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The Do's + Dont's of Social Distancing

What does it mean to distance yourself socially? We come into contact with so many people in our daily routines. Social contact is necessary for our physical and mental health. So how can we maintain "social distancing" without freaking out and becoming hermits?

If you are not showing any symptoms, follow the "Do's". If you are quarantined, follow the "Don'ts".


What does social distancing look like?

Social distancing is a minimum of one person per square meter, or 3 feet. The CDC is recommending a distance of 6-10 feet.

DO:
  • Continue to go to (less crowded) bars and restaurants if you're symptom-free. "Bottom line, there’s no absolute indication not to go to bars and restaurants, but in practicing good public health, really think about how we can decrease those close contacts." -- Albert Ko, chair of the epidemiology department at the Yale School of Public Health
  • Have a small group of friends over to your house for socializing. "Think about having those get-togethers but practicing good public health: not sitting very close, wash your hands; avoid touching your face. Routinely disinfect doorknobs, the bathroom faucets, those types of things" -- Albert Ko, chair of the epidemiology department at the Yale School of Public Health
  • Keep going to the gym - or exercise outdoors in good weather. "If you’re going to go to the gym, try to go at a time when there are very few people there and definitely wipe down the equipment." -- Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Hit the grocery store and use public transportation. Shop at times when there are very few other shoppers there. Ask delivery workers to leave food on the door step. For people who have essential functions and have to be at work, if they have any flexibility in their schedules they should try to ride at
    non-peak hours. Stand far from others.
  • Keep dating! "I think dating is okay, if you believe with reasonable confidence that you’re both well. I think we’re humans and we need human interaction; I think that’s important for our sanity." -- Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
  • Use caution for family gatherings like birthdays and weddings."I don’t want to tell somebody to cancel their wedding. That would be terrible. But I think you have to look at the situation, maybe ask guests who are feeling ill not to come." -- Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security This takes courage.
  • Limit visits with elderly folks. Consider taking things digital - a Skype call can be just as fulfilling. "I think if we are fortunate enough to live near our elders and we get into the mode of seriously isolating our own families, then one person should be designated to go and visit." -- Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Consider canceling hair/nail appointments OR tip extra. "I would say hold off on your haircut and then when you go back, when it’s clear that we have vanquished this foe, everybody please give your hairdresser extra, extra tips." -- Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Use your building's laundry room in off-hours. "If you know there are not a lot of people in the laundry room or mailroom at 6 a.m., go at 6 a.m. People will be inconvenienced, but it’s important to try to spread ourselves out." -- Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Continue to be close or intimate with your partner(s) or roommate(s). "If you get sick, try to maintain some distance. Otherwise, households should go about their normal business." -- Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
 

DON'T

  • Have visitors if you're quarantined
  • Walk around outside your property if you're quarantined.

"For people who live in areas that are not densely populated, walking
around in their yard is probably safe. The idea is that they should not
come into contact with any other people."


- Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania