Published March 12, 2021, 12:00 am

Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Social Distancing and its Importance during COVID-19 Pandemic

The term "social distancing" appears to flood social media feeds and the news as coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) still spread worldwide in 2021 like wildfires. 

Social distancing prevents disease spread 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain viruses, like the virus that causes COVID-19, spread easily. A virus cannot spread when someone is ill, and there are no individuals around. 
"In order to limit the spread of coronavirus, we are doing our best to keep away from people”, says Sarah Ruff, MD, UNC family medicine doctor. It's really important because if everyone gets coronavirus at once and gets into a hospital at the same time, we will be overwhelmed by our healthcare system. "It's really important because if everyone gets coronavirus at once and gets into a hospital simultaneously, then we would be overwhelmed by our healthcare system. We must 'flatten the curve.'" The curve must be flattened. 

How social distancing can be practiced 

Large social meetings such as concerts, and sports events at schools, bars, and restaurants can be cancelled by social distancing tactics, and individuals work from home rather than from an office. It also implies, however, restricting any communication with anyone other than your own family members and those with whom you live. 
You increase your interaction with different people around the globe and the opportunity to transmit the virus exponentially whenever you go out and walk around, says Dr. Ruff. "Social distance means to stay at home with family members and not have another family at home," says Dr. Ruff. "Not even a date to play or let your children play basketball or any other game with the kids in the neighborhood or the park. Due to all of these contacts increase the chance that this virus will be transmitted and spread exponentially." 

Stay 6 feet away from others. 

Inside your home: Discourage intimate ties with sick human beings. 
➢ If possible, keep 6 feet between the individual who is sick and other members of the household. 

Outside your home: Put yourself and individuals that do not live in your household six feet away. 
➢ Remember that some individuals might be able to spread the virus without symptoms. 
➢ Staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals (about two arm lengths).
 ➢ For individuals who are at greater risk of becoming very ill, maintaining distance from others is particularly important. 

Avoid crowds 
➢ The danger of COVID-19 is greater when you are in crowds like restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters. 

Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
➢ Avoid indoor areas which do not provide as much fresh air as possible from the outside. Indoors, by opening windows and doors, bring in fresh air if possible. 

Cover coughs and sneezes 
➢ Cover your body with a tissue when you cough, sneeze, use your nose and mouth, and don’t spit. 
➢ Throw the used tissues in the trash. 
➢ Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol when soap and water are not readily available. 

Wear a mask 
➢ Masks should be worn in public by all those who are two and older. 
➢ In addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, masks should be worn, especially around individuals who are not living with you. 
➢ When someone in your home is infected, you should take precautions, including using masks, to prevent them from spreading to others. 
➢ Wash your hands before putting your mask on or using your hand sanitizer. ➢ Wear your mask over your mouth and nose and secure it. 
➢ Slide the loops over your ears, fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, or tie the strings behind your head. 
➢ If you have to adjust your mask continuously, it does not fit properly, and you may have to find another type or brand of the mask. 
➢ Make sure you can breathe easily. 

What to do if you have to leave home 
It is recommended that certain individuals do not have this option while working from home. Furthermore, you might need to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy, too. In these situations, exercise careful hygiene of hands and remain at least 6 ft. from others. 

When you touch anything that other people touch, wash your hands immediately with soap and water, particularly before touching your face." In addition, many stores like Target, Whole Foods, and Dollar General have announced that their elderly, the most Vulnerable or susceptible group, will first shop before other customers in the morning to lessen their COVID-19 virus exposure. 

Social Distancing Practice even though you're not at danger 
While individuals over the age of 60 years and those individuals with chronic or acute health conditions appear to be at the greatest risk, compliance with the CDC and the strict precautionary measures of social distancing of the local government is the best thing everyone can do, says Dr. Ruff. 

"Even if you feel as if you are young and healthful and believe you probably won't get sick, we're all in our circles with elderly neighbors, grandparents, and parents, "Because they could get really sick if you give it to them. So even if you're not worried about yourself, there's someone you want to protect in your life." They could fall more ill than the average young person.


  1. Social Distancing. (2020, November 17). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,both%20indoor%20and%20outdoor%20spaces.
  2. How COVID-19 Spreads. (2020, October 28). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19. (2021, February 16). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. How to Protect Yourself & Others. (2021, March 8). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. When to Quarantine. (2021, February 11). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.