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What Does Social Distancing During Coronavirus Outbreak Mean?

With the coronavirus outbreak we have been told to practice “Social distancing” in order to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading. Now what does social distancing during coronavirus outbreak mean exactly? Read below and explore more about it.

What Does Social Distancing During Coronavirus Outbreak Mean?

What Does Social Distancing During Coronavirus Outbreak Mean?

The novel coronavirus outbreak is declared pandemic and as there has been increasing cases of coronavirus every day in the United States and in fact all over the world, CDC guidelines have recommended minimizing in-person human contact or interaction.(1)

The US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention or CDC has recommended “Social distancing” for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Now, what does social distancing during coronavirus outbreak mean? Well, it is a public health term that is used for describing taking intentional actions to tract and to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease. This includes certain things such as avoiding going outside, avoiding crowds, gathering at one place, and trying to stay at home when you are sick and also in general to prevent self from the virus attack.

As per the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, every American should avoid social gatherings where there are more than 10 people, and also avoiding drinking or eating and bars, restaurants and food courts. Moreover, in case someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.

So, social distancing is right now at the top of mind for many countries across the world, especially those that are facing the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Now, when we talk about Social distancing, as described by the CDC, it can be described as, “remaining out of congregate setting, maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet or 2 meters from other people, and avoiding mass gathering.” According to the World Health Organization, it has been said that people should leave at least 3 feet, or 1 meter, between yourself and anyone who is sneezing or coughing. You need to avoid public transportation, limit your travel, and try to work from home whenever possible and remain at home most of the times and not go outside if not necessary.

It might be like, by now you are a bit known to what exactly social distancing mean. But, it is also true that you might be wondering about so many things related to social distancing during coronavirus outbreak. Isn’t it? So, let us check out some of the things that might be worrying you because of the social distancing.

If I Am Young; Can I Continue Socializing?

You need to know that though elderly people and those people having underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the coronavirus; however, young people are also getting infected with the virus. And there is a greater public health imperative. It must be mentioned that even those who show only mild symptoms of the disease might pass the virus to many people; especially in the early course of the coronavirus infection; before they actually even realize they are sick.

So, do not socialize and maintain social distancing.

How Should I Handle Grocery Shopping During Social Distancing?

If it is possible then go for grocery shopping early in the morning or during off-hours so as to avoid crowds. You need to clean your hands with soap while going shopping and after coming back from the grocery stores.

What About The Delivery During Social Distancing?

If you are ordering anything from outside during this social distancing time, you can let the delivery person leave your parcel or food outside your door and then take your parcel without being in contact with the delivery person. You must also make sure that after you opened your parcel you should wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Can I Go Outside Or Visit Restaurants During Social Distancing?

If not necessary, do not go outside. However, you can go outside if anything is that important, but you need to keep in mind to avoid being in very close contact with anyone outside. You also need to know that it is better to avoid going out to restaurants during social distancing.

Can Children Be Taken To The Park Or Playground During Social Distancing?

Though serious illness from the coronavirus in kids is rare, it is always good to not take children outside. Kids tend to touch their noses, mouths, and their faces constantly and thus parents, must not take their children to higher-risk places, such as playgrounds or parks. However, if you still want your children to go to park or playground, make sure that you are taking sanitizer align with you and take them to playgrounds where there are no or only few kids and also maintain distance of at least 6 feet from others outside.

Can I Take The Subway During Social Distancing?

You need to know that public must limit their time on public transportation. However, at times, it might be just unavoidable. In that case, you need to try not to sit near other persons and also wash your hands well with soap if you have touched any surface outside.

Can Relatives Or Family Members Come To Visit During Social Distancing?

It depends! In case everyone in your family is healthy and young, then some careful contact and interaction in small groups might be okay. However, elderly relatives and others who are at risk must stay away during social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

How Long We Will Require To Practice Social Distancing?

This is something, really very much unknown. The duration for which we would require social distancing during this coronavirus outbreak, basically depend on how well this distancing in place work and how much we are able to slow the pandemic down. However, you must be prepared for at least one month or even longer.

What Should I Be Avoiding In An Absolute Manner During Social Distancing?

You should avoid any unnecessary travel, such as travels through planes, public transport, or cruises and also avoid crowded or social gatherings, such as concerts, or parties during the period of social distancing.

Can I Visit Friends, Or Have Friends Over, If The Group Is Smaller Than 10 In Number?

If everyone is free from coronavirus symptoms and if all are practicing proper hand and respiratory hygiene, you can meet your friends in a small group. However, you should remain 6 feet away from each other. You must also keep in mind not to shake hands or have contact greetings with your friends.

How To Maintain Social Distancing From People You Live With Or Care For?

Now, this is something really very much important to talk about. It is advised to separate yourself from people you live with as much as you can. In case you can’t avoid, especially in case your time spent with your kids or others, in case you can’t avoid sharing toilet or bathroom with family members, make sure that you clean them regularly. Make sure that you are not sharing the common towel, napkins, handkerchiefs, and so on even with your kids or family members.

In case you suspect you or any of your family members has covid-19 then you need to avoid transmitting the disease to others in your family.

How Effective Is Social Distancing During Coronavirus Outbreak?

Social distancing is quite effective in reducing the rate of coronavirus cases occurring. If it is done or maintained properly by each one of us, it will definitely limit the spread of Covid 19 infection. We are unaware of how exactly this new coronavirus spreads; but similar viruses gets transmitted by droplets predominantly that is emitted from nose and mouths of infected persons when they sneeze and cough, and this can land on other people’s hands and also on surface.(2)

Are There Any Potential Negative Impacts Of Social Distancing?

Social distancing has already affected the global economy, as people are staying at home and the demands for services and goods have quickly fallen down.(3)

There are also concerns that social distancing could cause an increased level of loneliness, especially in case of older or the elderly people who are at a higher risk of getting severe covid-19.


With this, we are somewhat aware about what does social distancing during coronavirus outbreak mean. If you have gone through this article, you might have also known about what all you need to maintain during social distancing. So, try to be safe and help others remain safe so that we could fight the coronavirus quickly and prevent the world from its dangerous attack. Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 1, 2021

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