Words like “quarantine” and “social distancing” are terms regularly seen and heard on movies and TV. But what happens when they become a personal reality? These words should be understood to lessen the effects of the seriousness of the current situation in which many people are facing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Quarantine- a short period of time where one is contained in their home. These are people who don’t necessarily have a disease, but are merely staying in one place if they have been tested or suspect that they may have come into contact with a spreadable disease.
On the other hand:
Social distancing- Staying away from large groups of people and remaining six feet apart when necessary. An example of this would be switching to online classes or holding small groups instead of large church services.
Self-quarantining is what some people are doing now. This is not isolation where one knows they have a contagious disease and is kept away from everyone that is healthy. This is simply staying at home and monitoring for any symptoms and being more diligent about hand washing and health precautions. This step comes after social distancing but before isolation. The CDC recommends that self-quarantine should last at least 14 days from when one thinks they might have been infected.
Social distancing is what many communities have implemented to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System, says canceling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social distancing. This is witnessed in the canceling of concerts, school, sports events, trips, etc.. Many stores have adjusted their hours to decrease their open hours. Many fast food places have gone to drive-thru only to adhere to the social distancing standards. Another way to practice social distancing is to take advantage of online grocery pickup or delivery to reduce the amount of time in the store.
Social distancing and self-quarantine are concepts that leaders around the world are asking citizens to practice to slow the spread of COVID-19. Though this is a day-to-day situation, on March 30, President Donal Trump extended the social distancing guidelines through the end of April.