The novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has changed our daily lives across the globe. By now, you have probably heard of and practiced social distancing while out and about. There are many terms being used during this pandemic that can cause confusion about remaining safe while navigating through the day. Some of the most common words used are: isolation, quarantine, and physical distancing.
First, let’s clarify what these terms really mean to help understand the difference between them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these terms are defined as:
- Isolation refers to a situation where someone has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and separates themselves from others to reduce the chance of spreading the virus to those who do not have it. This could be a person who stays in one area of the house away from other family members for a period of time.
- Quarantine is the process of limiting your whereabouts, usually by staying home, when you have been exposed to the virus to help reduce the chance of spreading it to others. People may quarantine for a variety of reasons such as: attending a public outing, after traveling, or when someone you live with receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Physical distancing and social distancing can be used interchangeably and emphasize the importance of keeping a safe space between yourself and others who live outside of your household.
Though there are several ways to do this, here are the top five ways to safely practice social distancing:
1. Have a Plan:
Running to the store to pick up milk? Take time to think about all of the things you may need from the store before heading out. This may reduce the number of trips as well as reduce your risk of exposure by not spending additional time in the store browsing the aisles. Many stores require a facial covering or mask, so double check that you have one before leaving the house!
In Arizona, many of the cities have mandated ordinances requiring the use of face masks or coverings while in public places. Check before you go and be sure you are in compliance with the rules in your city. While many forms of masks haven’t been certified to stop COVID-19, wearing a mask may help reduce the spread by limiting exposure to airborne droplets by creating a physical barrier.
3. Limit Contact:
Many stores now have signs installed indicating safe distances when standing in lines or walking through aisles, be on the lookout for them. Stay at least 6 feet away from others outside of your immediate household when running errands. Have a craving for your favorite restaurant? See if they offer curbside or non-contact delivery options! Wash your hands regularly any time you are in public places for at least 20 seconds with warm water, or use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer when a sink is unavailable.
4. Keep Things Virtual When You Can:
Social distancing has created physical distances from friends and family members we don’t live with, which can be very difficult. Stay connected by phone, email, video chat, and social media to maintain social activities. If you do need to see someone in person for any reason, try to meet outdoors and be sure to keep a 6-foot distance while wearing your mask!
5. Stay Active at a Distance:
An easy way to get out of the house is to go for a walk, run, bike ride, or hiking! While the gyms may be closed, staying active is good for both our physical and mental health. Be sure to keep at least a 6-foot distance from others while exercising. When you exercise, you typically breathe harder and faster, which can create more chances at spreading the virus; If you are around others not in your household, meet at an outdoor location!
Practicing social distancing is an essential part of slowing the spread of the Coronavirus in our communities. Remember, even though we may be physically distanced from one another, it’s important to stay connected and take care of your mental health. Aurora offers a variety of at-home activities you can try today to help take care of your mental health during this time of adjustment.
Remember…There is hope at Aurora
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health or addiction symptoms that are concerning or worry you, Aurora is here to help. Our caring team of professionals takes a holistic and authentic approach while providing expert psychiatric care for teens and adults. For more information or to schedule a free confidential assessment, call our 24/7 Admissions Line at877.870.7012.
Click here to learn more about Aurora’s COVID-19 safety measures.