What is the social distancing strategy?

Over the past several weeks virtually everyone in the country and around the world has heard the term social distancing. Social distancing is a strategy for reducing the risk of catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus, which is now a global pandemic. The strategies issued by the CDC, OSHA, and many medical professionals related to social distancing are specifically given because of this virus, but they can also be used in any situation where some type of disease is spreading. These strategies are primarily focused on two main components.

Minimizing Gatherings

The first thing that is recommended for social distancing strategies is to avoid gathering people together. This recommendation started out as keeping gatherings to 100 people or fewer, then dropped to 50, and then 10. Today the CDC and others recommend interacting with as few people as possible since there is often no way to know who may be carrying this virus.

Keep Six Feet Away

When someone has to be in the same area as other people, staying at least six feet away from each other is the second half of the social distancing strategy. This distance was chosen because in normal situations, the virus carrying droplets emitted from coughing or sneezing will fall to the ground within six feet. Of course, this is just a minimum recommendation. When in an area with other people, staying more than six feet apart is definitely preferable.

Why Social Distancing?

The reason experts are so strongly recommending social distancing is because it is the most effective way to slow the spread of this virus. If people aren’t getting close enough to each other to become infected, the spread of the virus will be significantly hampered. Of course, there are other steps that can be taken to fight this virus, but as a first line of defense, social distancing is something everyone can do.


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