blog postsWhy we all need to practice social distancing?Mar 23, 2020 3:30 pm by email@example.comImagesTo slow down the transmission of COVID-19 in communities, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has encouraged everyone to practice “social distancing.” But, what is social distancing and how should we practice? What is social distancing? According to Johns Hopkins University, social distancing is “a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.” It includes large-scale measures such as canceling group events or closing non-essential facilities, and individuals avoiding crowds. When a novel virus, such as COIVD-19, with pandemic potential emerges, nonpharmaceutical interventions often are the most readily available interventions to help slow down the transmission of the virus throughout communities. It aims to protect individuals at risk for severe illness, including the older population and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, immunocompromised, etc., as well as healthcare and critical infrastructure workforces. In other words, the goal of social distancing is to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. Experts call this “flattening the curve,” which refers to the potential success of social distancing to prevent a surge in the disease that could overwhelm our healthcare system. Delete Edit embedded media in the Files Tab and re-insert as needed. Tom Inglesby, the director of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says “the goal of social distancing in the U.S. should be to lower the pace and extent of spread of COVID-19 in any given city or community. If that can happen, there will be less people with disease, and less people needing hospitalization and ventilators at any one time.” That being said, even you are not sick or symptomatic, you still need to practice social distancing to protect those who are at high risk and to prevent overwhelming of our healthcare system and workers. How should we practice social distancing? Recommend by CDC, that we should remain out of congregate settings, avoid mass gatherings, and maintain distance (approximately 6 meet or 2 meters) from others when possible. This means, no hugs, no handshakes. Besides the physical distance, practice hand hygiene is also important for protecting yourself and the people around you. Other strategies for individuals and families at home includes Know where to find local information on COIVD-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic Stay home when you are sick Call your health care providers’ office in advance of a visit Limit movement in the community Limit visitors Know what additional measures those at high-risk and who are vulnerable should take Implement personal protective measures (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily) Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community. Consider a 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medication, food, and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible Establish ways to communicate with others For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf Please practice social distancing and let’s fight this pandemic together. Delete Edit embedded media in the Files Tab and re-insert as needed.