Editor’s note: This article was published on March 20, 2020. COVID-19 information and recommendations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or view our most recent COVID-19 blog posts.
You’ve heard the term “social distancing” during this time of COVID-19, but what is it and why should you care?
Viruses thrive in groups of people and right now, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure, especially since there is no vaccine against the illness. The best way to prevent it is to avoid being exposed.
So with COVID-19, step up your social-distancing game by considering this information since it slows the virus’ spread. This, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia (CDC), particularly protects individuals at increased risk for severe illness including older adults and anyone with underlying health conditions; and health care and critical infrastructure workforces.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a public health safety intervention, according to the CDC, that’s meant to slow the spread of this illness. Some tips on social distancing are:
- Eliminate nonessential contact with people outside your home, especially groups of people
- Avoid public gathering places like schools, shopping malls, restaurants.
- Stay away from individuals who may have symptoms or who’ve been with others with illness.
- Adhere to spacing requirements in the workplace, like remaining 6 feet away from your colleagues.
- Follow proper personal hygiene practices.
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Work at home if you can.
- Don’t travel more than needed. If you have to go out, go during non-peak times when there are fewer people.
- Stay informed by checking information resources, like Marshfield Clinic Health System and public health recommendations.
Use technology to avoid isolation
Also, social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Now’s the time to get creative with keeping in touch with friends and family by using technology.
If you need medical care, call your health care provider before coming in to be seen except if it’s an emergency. At Marshfield Clinic Health System, if you have general questions about COVID-19, call our COVID-19 patient helpline at 877-798-0880, open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.