What You Should Know About Social Distancing

March 18, 2020
Coronavirus   News

DETROIT – As more information is made available during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we learn new terms associated with COVID-19. “Social distancing” has quickly come to the foreground of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“Social distancing is an effort to reduce contact between people to slow down the spread of the virus,” says Sean M Drake, M.D., an internal medicine physician with Henry Ford Health System. “It is consciously and deliberately increasing the physical space between yourself and other people, staying at least six feet away from others to help reduce your chances of catching COVID-19.” Here are some basic recommendations that Dr. Drake agrees we should all keep in mind.

Activities To Avoid
The following are a few sample activities where COVID-19 transmission may easily occur:

  • Group gatherings
  • Playdates or sleepovers
  • Concerts, theater or sporting events
  • Crowded stores, bars, restaurants, gyms
  • Church services

Activities That Require Caution
These activities usually should only be done when necessary and precautions taken like keeping space between you and others (6 feet away is the recommended minimum), avoiding those who are coughing or exhibiting signs of illness, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant wipes, and practicing good handwashing and/or hand sanitizing.

  • Visit grocery store or pharmacy
  • Get take-out food
  • Travel (follow CDC restrictions/warnings)
  • Non-essential appointments
  • Mass transit

If you fall under the high-risk category (older adults or people with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems) or if you are sick or experiencing a fever, cold or flu-like symptoms, you should avoid these activities. Try to find assistance from a family member, friend or neighbor.

Activities That Are Safe
While it feels like there are a lot of “don’ts” right now, it’s important for your mental health and well-being to remember that there are lots of activities that you can still safely do.

  • Take a walk, run, hike or bike ride
  • Practice yoga and meditation
  • Yard work or play outdoors with kids/pets
  • Read a good book or watch movies
  • Have a family game night
  • Video chat with friends
  • Call to check on friends, loved ones and neighbors, especially the elderly

General guidelines will continue to evolve as the situation changes. You should check web sites like the Centers for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services for the latest information and recommendations. Staying informed and following the latest recommendations is key to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep ourselves and our community as healthy and safe as possible.

For up-to-date information about Henry Ford Health System’s response to the coronavirus, visit henryford.com/coronavirus.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sal Giacona / 313-421-9108 / sgiacon1@hfhs.org