doctors who are tirelessly working towards containing the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about the Coronavirus, building immunity and home workouts during social isolation or self-quarantine, visit GOQii Play. You can also purchase N95 Masks and sanitizers from the GOQii Health Store within the App.
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