The Dos, Don’Ts, and Rules of Social Distancing

Updated on August 24th, 2020
do's and don'ts of social distancing

All of us should practice social distancing, regardless of our current health status or age. It’s the only way we can flatten the curve, so we don’t overload our medical care providers, as there is a limited number of ventilators, hospital beds, health care workers equipment, and medications.

Keeping that in mind, here are few dos and don’ts for keeping yourself and others safe by adhering to social distancing norms. 

What Is Social Distancing?

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing is defined as avoiding mass gatherings, remaining out of congregate settings,  and maintaining distance — approximately six feet or two meters — from others whenever possible.

Congregate settings are regarded as public places that are crowded, and close contact with others can occur, such as movie theaters, shopping centers, stadiums.

The goal of social distancing, according to the CDC, is to reduce person-to-person spread, which happens through respiratory droplets when an affected person sneezes or coughs. What makes this problematic, though, is that you can spread the virus before you show signs of having COVID-19.

[Also Read: Social Distancing Vs Physical Distancing]

The Dos of Social Distancing

1. Stay Home

This is the most comfortable and most effective step you can take to practice social distancing. Ideally, it would help if you only went out for necessities such as medications, groceries, doctor’s appointments, or outdoor exercise.

If you’re still needed to work in an office, practice social distancing while outdoors, and spend as much time in your leisure time at home. 

2. Keep Medically-Necessary Doctor’s Appointments 

To help relieve any anxiety about going outdoors, call the physicians’ office ahead of time to ask about procedures and policies for visiting the office, such as wearing a mask and taking your temperature before arriving. There can also be the option of meeting with your physician “virtually.”

3. Go to Pharmacies and Grocery Stores at Non-Peak Times

Whenever possible, stick to the six-foot guideline at all times while you’re shopping for essentials, especially when standing in the queue. Most stores now are taped on the floor (in six-foot increments) to ensure the adequate distance at checkout lines. 

4. Go Digital

Prefer online ordering and choosing at-home delivery for both prescriptions and groceries. Take college classes online, telecommute from home, and conduct any outside affair that you can at home. 

5. Request for All Home Deliveries to Be Left at Your Door 

If you require to pay, ask to do it online or over the phone. This helps safeguard you and the individual delivering your items.

6. Go Outdoors and Exercise

You can still go outdoors and go for a stroll, run, or ride your bicycle. Just make sure you leave six feet between you and others. Beware of your surroundings, and avoid walking or running right next to others. When sticking to social distancing, outdoor physical activity is good for both your mental and physical health.

7. Be Smart With Take-out

When going for take-away, send one member of your family, particularly if you have to go inside a food joint to order and pick up the food. 

8. Keep Your Distance in an Elevator 

If the elevator has multiple persons, try to wait for the next one or prefer the stairs. While in the elevator, turn away from others also in it. 

9. Maintain Social Contact via Technology

Be in touch with colleagues, family, friends, and via video chat, text messaging, and talking. Try to reach out to a minimum of one individual every day. 

10. Keep Being Hygienic

Besides, wash your hands with water or soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when water and soap are not around, especially after being outdoors. Clean shared surfaces such as keyboards, tables, pin pads at pos (point of sale) locations, and grocery cart handles before and after you touch them.

Tell first responders, health care workers, pharmacists, grocery store employees, gas station attendants, and any other person working to shield our health and support us in maintaining our daily routines. Thank you!

The Don’ts of Social Distancing

1. Don’t Schedule Appointments That Are Not Medically Required

Avoid non-essential appointments that place you near others such as massage, hair appointments, physical therapy, manicures, and any other non-essential physicians’ appointments that you can defer. 

2. Don’t Exercise Elbow-to-Elbow

Avoid tight or crowded walking or running trails, tracks, or sidewalks that prevent you from adhering to social distance norms. It’s fine to exercise with others, as long as you can maintain the necessary distance. 

3. Don’t Have Physical Contact With Non-Family Members 

Avoid giving hugs, shaking hands, pats on the back, high-fives,  or any other physical contact with others but your immediate family (those living with you). 

4. Don’t Go to Crowded Establishments

Avoid the gym, restaurants, dance halls, public basketball courts, , trampoline parks, and other spaces where people are nearby. 

5. Don’t Go on Vacation

Now is not the time to schedule a trip involving an airplane, a cruise ship, bus, train,  or any other transportation mode that requires people to be close. Also, avoid resorts, hotels, and other accommodations with more than the suggested amount of people for a congregation. 

6. Don’t Hoard Supplies

Avoid the pressure to over-prepare and don’t over hoard food staples, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, wipes, masks, or thermometers. Only purchase what you require. This consumer frenzy results in hordes of people pouring into stores and making it tough to adhere to social distancing norms. 

7. Don’t Allow Non-Family Members Into Your Home

Keep your home restricted to immediate family members or housemates that are already living there full-time. 

8. Don’t Get Your Kids Mingle With Other Kids

This is not the right time for sleepovers and play-dates, especially if you cannot guarantee they will practice social distancing at all times. Remember, it’s okay to say “no politely.” 

Bottom Line

We are all having to adapt our regular lives and make sacrifices to stop the coronavirus spread. While learning a “new normal” is never comfortable, with time, things will get better.

Committing to practicing social distancing by maintaining at least six feet from others is one precautionary measure we can all take to help shield our loved ones and keep our health care systems from becoming compromised. 

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