Are you practicing social/physical distancing properly?

Two people practicing social distancing.
Social Distancing

Practicing social/physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to eliminate the spread of illness during an outbreak.

However, despite the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases, some people are still not taking these measures seriously enough.

To try and combat this, the Ontario government took stronger actions on Saturday (March 28) and prohibited gatherings of more than five people. While in the United States, President Donald Trump extended social distancing guidelines until April 30.

While keeping 6 feet (approximately 2 metres) away from people is an aspect of social/physically distancing, there are additional measures people should be following beyond this point.

So, what is social/physical distancing?

This means changing your daily routine to ensure the least amount of contact with people. As mentioned, keeping 6 feet (approximately 2 metres) away from each other is one way to do this. However, other actions include:

  • eliminating common greetings such as handshakes
  • limiting your contact with those who are at higher risks like older adults and those with immune deficiencies
  • avoid non-essential outings

What can you do instead?

Practicing social/physical distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate with your co-workers, friends, or loved ones, it just means you have to adjust the way in which you do. Some ideas include:

  • wave instead of giving a handshake or a hug
  • working from home and conduct virtual meetings
  • use technology to keep in touch with your friends and family
  • set-up virtual play-dates with your kids
  • exercise at home
  • grocery shop online
  • if you must travel or leave your home, try to do so during off-peak hours

Practice good hygiene.

To limit the spread of germs, make sure you wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice). Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm and avoid touching your face and surfaces other people have touched often.

Additional information:

The Math Behind Social Distancing

Government of Canada Physical Distancing Fact Sheet

Government of Canada Social Distancing Infographic