Health Watch

Importance of Social Distancing During COVID-19

Multiple countries around the world have imposed social distancing measures at some point to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. The countries that have imposed social distancing guidelines have done so at the advice of health experts.

Health experts advise that social distancing helps slow the spread of coronavirus because COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly through person-to-person contact. There are varying studies either in progress or already published to find out just how far COVID-19 particles can be carried from someone who is infected to those around them, but the consensus seems to be the that the very minimum number for the purposes of social distancing is 6 feet. This distance is thought to be how far droplets from an infected person’s mouth or nose carries when they talk, sneeze or cough.

Coronavirus is spread through droplets in the air which are released from an infected person when he or she coughs or sneezes. When these droplets are released in to the air, they can infect a healthy person by landing on surfaces such as clothing and other area surfaces, and remain on these surfaces from a couple hours to 5 days. Healthcare professionals have done extensive research on how long these droplets last on particular surfaces. These droplets can live on a person’s household surfaces such as, Wood, Metal, and Glass for up to 5 days. To best protect yourself from infected surfaces it’s important to clean your everyday household surfaces with soap and water, and various disinfectants.

When someone is infected and has tested positive, it is understood that they are highly contagious. However, people who are infected with COVID-19 do not always know they are contagious because it can take up to two weeks for them to experience symptoms, and some never experience symptoms. It is for this reason that people are recommended to keep six feet of distance between themselves and anyone else.

Even if you do not suspect you or anyone around you is infected with COVID-19, it is respectful to follow social distancing guidelines if only to make those around you feel comfortable. Practicing social distancing, disinfecting everyday household and office surfaces, and wearing personal protective equipment can help slow the spread of Covid-19.

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