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What Does Coronavirus ‘Social Distancing’ Mean for Me and My Family?

When the first mentions of Coronavirus started to surface, many people didn’t imagine the level of panic and hysteria that it would cause across the world. In order to reduce the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), governments around the world have offered an essential piece of guidance for the general public to follow – social distancing. 

This mass movement is the first step in reducing the transmission of the Coronavirus, but what does it mean, and how does it affect your day to day life?

This blog will highlight the importance of adhering to the social distancing policy and what it means for you, your family and the wider community around you.

Person applying face mask

What is the definition of social distancing?

Social distancing is not a new concept, as many governments across the world have had measures like this in place to help deal with flu pandemics more efficiently.

Social distancing is defined as such – a form of physical distancing used to limit the spread of a virus, this is done through the cooperation of the public, it is their role to keep at least 2 metres apart from others they walk past or to effectively isolating themselves from the general public. 

Social distancing hopes to curb the number of cases by keeping people off the streets and away from crowded areas like theatres, cinemas, pubs and gyms where the virus can spread dramatically.

As part of this global effort, we are being asked to:

  • Maintain good practices of good hygiene, washing our hands consistently
  • Support family members you live with if you have to self-isolate
  • If you can, work from home for the foreseeable future
  • Limit our regular trips and only go outside for shopping and other important trips, this should be done with only one person
  • Avoid all travel plans around the country, or abroad 
  • Clean and disinfect areas of your house
Hands being washed in sink

Why is it so important that social distancing is used?

From the experiences of other countries, it seems that the Coronavirus has the biggest impact on the elderly and those with weakened immune systems – making up the largest portion of the global death rate.

To this degree, social distancing is vitally important, not only for limiting the number of infected people in the population, but it is saving lives day in and day out.

Close-up of back of old person's head with family in background

Who should be following these global guidelines?

Social distancing is a global effort, everyone has a part, and everyone should be following the guidance from their governing bodies.

‘Key’ workers are being asked to continue their valuable work for the benefit of the country; the list of key workers includes:

  • NHS staff, cleaning staff and frontline healthcare staff
  • Food chain workers, supermarket attendants
  • Delivery drivers and other postal workers
  • Utility workers in gas, water and sewerage industries
  • Police, prison officers and national security workers
  • Transport and public service drivers

How does it affect you and your family?

Taking even one person out of the social sphere can drastically slow down the spread of the virus.

Bearing this in mind, for the next few months, you should avoid all contact with those not in your immediate family – you must take the necessary steps to keep you, your family and your friends.

How long do we have to social distance for?

At this moment in time, we have no concrete end date for the social distancing measure, but, with the growing concern surrounding the Coronavirus; we could see this distancing lasting for 6 to 9 months.

Man walking dog in forest

5 Ways to make your social distancing more bearable

Given that social distancing could last for some time passing the time is very important.

With that in mind, here are 7 tips to help you make the most of your time.

  • Video call your distant family and friends to keep up to catch up with them without risking their safety or yours
  • Watch films, TV shows or other types of entertainment that you have meant to see – this will help pass the time
  •  Go for a walk or exercise for at least 30 mins a day
  • Keep in touch with co-workers to discuss work and to maintain a healthy work mindset while at home
  •  Listen to radio, music or a podcast when you are working from home
  • Spend time with your family
  • Take regular breaks if you are working from home

Social distancing is and will continue to be, an important measure to help us limit the spread of the Coronavirus and to keep the public, our families and our friends healthy and safe.

If you need advice and support with the social distancing measure, you can visit the official stay at home advice page here.

If you are looking for new updates to keep up to date with coronavirus you can find the NHS coronavirus page here.

Be sure to check out our other blogs

How are you coping with social distancing? What are you doing at home? How do you feel about the uncertainty expected from the months ahead? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

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