Over 1.5 million Americans to date have been affected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease. Health officials have ramped up protocols designed to limit the spread of this infectious disease. Social distancing and social isolation are two proven tactics to curtail infections.
Covid-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, such as those emitted from coughing, sneezing and talking. People who cough and sneeze release anywhere from 900 to 300,000 microscopic particles that can be likened to the size of fine grains of sand.
Coughing can send these microscopic particles through the air at speeds of up to 60 mph. Aerosols from saliva can also be infectious. People can inhale aerosols when sitting or standing near a person who is less than six feet away, thereby sending the infectious virus into their respiratory system.
The novel coronavirus is extremely contagious and can be readily transmitted from person to person. Due to the virus’ highly infectious nature, health officials currently enforce strict social distancing and social isolation rules in efforts to minimize the devastating health impacts caused by the disease.
Social distancing and social isolation practices have slowed down the transmission rate of the coronavirus. It is compulsory that Americans continue to socially distance and socially isolate. In short, social distancing should be practiced by all, while social isolation should be done by the sick.
Social distancing is for everyone
Practicing social distancing simply means keeping a safe physical distance from others, whether they are strangers, friends or family members. Health officials recommend keeping at least six feet of distance from others who do not live in the same household.
Especially when someone is coughing or sneezing, it is critical to stay at least six feet away from the individual, per the World Health Organization (WHO), to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus. Some countries, like France and Italy, advise people to socially distance at all times.
In addition to maintaining physical distance from people who cough and sneeze, social distancing includes avoiding large gatherings. People of all ages enjoy attending sports games, live theatrical shows and musical concerts. Staying safe in the age of Covid-19 means staying out of crowds.
Those who practice social distancing are advised to also avoid public places, such as shopping malls, restaurants and bars—areas where large numbers of people, some who may carry the coronavirus, gather. Health officials also warn people to avoid meeting with friends and family at this critical time.
In public places where it is difficult to maintain a six-foot distance from others, cloth face masks should be worn. Wearing cloth face masks prevents asymptomatic people from spreading the coronavirus. Social distancing should continue even when people wear face masks.
Social distancing also means not venturing out except for essential reasons. People may go out while wearing a face mask to buy groceries, visit the doctor, get exercise, go to work or care for a vulnerable person. After returning home, people should wash their hands with soap and water.
While social distancing seems unappealing to most, it must be pointed out that emotional distancing is not advised. People are encouraged to maintain a safe physical distance from others but continue to stay in contact with friends and family via technology, like text and video calls.
Social isolation is for the sick
Social distancing is a policy that applies to everyone. On the other hand, social isolation is intended for people who display symptoms of the coronavirus or who have received a coronavirus diagnosis. Those confirmed to have the coronavirus should self-isolate to halt the spread of infection.
Symptoms of Covid-19 may show up as coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. A medical specialist may not be required if symptoms are mild, such as a high temperature or shortness of breath. Emergency medical assistance is needed when blue lips, chest pain and pressure and confusion appear.
Individuals sick with the coronavirus must self-isolate to protect others. Socially isolating includes remaining at home for seven days, unless seeking medical care. While self-isolating at home, the infected individual should remain in a separate room, away from other householders.
Covid-19 patients should avoid sharing towels and bathrooms, if possible, with members of the household. When sharing a bathroom is unavoidable, regularly clean and disinfect the bathroom, including toilets. Lysol and Clorox brand cleaning products are effective in disabling SARS-CoV-2.
Social isolation measures that protect others include avoiding taking public transportation, even when seeking medical care. When delivery drivers arrive with packages, infected individuals should instruct the drivers to leave packages outside the door. As a protective measure, visitors are discouraged.
Even routine tasks, like grocery shopping, can be difficult during the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, boredom, frustration, anger, depression and anxiety. Negative feelings are normal and anticipated during these trying circumstances.
Fortunately, people who practice social distancing or social isolation can ward off the negative emotions. Turn to reliable news sources, like WHO and the CDC, and limit news intake. People are advised to stay active with exercise or yoga. Routines also help people cope.
During these unprecedented times, seniors especially are advised to seek assistance from family members or professional caregivers. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we are prepared to keep our elderly care recipients safe, protected and supported during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
Caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care accompany seniors on walks around the block or at the park to ensure they receive physical exercise. Since social interactions with friends and the community are limited during the coronavirus outbreak, a trusted caregiver can provide vital companion care.
We’ll shop for groceries if your senior loved one is unable to go out. Our caregivers prepare balanced meals so care recipients consume ample nutrients. Transportation to the doctor’s office is readily provided by our dedicated caregivers. Assistance with personal care is also routine.
Social distancing and social isolation may be challenging. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take steps to ensure that our care recipients are comfortable, mentally stimulated and physically safe. Consult our reputable home care agency when your loved one in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, La Grange, Illinois area needs reliable home care.