CDC Reminds Us How to Do it Right: Social Distancing Guide


Once again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating its social distancing guidance, doing, as it did in May, re-releasing guidances when COVID-19-related figures ascended at a remarkable angle. On July 16, the day before the guidance’s release, one million additional cases worldwide were reported in less than 100 hours, Reuters reported.

This rapid spreading of the disease is mainly due to how the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted. It occurs when a noninfected person is in close contact with an infected person who coughs and sneezes.  Even aerosol particles that stay suspended in the air for three hours can infect someone, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Infected droplets are absorbed through the mouth, noses and lungs of people in close proximity. This is why wearing masks is highly recommended: Distancing only works if you wear a mask and do not touch your face.

Wearing protective gear will not flatten the curve alone. It requires active participation of citizens, patients, family members and doctors in implementing social distancing, or physical distancing, measures. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, social distancing could slow down the rate at which the cases are increasing, consequently freeing hospital beds and reducing the case load of doctors.

The following can be found on the CDC’s website:

Commute Safely

Whenever possible, use transportation that does not require much contact with people. Walking, biking and driving alone fit that bill. While accompanying a family member/friend in a shared vehicle, create space between yourselves. Open the car’s window and put the air-conditioning on non-recirculation mode to improve circulation within the car.

If you have no choice but to use public transport, maintain six feet of space while waiting with others for the train or bus, and keep your distance from the transit operators. Keep your six feet of space from other passengers. Try not to hold handrails, which are frequently touched. After getting off the vehicle, use hand sanitizers immediately. Also, try to commute when it’s not overcrowded, CDC suggests.

If you choose to go by shared-taxis, then identify bigger cars where you can sit in the backseat and remain at a distance of six feet from the driver. Also, try to avoid taxis with multiple passengers, the CDC recommends.

Run Errands With Caution

Go to the grocery store when you need to buy essentials. Remain six feet away from other people shopping at the store. Us e disinfectant wipes to clean grocery cart handles and other surfaces touched often. People older than 65 yearscould ask a neighbor or friend to buy groceries for them. Then, perhaps leave them outside the door for minimal contact.

Also, the elderly can check if their grocery store has a special hour dedicated for older adults to shop. People in general can explore home delivery options. Even if you opt for a drive-through, keep six feet away from delivery personnel, particularly when they hand over groceries to you.

Selectively Socialize

Stay in touch with friends and family primarily through technology, rather than inviting them over. Otherwise, you could just go to small gatherings hosted in backyards or driveways, where all guests can comfortably stay six feet away from each other. Avoid events, gatherings and crowded places where it may not be possible to keep a distance from the attendees. This is when it becomes necessary to wear cloth masks. If you don’t, you can catch the infectious droplets coming out from people standing closeby. In public places, look for marks on the walls or floors that indicate where to place yourself safely away from people around you.

In case you decide to host a small party, assign the job of serving food to one person to limit the number of hands from touching the utensils. People could also bring their own food and eat out of their own containers. They could also try single-use options. Limit physical contact with guests, don’t hug or shake hands.

If you want to visit a restaurant, then make sure your table is two meters or six feet away from the next table. Do not eat from buffets to limit contact with utensils touched by everyone. Remember to continue to maintain social distancing when walking through common areas, the CDC said.

Keep Six Feet Distance During Exercise

It could serve you better if you went for a walk, cycled or rode your wheelchair around your locality or anyplace where it would be easy to stay six feet away from people jogging or cycling. If you want to burn some calories at a gym or park, check on the rules beforehand: How many people are allowed in the gym at one time, and does the gym require social distancing?

Limit group activities at the gym. Remember not to get close to people inside  any of the closed off rooms, like sauna, studios and locker rooms, the CDC advises .However, if you do participate in a group training session, wear cloth masks and stay six feet apart from others. Keep the windows open  for sufficient air-circulation.

Wear a Mask in Shared Facilities

Nursing homes and hostels weren’t designed for pandemics; many people live and work in tight quarters. Laundry rooms, dining areas, staircases and elevators might present some challenges. The CDC recommends that people staying in shared facilities should wear cloth masks when around other people who don’t stay with them in close proximity. Limiting volunteers and non-essential workers could help this situation too. Importantly, staff should not be going directly into the rooms. They should use technology to communicate with residents to be on the safer side.

 Sharing Space with a Sick Person

Proper ventilation is a must when sharing any room with a sick person. Open the windows and turn on the fan. In the bedroom, move beds apart. If you can’t, find a room screen divider, or put up a bed spread, says the CDC.

In the bathroom, disinfectant is an important commodity. Once the sick person leaves, open windows and turn on fans, then wait before going in again. Then clean all touched surfaces.

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