Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Don’t hold or attend large meetings or gatherings.
This isn’t the time to go to a Happy Hour in a bar where you can yell and deposit spit into each others’ ears over the chatter and the strains of Pink’s “Get This Party Started.” Happy Hours may not be great for people who don’t like to yell, “woooo” every five minutes, but they are great for viruses. Viruses can meet lots of people at Happy Hours and go home with them. Try social encounters with much fewer people, whom you know aren’t sick, in an infectious disease way, that is. The fewer the people, the easier you can avoid close contact.
- Be careful with public pens and other such things.
Here pens mean writing implements like the ones on bank counters and not pig pens. Of course, you should be careful with public pig pens as well. Try to avoid anything that may have been touched by many other people such as pens, push buttons, door knobs, or Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Yes, it may be impossible to avoid using all things touched by other people. That could leave you trapped in a bathroom stall for weeks. So, whenever you use a “high touch” item, wash your hands thoroughly immediately. Carry your own pens or refuse to sign anything. Use clean paper towels to open doorknobs.
- Avoid rush hour and any situation that tends to attract many people.
Chances are you probably don’t actively seek rush hour. It’s not as if you say, “I really want to move as slowly as possible,” or “find me a situation where I can feel like toothpaste in a tube.” Nonetheless, rush hour occurs because many people tend to run on the same schedules. Change up your schedule. Go against the grain. Be different. Be unusual. Be Aubrey Plaza.
- Do not go to necessary places like the grocery store or the laundry room during peak hours.
This is not the time to choose peak times to go out and do your daily chores. Select off hours to shop or do your laundry. This may be in the middle of the work day, late at night, early in the morning, or when a major event is on TV.
- Don’t go to workplaces, schools, movie theaters, sporting events, or other higher mixing areas.
Workplaces, schools, and many entertainment venues are major social mixing areas, people will probably interact with you to some degree. Telecommute. Use distance learning methods. Watch something on the Internet.
- Don’t shake on it, hug, or kiss.
While physical contact may build rapport, it can clearly help the transmission of SARS-CoV2. Take a look at the 15 different alternatives to handshakes online via facebook, instagram,etc.
- Avoid the crowded areas in a room.
As wallflowers will know, all parts of a room are not created equal. Some parts have more traffic than others. Be strategic when entering any location. Seek out the emptier areas.
- Avoid activities that involve close interaction.
Twister is probably not the best game to play these days. You can still go on Tinder dates but maintain appropriate distance until you have gotten to know the other person and have managed to take his or her temperature and do some testing. Opt for activities that allow you to keep reasonable distance such as charades.
- Don’t get too close to others.
Evidence suggests that SARS-CoV2 may be able to travel via respiratory droplets up to six feet from an infected person. Try to stay at least one arm away from everyone. To do so, you can flap your arms wildly. To deal with a close talker, try holding up piece of plywood between the person and you.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
you are less likely to interact with others at home. If you do have other people living with you, first make sure that you know their names and then try to maintain enough distance, unless you know for sure that they are not infected. Come up with a pact with your suite-mates or house-mates that you will all try to maintain proper social distancing measures inside and outside the suite or house. Make sure that you tell each other when such measures may have failed. For example, if one of you went on a Tinder date with someone named “virus,” tell everyone else.
Social distancing can be tough because after all humans are social animals. It may feel odd, disorienting, or lonely to have to keep your distance. So look for other means to stay in contact with others such as your phone, social media. Social distancing can be an effective way of slowing the spread of a virus if it is done well. So keep in mind to combat this pandemic, we are all in this together, just not that physically close together.