Now that the new coronavirus and COVID-19

Now that the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness it causes, are spreading among communities in the United States and other countries, phrases such as “physical distancing,” “self-quarantine” and “flattening the curve” are showing up in the media.
 
What do they mean, and how might they apply to you, your family and your community?
 
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H. , senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, helps clarify these concepts so you can understand better why they’re being recommended.
 
What is social distancing?
The practice of social distancing means staying home and away from others as much as possible to help prevent spread of COVID-19. The practice of social distancing encourages the use of things such as online video and phone communication instead of in-person contact.
 
As communities reopen and people are more often in public, the term “physical distancing” (instead of social distancing) is being used to reinforce the need to stay at least 6 feet from others, as well as wearing face masks. Historically, social distancing was also used interchangeably to indicate physical distancing which is defined below. However, social distancing is a strategy distinct from the physical distancing behavior.
 
COVID-19: When should physical distancing be practiced?
 
Infectious disease expert Lisa Maragakis explains how physical distancing can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and offers tips to practice it correctly.
What is physical distancing?
Physical distancing is the practice of staying at least 6 feet away from others to avoid catching a disease such as COVID-19.
 
As noted above, “social distancing” is a term that was used earlier in the pandemic as many people stayed home to help prevent spread of the virus. Now as communities are reopening and people are in public more often, physical distancing is used to stress the importance of maintaining physical space when in public areas.
 
How can I practice physical distancing?
Wear a face mask or covering when you are not in your home and whenever you are around people who are not members of your household. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Avoid crowded places, particularly indoors, and events that are likely to draw crowds.
 
Other examples of social and physical distancing to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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