Meaning of social distancing (What is it, Concept and Definition)

What is Social distancing:

Social distancing (DS or SD) is a preventive health practice that aims to slow down the spread of a virus during an epidemic or pandemic. Social distancing can be voluntary or can be decreed by the authorities when there is a state of alarm.

The sanitary practice of social distancing has two purposes. On the one hand, stop the exponential rise of infections. On the other hand, prevent the collapse of the public and private health systems, so that they can respond efficiently during a health crisis.

Importance of Social Distancing

Viruses travel in the secretions of the human body such as saliva and sweat. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, it expels droplets that carry the virus, which is capable of surviving for a few hours on the surfaces it touches. If a healthy person receives the droplets directly or touches the contaminated surfaces, the virus spreads.

There may be cases of people who are asymptomatic carriers of a virus since not all diseases manifest in the same way in all organisms. For example, coronavirus 19 or COVID-19. Hence the importance of practising social distancing and hygiene measures in the face of an outbreak.

Social Distancing Rules

  • Preserve a distance of one or two meters between person and person.
  • Suppress physical contact gestures and greetings such as kisses, hugs, and handshakes.
  • Avoid group meetings and crowds of people.
  • Quarantine, that is, isolating yourself at home for a certain time, either voluntarily, or in obedience to the authorities and experts (sick or not).
  • Respect the contingency regulations of public establishments (layouts on the ground, capacity allowed, etc.).

Advisory on Social Distancing and Measures undertaking

Along with these measures, the cycle of prevention of an epidemic is complemented by the respective hygiene conditions and measures. Namely:

  • Wash your hands with soap several times a day, for 30 seconds.
  • Covering the face with the elbow or with a handkerchief during episodes of coughing or sneezing. If you use a scarf, discard it and wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • Do not share food and drink utensils with anyone.
  • Ventilate spaces appropriately.
  • Disinfect the spaces by means of a good cleaning.
  • Wear masks (only indicated for people infected or with suppressed immune system).