As the COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across North America and Europe, the world is reeling in the after-effects of the pandemic. News channels from around the world have been set ablaze with words such as social distancing, self-isolation and quarantining. Almost overnight they have turned into essential buzzwords, hashtags and phrases that people use on an every-day basis. So what do these words actually mean, and why are they important? How do they help in the fight against this deadly virus? What can all of us do to ensure that we stay safe during such tough times? Well, in this article we will take a look at answers to all these questions. Here’s why you need to stay home and how you can keep yourself safe during this pandemic.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is a policy wherein we apply the six-feet apart rule. As per this norm, people must deliberately try to maintain some physical distance while interacting with others. Not only will this prevent you from catching the virus, but it also helps in flattening the COVID-19 curve. Social distancing policies are hard to implement during sporting events, movie outings and musical concerts. Hence, most of such social activities have been called off to make it easier for people to distance themselves socially.
What does Self-Quarantine mean?
A Stay-at-home order is different from a self-quarantine order. As per standard rules, a stay-at-home order means you should try to restrict going out as much as possible. People should try to remain indoors and only go out to buy essential food items and medical drugs. However, a self-quarantine order is made for people who have the risk of having caught the COVID-19 virus. This includes people with a history of foreign travel or those who have had contact with a positive patient. Such people should self-quarantine themselves for 14 days. Self-quarantining requires you to stay at home and maintain a distance of 6-feet from others in the same household. You should remain in a room, which no one else must enter. Furthermore, such people should use their own set of towels, utensils and toiletries. In case you do not show any symptoms after 14 days of such quarantining, you can start following a stay-at-home order again.
What is Self-isolation?
Self-isolation works a lot like a quarantine, but it is used for people who have already caught the virus. It works as a method to prevent them from giving this disease to someone else. Also, it is suggested that those who show COVID symptoms but haven’t been tested yet. Self-isolation requires the individual to stay indoors, eliminate all contact and only venture out for medical care. Medical professionals will choose whether you self-isolate at home or in the hospital, depending on the facilities available.
Tips on How to Stay Safe
- It is advisable to use a face-mask or tie a towel around your face if you are stepping out to places frequently visited by other people.
- Wash your hands, face and feet as soon as you return from a public place, such as a grocery store, pharmacy or bank.
- If you are a senior citizen, do not venture out. As far as possible, try to get other people to provide you with basic necessities, instead of heading out yourself.
- Avoid contact with people, and take special care to stay away from people exhibiting COVID symptoms.
- Try not to go to hospitals for minor inconveniences, and postpone unnecessary or non-emergency appointments as far as possible.
- In case you do not feel well, make sure you communicate the news with your local health officials.
- While heading to a local grocery store, make sure you stand 6 feet apart from other customers to practice social distancing.
- Disinfect your mobile phone when you get back home using wet wipes to avoid transmission.
- Do not touch or handle fresh produce with your bare hands. Use gloves whenever possible to minimise physical touch with external surfaces.
- If you do meet a loved one, resist the urge to physically touch them to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Make sure you obey the laws laid down by the government and do not organise any functions or gatherings.
- Stay safe by using cashless transactions whenever possible because the note surface can harbour this virus. Rely more on contactless payment methods to minimise your risk.
While we admit that humans are social animals who need companions, now is not the time for hanging out. Your school, college or workplace might not have had any case, but preventive measures are put in place to ensure that it stays that way. Adhering to such rules and laws will ensure that we can curb the rapidly surging number of COVID-19 cases. If we stay home, we have a much higher chance of staying safe. Therefore, let us all help the government, our country, the world and everyone we love, by staying indoors the next couple of weeks. Furthermore, let us use this time to thank and pray for all the brave souls who are working to ensure all of us stay safe. Whether they are doctors, policemen, nurses or sanitation staff, they work outdoors so that we can be safe indoors. Let us all honour their sacrifice and help in the fight against this deadly virus by staying home!