Since the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, now officially known as COVID-19, took over the world, the term “social distancing” has entered the lexicon and used in every press conference and news report regarding the crisis. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of social distancing is, “The practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical distance from other people or of avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection.”
Johns Hopkins University explains that “the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as “flattening the curve,” which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm healthcare systems.”
According to the American Red Cross, following the guidance of public health officials, social distancing involves the following:
- Staying at least six feet away from other people in public spaces.
- Listen and follow instructions from state and local authorities.
- Avoid all non-essential travel and stay home if possible.
- Avoid eating or drinking in restaurants and bars.
- Avoid visiting nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities.
- Stay connected virtually with loved ones.
To speak with a healthcare provider to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.