Surviving the COVID-19 pandemic: Why social distancing works
After surpassing Italy in terms of having the most number of deaths from COVID-19, the U.S. now leads the world in fatalities caused by the novel coronavirus. While the past can no longer be changed, there is still a chance to flatten the curve, as experts say. Social distancing has become somewhat a global mandate at this point as countries try their best to combat the virus. Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders explains why social distancing works against this pandemic.
Social distancing is a preventive measure that is being utilized to prevent the spread of disease-causing viruses. At the very least, people who practice social distancing stay 6 feet away from others in public. Practicing social distancing also means barring one’s self from attending any functions with more than 30 people and going to public places that are usually crowded. According to Martin Lloyd Sanders, social distancing may also require people to minimize close contact with other people, even with friends and family.
From what is known, the novel coronavirus is highly contagious. The virus can linger several hours outside a host and can spread via droplets generated via coughing and sneezing, or even through saliva discharges when speaking. This means that keeping a safe distance increases the chances of contracting the virus from any type of discharge from other people. However, Martin Lloyd Sanders claims that social distancing has to be paired with specific hygiene duties as discharge isn’t the only way the virus can spread. The virus can cling to money, dry goods, and public fixtures such as doorknobs for several hours. Thus, hygienic duties, including avoiding touching the face, frequent and meticulous hand washing, immediately bathing after going outside, and quickly disinfecting clothes worn outside and products bought, should always be practiced.
So far, countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and New Zealand have demonstrated the effectivity of social distancing in curbing the spread of the virus. What would happen if social distancing was not practiced? Martin Lloyd Sanders believes the virus would spread much faster. Then an already struggling healthcare system will be overloaded, and the lives of healthcare workers will be at a greater risk than it already is
By following social distancing rules and abiding by government-regulated stay-at-home directives, there is still a chance to mitigate this ongoing global health crisis. It is vital not to dismiss social distancing and other countermeasures as a trend so as not to create bigger problems for medical personnel and other frontline and essential workers.