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Schools and stores are closed. Events are cancelled. Companies are having employees work from home. These and other changes are in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 around the world.
A big part of stopping the spread is social distancing. It means what it sounds like — putting distance between you and others.
Social distancing means avoiding close contact with other people. The rules for social distancing for COVID-19 are to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. Social distancing is a very important way to slow down the number of people who get new coronavirus infections. Harvard Medical School says that slowing the virus “is critical to not overwhelming hospitals, which could lead to large numbers of critically ill patients not receiving life-saving care.” Unless we continue to follow social distancing recommendations, our hospitals and other health care facilities will not be able to handle the likely influx of patients and more people will die.
There are lots of fun and productive activities you can do even during social distancing:
The key to success with social distancing is to begin intensive social distancing immediately. As much as possible, limit contact with people outside your household. Doing your part will mean we can get the virus under control and get back to our lives faster.
Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to set up your home for COVID-19 safety:
Pick a quarantine zone. Decide which room or area you will use if someone is sick and you need to keep them away from the rest of the household. Equip it with what you will need to keep them comfortable as they get better, such as tissues, a thermometer, bottled water, cough and fever meds, plenty of blankets, and bathroom items.
Stock the pantry. Make sure you have enough food to last for at least two weeks. Think about stocking things that won’t perish like canned meat and vegetables; pasta and rice; frozen fruit and vegetables; flour, sugar, oil and other cooking supplies; coffee, tea, frozen juice concentrate and shelf-stable milk.
Get your prescriptions filled. Most health plans are letting members get early refills on drugs. Make sure you have enough for 30 days or more. Also stock up on pain, cough and cold drugs and anti-diarrhea meds.
Think about supplies. Toilet paper is a must. But also think about tissues, pads and tampons, disposable diapers, garbage bags, shampoo and soap, laundry and dish detergent, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer.
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