With the current COVID-19 pandemic raging on, it can be tough to balance safety, mental health, and a social life. Social distancing has become the new norm. If you’re confused about how to practice it, you’re not alone.
Social distancing protocols have changed over the past several months. Despite this, one thing remains clear, keeping your distance can help save lives. To help you stay safe without falling off the grid, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about social distancing. We’ll go over how to get out, see your loved ones, and stay safe.
What Is Social Distancing?
The CDC defines social distancing as keeping a space between other people and yourself, who are outside of your household. It’s recommended to stay six feet apart whenever possible.
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets shed by an infected person. If you’re close to an infected person and they sneeze, for example, you’re far more likely to inhale these droplets if you’re less than six feet apart. Especially, if the two of you aren’t also wearing masks.
So, at a minimum, social distancing should be about two arms lengths.
It’s important to note that social distancing doesn’t mean you need to stay in your house at all times. Being outdoors by yourself, for example, is safer than being indoors with large crowds. Reading in your backyard, or going on a walk, are both safe activities, where you can remain six feet apart.
Being Present Virtually
It can be easy to fall into hermit mode. Because you’re working from home and trying to stay safe, you may find you haven’t left the house in days. To help keep yourself from going stir crazy, connect with friends and family virtually. Make it a point to call someone every day.
If you want to get together with friends, set up an online chat where you can all see each other. Platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout are great options. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to see people when you don’t need to buy a plane ticket or drive.
Virtual get-togethers remove physical boundaries and offer a safe place to interact. Does your best friend live across the country? No problem. Invite her for a virtual drink tomorrow night.
Safe Social Distancing Activities
There are plenty of activities you can do while social distancing. Being outside is actually encouraged for many reasons. If you’re going outside in public, it’s still recommended you wear a mask when you can’t be six feet apart.
While there is some debate over how droplets spread outdoors, the open air is believed to be beneficial. Wind, open space, and fresh air can all help disperse droplets.
Some safe ways to get outdoors include, hiking, walking, biking, running, gardening, and being in your yard or patio. Take the dog for more walks, FaceTime with a friend while dining on your patio, or go for a bike ride.
How To Social Distance With Family and Friends
Outdoor visits with a small group, wearing masks, for example, can be a safer way to gather. Staying outdoors and six feet apart, however, is key. The fewer people there, the fewer chances you all have of contracting the virus, as well. Just because you’re outside, you shouldn’t be hosting a BBQ with 100 people unmasked.
Social Distancing Tips
Social distancing and staying safe is hard. While you want to be social you may also be worried about your health and the health of others. It’s completely normal to feel this way. The new norm is hard to navigate without feeling like a homebody.
Remember that fresh air and sunshine can be great for your mind and body. Stay safe by social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands regularly. For more health and lifestyle tips, check out the blog section.