Rules of social distancing when you’re (finally) allowed to go outside

Things you can do to keep as safe and healthy as possible 
By Claude Reyes

Rules of Social Distancing
Nowadays, there’s no such as thing as being too prepared and too safe.
The rules of interacting with the outside world have changed almost overnight because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with seemingly no end in sight yet, we simply have to find ways to keep on going—not with fear, but with precaution. Nowadays, there’s no such as thing as being too prepared and too safe, not just for your sake, but for everyone around you.

One of most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus is social distancing. This means quarantining ourselves as much as possible, as well as avoiding mass gatherings and other crowded places. 

One of the known ways in which the virus spreads is through close contact with someone carrying the virus who may cough or sneeze or even just spit saliva when they’re talking (if they’re asymptomatic). By maintaining a 6-feet distance between yourself and others, you lessen the likelihood of catching or transmitting the virus yourself.

However, we can’t all be holed up in our homes for too long. Soon, quarantine restrictions may lift (hopefully when the hospital situations have become more manageable for our health workers and facilities) with no vaccine in sight. So, in the meantime, it is incumbent upon us to maintain the rules of social distancing when we’re finally allowed to go outside.

Confused about the many inconsistent information you get online? Perhaps it would be best to follow the guidelines released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how we can protect ourselves and others from the virus. They have clear guidelines on how and when to wear a mask, when and how to dispose of a mask, the importance of washing one’s hands thoroughly with soap and alcohol-based sanitizers and overall good hygiene, and how to practice respiratory etiquette.  

Even though the lockdown restrictions may soon be lifting, it’s best to keep these practices as part of our new normal—at least until the pandemic is over. Aside from staying one to two meters away from other people, here are some things you can do to keep as safe as possible, and protect those who are more vulnerable to the virus: 

  1. Wear a mask in public
  2. Do not shake hands, hug, or kiss
  3. Take alternative modes of transportation, and travel during off-peak hours if possible
  4. Avoid crowded places
  5. To keep to the two-meter rule, line up
  6. Do not go out if you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms
  7. Avoid non-essential travel for now

The workplace offers a lot of challenges for social distancing, but it can be done:

  1. Hold large meetings through video conferencing
  2. If possible, hold small meetings in open air
  3. No more food sharing for now

It goes without saying that social distancing will only be as effective if we also maintain proper hygiene. So keep on washing your hands properly, practice coughing-sneezing etiquette (or better yet, stay at home if you have these!), and avoid touching your face and other surfaces while in public. 

We may have no idea when this pandemic will end, but as long as we follow the guidelines to the best of our abilities, we can still make the best of the situation and live a fruitful life.