In the already tumultuous world, the day did come where a simple sneeze is not received with a “bless you” but rather a terrified or angry sneer by the ones around you. With the outbreak of the pandemic Covid-19, the cry for physical distancing is just growing louder. Many people are still confused as to what does this seemingly technical term actually mean. Many are searching for the meaning of the words.
“What does Physial Distancing mean?”
The species Homo sapiens is said to be a social animal. We depend on others for material, social and emotional support. Hence, the word physical distancing might sound almost impossible to comprehend. However, it is a bitter necessity now. It is already too late to keep the corona virus from freely spreading but all is not lost as social distancing can slow it down. Like a parasite corona virus too needs a host to jump to hence this method can give the virus fewer opportunities to jump from one person to the next.
Avoiding unnecessary in-person meetings where you can infect other people or get infected in return is what social distancing essentially means. Many factors are responsible for the increase in the reproductive number of the virus. However, the key points that one needs to keep in mind are how many times one has interacted with someone else (physical interactions) and for how long did these interactions last. In simple terms, physical distancing means reducing people-to-people or in person meetings and interactions and staying indoors, this would help reduce the virus from spreading reducing the reproductive number of the disease.
“How do we do that?”
Well, if you can work from home (WFH), do it. Also, try not to gather in public spaces like gyms, restaurants (for that birthday party of a special someone), public events, concerts of your favorite artist or band (which on second thoughts, are getting canceled now) or festivals and weddings. Yes, we know India is a country of many festivities and weddings means a lot of get-together and festivities so it might be twice as difficult but we have to avoid it. But most crucial of all, avoid any unnecessary travel. If you have to go out to get the necessary groceries, then try doing it during off-peak hours. Even there you should at least try to maintain some distance from others around you. And no, you are not offending anyone and honestly, chances are the others would also try to maintain that distance as well.
Basically, pay close attention to the physical environment. Try to keep an alcohol-based sanitiser with you at all times and use it, use that “liquid gold” well.
“My boss still won’t give me the WFH option”
Well, that’s really sad, but Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that such organisations can take some measures to minimise the spread of the virus.
At work, you can try increasing the physical space between your co-workers and reduce workplace social contacts. Put a stop to meetings, lunch meetups, after-work hangouts, etc.,
“Well I hate being cooped up”
But at this point of time, being cooped up is all that might actually save you and people around you including your near and dear ones. We can stay together by staying apart. Keep in touch with your family, friends and dear ones via video calls or voice calls as well. Take this time to actually strike up a conversation with the ones you were unable to do so due to your busy schedules. Who knows you might even rekindle those past emotions.
Hate being cooped up then watch your favourite show on Netflix, pick your favourite book that you have not been able to read for a very long time or do that something that you have always been wanting to do but just didnt get the time. Look at this physical distancing as an opportunity to do all that you always wanted to do but have not been able to do because physical distancing primarily means staying indoors.
Or take this perfect opportunity to binge-watch all the nostalgic episodes of Friends and still debate on whether Ross’s “We were on a break” still counts. Or reflect on yourself as to how a teenage witch with her normal high school life, balances her witch’s life and witch’s academy as well as being the literal Queen of Hell and you are not even able to complete a single story. (Cooped up hence projecting it out as well, and yes that was a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reference).
Before we wrap up, here are the five must Dos:
Wash your hands, Cough into your elbow, Don’t touch your face, Keep a safe space and Stay at home