Look around you, the world is catching a breath, the world is coming to halt. Crazy isn’t it? How the ever-running streets of the world are now deserted, how the world’s most beautiful places are going through painful times now. Italy, the city of romance, the city of fashion and the city of ever going hassle has come to a halt. And all this because of a microscopic organism invisible to the human eye – the coronavirus. The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, meaning that it is now attacking the earth’s worldwide population, the rich, the poor, the young and the old.
These are dark times, fearful ones indeed. The world might be at halt, but the people that are isolated in their homes around the world, are losing their minds but yet continue to fight bravely to beat this horrific outbreak.
The number of cases in India too are increasing at a steady rate. Even though there is no vaccine to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus yet, there still are some steps that can be taken to lessen the effect of this virus. One and very major of these is social distancing.
The Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi took to the media and asked everyone in the nation to stay at home and practice self-quarantine and social distancing. But what is social distancing and how exactly will it help reduce this outbreak? How will it help us in these times of darkness?
What Is Social Distancing?
The term social distancing simply refers to avoiding close contact with other individuals in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on to other people.
Why Social Distancing?
Social distancing is at present the most important factor we can control during this outbreak, and therefore is critical. Many factors contribute to the reproductive number of the coronavirus, which describes roughly how many people an infected individual will go on to infect. At present, estimates of the reproductive number of the coronavirus range from 1.4 to 6.5, with an average of 3.3. The higher the reproductive number, the sooner it will spread. Factors that affect the reproductive number include how characteristically contagious the virus is, how prone people are to infection, the number of contacts between people, and the extent of those contacts.
Social distancing now could prove to be a savior for humanity. We’re only human, we cannot control the biologic behavior of the virus neither can we do anything about the susceptibility of individuals – but what we can do is, each of us can help decrease the number and duration of our contacts with others. Social distancing can also efficiently extend to other precautions such as disinfecting often-touched surfaces that may pass on the virus.
What social distancing means in daily life?
- Many cities have stimulated social distancing by banning large gatherings, encouraging telecommuting and shutting down schools and colleges.
- It is advised to avoid crowded public transportation if possible. Social activities are now advised against, but what does social distancing mean for vital activities? This depends on your age and susceptibility to infection. If you’re over 60, you should lay low, stay at home.
- For younger people, anyone who becomes infected can spread the virus to older people or someone who is immunocompromised. Therefore, the fewer young persons who become infected, the lower the prevalence in the older population.
- To avoid the spread of coronavirus into the community, everyone should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, and avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts. If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, it is important to keep the entire household at home.
- Everyone should stay at home except for certain vital activities, such as grocery shopping or to get medical help or to perform work for important businesses, government agencies, or public infrastructure construction.
These are the steps you should strictly follow for the upcoming weeks starting immediately. This is the most you can do to limit the spread of coronavirus. If not done rightly, and if social distancing is taken for granted, it can prove to be harmful to the entire country and the human population. Don’t ignore the seriousness of the moment and acknowledge your responsibility as a citizen and most importantly as a human.