Social distancing, or public distancing, means remaining out of group settings, avoiding large gatherings, and keeping a distance of six-feet from other people when possible. The goal is to slow the spread of disease. This helps to prevent large numbers of people becoming sick at the same time, which can overload hospitals and deplete necessary resources within our healthcare system. Slowing the infection rate can allow patients to receive the care they need. This is also referred to as flattening the curve.
Some things to expect from social and public distancing include: working from home, virtual meetings, cancelled or postponed events, school closures, limited access to public gathering places and restricted patient visitation to those most vulnerable. But, social and public distancing does not mean you have to lose your connection to others. Phone calls, FaceTime and other virtual apps are great ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Even a small dinner with one or two friends who do not have symptoms is OK. The key to social and public distancing is the avoidance of large groups and public places.
The impact that social distancing has on decreasing the spread of disease far outweighs the temporary inconveniences that come with it. Controlling the rate at which the community is impacted is crucial to delivering timely and critical care to those impacted by the virus. It takes community participation for this to be most effective.