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Social distancing: What is it and how to do it right?

With the term social distancing being thrown around these days, you might have wondered, what does it exactly mean. Well, social distancing is just another way of saying ‘stay away’. It involves keeping a safe distance from others and avoiding public places like supermarkets, restaurants, malls and movie theatres where you can find yourself in close contact with others. This is a public safety intervention technique used for germ prevention and in the times of epidemics of infectious diseases to curb their transmission. 

In trying times like these, social distancing is the key to staying safe and healthy. So how do you properly practice social distancing? We give you a few tips-

Stay at home

This is the golden rule of social distancing. You should stay at home and only venture out for buying essentials or emergencies. This also involves not inviting guests over to your house or entertaining outsiders.

Stay away from social gatherings

Keep away from areas where you might come in contact with people. This includes markets, malls, public transport, functions, and gatherings where you are likely to encounter many people.

Keep safe distance

Keep a safe distance of at least 2 metres from others at all times. When a person sneezes or coughs the droplets from his/her mouth are likely to fall on you if you are in close contact. Keeping some distance between you and other people prevents this. This is even more important if the person is displaying symptoms of a contagious illness.

However, what do you do if being around people is unavoidable or you are a part of essential services or a government employee? We have a few tips for you as well-

When meeting people

In case of unavoidable circumstances or an important meeting, make sure to keep some distance between other people and you. Also, you should avoid shaking hands or hugging. Instead, opt for a respectable nod or a wave.

When in a public place

If you have to go to the supermarket to stock up, or the doctor’s clinic, you are bound to come in contact with people. What do you do then? Again, we have you covered. Just follow these tips-

  • Try to visit the market during the non-peak hours. 
  • Consciously make efforts to keep a distance of up to two metres between you and another person. If someone is sitting close to you in the waiting room, get up and move away.
  • Avoid crowded aisle and checkout queues. If you can, then visit later. And if there is no option, keep a distance of at least two metres between you and the other person.

Pro tip: Carry a full-sized Umbrella with you. Your umbrella, along with your extended arm, will give you a fair idea of the distance that you need to maintain from the others.

When you own a business

If you own an essential business like a grocery store or a pharmacy, you can encourage your employees to maintain social distance. You must also instruct them to be careful to avoid physical contact with the customers. As far as possible, try to avoid cash transactions. Prefer wireless mode of payments like Wallets and UPI.

Social distancing may seem difficult at first, but its health benefits outweigh the inconveniences. Remember that you are practising it for your and your family’s well-being. It might be uncomfortable, but it is not the end. You can stay connected with your friends and loved ones via the internet and telephone. Make use of the various video conferencing apps so that you don’t miss out on birthdays and anniversaries. Use this quarantine to strengthen the bonds with your families and close ones. You will realise that you do not need to stay in touch, to stay in touch. Pun intended.