By now you will have heard people referring to something called ‘social distancing’. We would like our SJP community to understand the importance of social distancing and to strongly encourage the implementation of this practice in each of our lives.
Why is this important?
- Coronavirus is a pandemic now. It can’t be eliminated. But we can reduce its impact.
- Experts project that we are only about 11 days behind Italy in terms of the spread of the virus, and generally on track to repeat what is happening there and throughout much of the rest of Europe very soon.
- Social distancing isn’t about keeping you from getting sick; it’s necessary to keep us all from getting sick simultaneously, which would overwhelm our hospitals.
- Remember, too, that while you may be healthy, there are those around you who are more susceptible (i.e. the elderly and immunocompromised). Do your part to protect others.
- Our health system will not be able to cope with the projected numbers of people who will need acute care if we do not practice extreme social distancing now.
So what should I do?
- Stay home as much as possible. Restrict your physical interaction to family members you already live with.
- Don’t invite friends over. Hang out virtually with FaceTime. Even if you only have one friend over, you are creating new links of transmission, which undermines the effect of school closures, remote working, and event cancellations.
- Going outside will be important to your mental and physical health. Go outside every day if you are able, but stay physically away from people outside your family. Experts recommend keeping at least six feet of distance between you and others.
- The virus survives for up to 9 days on surfaces such as metal, ceramics, and plastics. This means things like door handles, tables, and stair railings act as infection vectors. Staying home reduces your exposure to these.
- Wash your hands! Wash thoroughly with soap for 10-20 seconds—before eating, immediately after returning home, and many times in between.
The following graphic illustrates how social distancing can limit the spread of the virus.
For further reading on this subject, we recommend you visit the following links: