The Positive Side of Social Distancing


Rina Levine, Staff Writer

Social distancing is the avoidance of close contact with other people during an outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection. Social distancing does not mean you have to be quarantining yourself from family and friends, it is just a precautionary tool to use when going out to public places. Since COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to two weeks, you or any other person could be spreading it without knowing. For this reason, social distancing is the responsible thing to do right now.

President Donald Trump and his team of associates are recommending the following: “All Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel, and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts.” In addition to canceling school, the governors of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey (the tri-state) have come together to ban gatherings of crowds over 50 people, including dining out and going to gyms or movie theaters. This is in response to the tri-state area surpassing 1000 cases of COVID-19. 

The positive side of all of this is you can use this social distancing recommendation as an excuse to stay at home and have time to yourself. Many people have a hard time saying no to things that they do not want to do but feel pressured or obliged to do so for their friends and family. Instead of saying no, during this time, you can simply say something like, “sorry, I am practicing social distancing” or “sorry, I can’t go out – I don’t want to bring the virus home to my loved ones.” These sentences can get you out of anything you don’t want to do for the time being. 

You can also take this time to reevaluate your mental and physical health. Having good mental health is very important during this because it helps you keep calm during this awful time of panic. Avoiding misinformation also helps to stay calm. Additionally, staying on top of your physical health is important. It keeps you aware of how you are feeling and whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) or any sickness in general.

All in all, take this time to catch up on any books or shows you haven’t been able to get to, think about what changes you need to make in your life in order to better yourself and your future, make sure your loved ones are informed about the severity of the virus, and most importantly, stay updated on any changes in your community that are happening because of COVID-19.