Social distancing is the public health practice of intentionally creating physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Social distancing prevents people from coming in close contact with one another, thus limiting infected individuals’ contact with the healthy population. Limiting human contact overall prevents the spread of a contagious illness, like influenza or COVID-19, since some disease carriers may never show symptoms. Only a portion of infected individuals become aware of their illness and can isolate or self-quarantine themselves. Without social distancing, carriers can spread an illness without realizing they are affecting others.
What does social distancing look like?Social distancing can take many forms, and all are effective to some degree. It is an important part of mitigating a pandemic and can be practiced by most people. Some common examples of social distancing include:
- Tele-working or working from home
- Closing schools or universities
- Canceling social gatherings or events that draw a crowd
- Hosting social visits virtually rather than in-person
The CDC currently recommends “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible,” while social distancing.
Why is social distancing important?
There is medical evidence that social distancing works to reduce the spread of illness. It’s a proactive solution and yields long term results. Social distancing is especially important in protecting the infection rate of high-risk populations, such as the elderly or others predisposed to an illness. When a pandemic erupts, healthcare systems and hospitals experience a surge in patients all requiring similar treatment with limited resources. While social distancing does not stop an illness, it “flattens the curve" and reduces the strain on resources within healthcare systems. Around the world, countries have been enforcing social distancing in an attempt to control COVID-19. Social distancing is especially important in historic times like these.
How to help patients practice social distancing
You have the power to help others practice proper social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. As a healthcare provider, you can keep your patients informed using secure patient outreach , but be sure to avoid email platforms like MailChimp . Instead, send HIPAA compliant email updates to your patients with Paubox Marketing , the best HIPAA compliant email marketing solution on the market. Using the tool, you can maintain HIPAA compliance while harnessing the power of personalized email marketing. You can send emails directly to patients' inboxes which include PHI, and you can segment your recipient lists. You are able to hyper-target your email messaging towards each individual patient based on specific information (demographic, gender, age, etc.) to pinpoint consumers at risk or those with specific conditions. T his way you can send specific information to patient populations which may be affected most. Social distancing is becoming a reality for us all in 2020 as more countries and cities worldwide are enforcing it. It is now more important than ever to protect your patients from coronavirus and alleviate the intense pressures on healthcare systems. How? Share the CDC’s recommended precautions and other expert advice to ease the minds of those isolated and affected by COVID-19.