Social distancing during a pandemic

Senior+Meredith+King+completes+%22virtual%22+school+work+from+home.

Bridgett King

Senior Meredith King completes "virtual" school work from home.

Legacy Watkins, Staff Writer

The outbreak of Coronavirus calls for defensive actions against the disease.

No preventative vaccine currently exists for COVID-19, so the best way to avoid contraction of the illness is to prevent exposure completely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As COVID-19 primarily spreads through person-to-person in close contact and through respiratory droplets, public health officials recommend social distancing.

Epidemiologists describe “social distancing” as taking actions to slow the spread of infectious diseases. These actions include limiting large group gatherings, canceling events, and closing buildings such as Gov. Ralph Northam’s order for Virginia schools on Fri., March 13. 

With two weeks off school, people may be tempted to hang out with friends, but these gatherings could lead to exactly what school cancellations intended to prevent: a fast spread of the virus.

According to a recent poll on The Current’s Instagram, 56% of its followers have practiced “self-quarantining,” a form of social distancing, while 44% have not.

This does not mean everyone must stay in their homes 24/7.

The CDC emphasizes to take personal responsibility and practice personal protective measures, especially for those who are at risk. Their site recommends social distancing. Take walks but maintain a safe physical distance of at least six feet while outside.

On March 15, the CDC recommended that all gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, and weddings should be canceled for the next eight weeks.

Other recommendations include trading large gatherings and public spaces for intimate game nights or a family baking competition with household members. Today’s age of advanced electronics and communication makes it easy to stay in touch. Mobile apps like “Rave” allow for groups of people to watch internet content together and chat from a distance.  

“I believe that social distancing during the next two weeks will be very beneficial,” said senior Adriana Hidalgo. “Just keep a good distance from anyone that isn’t in your immediate family, and I think things will be okay.”