In simple terms, social distancing is minimising physical contact with people and keeping a fair distance from them. Avoiding public transportation, limiting non-essential travel, working from home and skipping social gatherings are some ways to do it. Not heading to crowded sporting arenas or bars is an absolute must during these abnormal COVID-19 times.
Why is Social Distancing Vital?
There are multiple factors leading to the spread of COVID-19. Currently, most of those factors are not within human control, which includes the susceptibility of individuals and the virusâ biologic behaviour. Social distancing is probably the only factor that people can modify during this COVID-19 outbreak. Itâs, therefore, critical.
Everyone must practise social distancing, including people who are not seriously ill or not considered at high risk. Itâs a measure not just to protect thyself but also to safeguard people who are immunosuppressed, old, or highly susceptible. Every single cutback in the contacts you usually have during a day with friends, relatives, co-workers, in school, etc. would have a considerable impact on the virusâ ability to spread.
How to Practice Social Distancing When in University?
First, do not remain inside your student house the entire day since the approach can be counterintuitive on different levels. It would make you weak because the lack of physical movement is never good for the body. Your mental health may also go for a toss. Getting some exercise or at least going for walks is recommended as they would help remedy the situation to a great extent.
Going to shops is fine but should be done only when itâs necessary â such as grocery shopping or buying medicines. However, be wary of hygiene at all times. If you are touching things that you know different people have touched too, such as shopping trollies, wash your hands immediately after you’re done. Washing hands at regular intervals is a must. Also, shop big every time you go out so that you decrease the number of times you need to go out to buy anything.
Meeting friends at restaurants and pubs should be banished. Make your own food or order takeaways. If you have to go outside to eat, make sure you head to a place that you frequent to and trust. Not to mention, the restaurant should be spacious and have solid ventilation.
Do not visit the library. Though the possibilities of encountering people at the library are less during these times, you must still seriously consider studying at home. Thanks to the Internet and laptop computers, there are usually very few reasons why you would absolutely need to visit the library. If you need to refer or even buy a book, getting the digital version of it or the actual hardcover online should not be a problem. Make good use of your Amazon Prime services.
There is a reason why libraries are a no-go during a pandemic. A library is usually massive and itâs, therefore, unlikely to be thoroughly cleaned. Even if itâs cleaned, the cleaning wouldnât be regular enough. And even if regular cleaning has become the norm, for the time being, it would have certainly not been sanitised or disinfected.
There is a difference between cleaning space and disinfecting it. Cleaning helps make a space look spotless. Disinfecting the area means killing the germs using disinfectants. COVID-19 is a germ that needs to be killed and not merely wiped away. Staying at home, therefore, helps decrease the risk. Equally important is not sharing cutlery, glasses, and plates with your housemates or when having meals in halls. This should help prevent the germs from spreading.
How Long Should Social Distancing Be Practiced?
It’s not clearly known how long. For the moment, it’s indefinitely. A lot would depend on how much the pandemic is brought under control. Hunkering down for at least the next month or two is conservative speak. It will most likely be longer than that.