Do’s and Don’t s of Social/ Physical Distancing
By Erin Rebello
As you all probably know, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus. This is a new and scary time for everyone, but there are some very effective practices we can implement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As an ordinary citizen, the best thing you can do to stop the spread is to practice proper social distancing. According to the government of Canada, effective social distancing means “making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others”. While that makes sense in theory, it’s important that we know how to actually practice proper social, or physical distancing. Look no further than this article which will hopefully help you understand a few of the do’s and don’ts of social/physical distancing!
DO stay 2 metres away from anyone you meet in public. According to the Canadian government, 2m away is the minimum distance you should stay away from a stranger in public during the pandemic. This includes on walks, at the supermarket, and even at work. Some grocery stores will even have little markers on the floors to indicate how to properly social distance while in line for the checkout.
DON’T gather in crowded areas. Although many city parks and trails are closed, there are still numerous people who are ignoring government regulations and visiting these areas. Jungle gyms and public playsets are especially dangerous, as they are often used by many kids at the same time. Even if a child uses a playset when no one else is there, the virus can still stay on the playset for hours, making it a danger to other children.
DO wash your hands frequently and effectively. Due to the coronavirus, it’s best to wash your hands whenever you believe that you may have come into contact with a contaminated surface. This includes after coming home from work, after being in a meeting, and after going to the grocery store. If you’re not sure, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wash your hands anyway. Also, make sure that you’re washing your hands properly! A good rule of thumb is to scrub with soap under warm water for at least 30 seconds, making sure to get between fingers and on top of your hands. If you’re not sure if you’re doing it right, there are a bunch of Youtube videos that can help! If you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a good substitute (but hand washing is always best!).
DON’T visit your friends and family. Not only does social distancing mean that you have to stay out of public areas, it also means that you must limit contact with EVERYONE except the people you live with. Although it may not seem like much to visit a friend, you could easily give them the virus without knowing. This is especially true for vulnerable populations such as those who are older or have pre-existing health problems. Although you may not have any symptoms of the virus, if a vulnerable person catches it, they could very well end up fighting for their lives. Even if your friends are perfectly healthy, think about the spread of the virus. Are their parents nurses, doctors, or essential workers? What if they were to pass it on to their patients or customers? While staying home may not be very fun, it is crucial to keeping everyone safe. Hang in there- all of us are in the same, giant boat.