The dos and don'ts of physical distancing
With the increasing spread of coronavirus, the importance of social distancing has never been more prevalent. People all around the world are being asked to do their bit to help halt the spread. The idea is to “flatten the curve,” or slow the spread of the virus, thus decreasing the number of people who get sick at one time and the risk of overwhelming our medical system.
If people practice physical distancing, does that mean there is less chance of contracting any illness or virus?
Yes. In practice, social distancing mostly means avoiding close contact with people who do not live with you, and also public spaces, where surfaces may be contaminated.
Social or physical distancing is essential in stopping the spread of any virus. If you see and come into contact with a smaller amount of people it decreases the risk of someone transmitting any illness or virus to you and others around you.
But, no matter how often we’ve heard this advice, it can be hard to change our ingrained habits — we are social creatures after all. It’s not surprising many have been left feeling somewhat confused and overwhelmed in response to the new social guidelines.
In order to get some tips on how we should all be going about our daily lives, we’ve broken down the dos and don’ts of social distancing, so you know exactly how to navigate the confusing world of COVID.
Why is social distancing so important?
Social distancing, more appropriately called physical distancing, is not always straight forward. If you are sometimes unsure exactly what this means, you’re not alone.
Social distancing is the health practice of reducing close contact with other people. The aim of this procedure is to limit the exposure within communities to minimise the opportunity for disease transmission.
Social distancing is crucial for preventing the spread of contagious illnesses such as COVID-19 (coronavirus). COVID-19 can spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact. By minimising the amount of exposure we have with others, we reduce our chances of catching the virus and spreading it to our loved ones and within our community.
Social Distancing Dos and Don’ts
- Keep 1.5 metres away from others wherever possible
- Avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
- Use tap and go instead of cash where possible
- Practise extra care if you are using public transport
- Avoid crowds — if you see a crowded space do not enter
- Avoid large public gatherings
- Practise good hygiene
- Stay at home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that many people touch
- Open windows or adjust air conditioning for more ventilation
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Limit food handling and sharing of food
- Promote good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene