We Need Physical Distancing Not Social Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Let's Get This Right - We Need Physical Distancing Not Social Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic.


The term social distancing may be sending a wrong message to millions of people world over as they struggle to come to terms with this COVID-19 pandemic. Many are asking what the term "Social Distancing" even mean. Is the term being used incorrectly during this pandemic?

This term came into place after the Corona Virus started spreading in different parts of the world. Healthcare has identified how these infectious viruses are transmitted and came up with strategies on how to slow down the spread. One of the strategies is social distancing among a host of other techniques to curb its spread.

The word social means relating to society and usually the words that come up when you hear the word social are communities, living together, gatherings and more recently all the modern social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp and so on. 

  

Social distancing does not mean cutting social ties and staying all alone. Instead it translates to physical distancing which includes a host of interventions like staying and working from home and maintaining 1-2 meters (depending on each country’s recommendation) distance between individuals at all times.

A better term could have been physical distancing rather than social distancing which is misleading and its widespread usage could be counterproductive.

The World Health Organization(WHO) also came to this realization and applauded Daniel Aldrich, a professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University who first sort to correct the confusion caused by this term Social Distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic.


This is a clear indication that the efforts taken to slow the spread of coronavirus through maintaining physical distancing should not trample upon strengthening social ties because social ties are an important component in fighting and getting through this disaster.

Networks and cohesion among communities have been a major way of showing resilience among people during major shocks such as pandemics, war and other natural disasters for many years.

On March 20th the World Health Organization changed from the term social distancing to the term physical distancing and that’s on purpose because they want people to still remain connected. This social connection is going to lead to better mass emancipation and sharing of knowledge that will enable the world to get back on its feet. Don't you think so?

The semantics of "Social distancing", which refers to creating physical space between one another and avoiding large gatherings, comes from public health and epidemiology lexicon but many misinterpreted it, to some people, they thought social distancing meant ‘If I had friendships before, it’s time to hunker down. Or, if I were a member of a temple, mosque, church or synagogue, it’s time to pray by myself.”

That should not be the case, as it is now, truth be told even in the midst of the continuous fight to kick this pandemic out and get back to our real selves, the COVID-19 order is going to be around for a little while, what else can we do if not feel connected?

Many cases have been reported of people who stopped attending the gym, music concerts, school, offices but are neither reaching out on social media or using modern technology to maintain this much need social connections. The elderly are the most affected by these changes as most of them are not on these modern tech platforms and this makes it hard. It is thus important to maintain social ties through calls or sharing messages just to keep them on the knowledge and know-how they are doing on a daily basis.

Communities with strong social networks, which can share lifesaving information with one another are the ones that have been able to survive and live again a new life after a pandemic or hard-hitting situation.

So Let's get this right - we need physical distancing not social distancing during covid-19 pandemic. Let’s get in touch and communicate with everyone we know and care for and let us share what we know. Please make sure it is verified information and not intended to scare or create panic. Find out what your friends and family members are doing, link up on Skype, Facebook or Instagram as you work from home.

If you have read something informative out there on social media feel free to share with your family. Call them up and check on them. Let’s keep our social circles intact and not socially distant from each other. Staying connected is a way to stay grounded. It keeps you from being pulled into a state of sheer anxiety and isolation is hazardous to your health. Stay safe and protected. 



Web Resources where you can find reliable information include 

https://www.who.int/

https://www.covid19india.org/

https://covindia.com/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html


We at gubbacci will continue to provide uplifting positive messages through our blog articles and customised apparel.

References

Anderson R, Heesterbeek H, Klinkenberg D, Hollingswort T. (2020). How will country-based mitigation measures

influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic? Lancet.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. (2020) Guidelines for the use of non-pharmaceutical

measures to delay and mitigate the impact of 2019-nCoV. Stockholm: ECDC.

WHO. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Geneva: World

Health Organization; 2020.

Lai S, Ruktanonchai N, Zhou L, Prosper O, Luo W, Floyd J. (2020). Effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions for

containing the COVID-19 outbreak: an observational and modelling study. medRxiv.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19): increased transmission globally – fifth update, 2 March 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020.

Brooks’ S, Webster R, Smith L, Woodland L, Wessely S, Greenberg N. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. Lancet.

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