Social Distancing: This is What it Means Plus FREE Printable

This week, in response to the rapid spread of this new global virus, we are being directed to practice “social distancing” immediately, as the only way to slow and reverse the rapid spread of the pandemic. But what is social distancing? What does it mean?

confused young woman

Social distancing means reducing close contact between people. The way to accomplish social distancing starts with limiting large groups of people coming together by closing events, buildings, services, stores—any place that people routinely gather.

And that begs a lot of questions! Can we go to the store? Pick up fast food at a drive-thru? Travel?


FREE Printable: Social Distancing Guidelines


I’ve been wondering the same things and have spent hours researching, listening, and asking my own questions of professionals and experts to come up with the following general Social Distancing Guideline for healthy people who have not been exposed and are not showing signs or symptoms (high fever, body aches, shortness of breath, and cough).

DON’T

These are the situations you and your family should cancel, postpone, stay away from, and otherwise avoid until further notice.

  • Crowded stores
  • Group gatherings
  • Visitors in your home
  • Non-essential workers in your home
  • Mass transit systems
  • Workouts in gyms
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Theaters
  • Playdates
  • Sleepovers

.

USE CAUTION

Caution includes keeping space of a least six feet (6 ft.)  between you and non-family in these situations. Carry sanitizing wipes and use them—to clean your credit card if handed to a machine or another person; to clean your hands after touching any surfaces in these places. Wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible.

  • Traveling
  • Restaurant visits
  • Grocery stores
  • Getting take-out
  • Pick up medications
  • Play in the park
  • Visit the library
  • Church services

.

SAFE TO DO

While you are most likely safe to participate in the following, make sure you continue to practice good hygiene as outlined above.

  • Take a walk
  • Check on an elderly neighbor
  • Go for a hike
  • Yardwork
  • Play in the yard
  • Organize storage areas
  • Read a good book
  • Cook a meal
  • Family fun time
  • Facetime with grandkids
  • Go for a drive
  • Stream your favorite shows
  • Listen to music
  • Take an online class

 


FREE Printable: Social Distancing Guidelines


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28 replies
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  1. Debra B. says:

    Thank you soooooo much Mary … especially reaching out to the elderly woman not able to get out.
    THIS is what it’s ALL about!

    Reply
  2. Linda Radosevich says:

    Brianna, I’m sorry but I had to laugh after reading your post. I read it wrong! I took ‘drinking alcohol’ to mean imbibing! Which may be necessary if I don’t get out of the house! 😉

    Reply
  3. Sarah Okey says:

    I think there is a very important point that doesn’t seem to be addressed well anywhere to speak of…. and that is of building the immune system with certain habits, diet, sufficient sleep and supplements to lessen a persons vulnerability to the virus or any other disease. I’ve learned that stress (fear) keeps the white blood cells from operating properly and also suppresses the immune system and keeps it from doing it’s work properly as well…..so, by stressing out over all this we are making our selves vulnerable and open to any disease that is around. No need to stress and worry….just use common sense and do what needs to be done….as you have suggested so well in your article.

    Reply
  4. Janis says:

    I had a friend in my home yesterday – she reached out to touch me a couple times. I backed away but did not say anything. How do I kindly tell people please dont come to visit and please no hugs, etc.

    Reply
    • Kay Jones says:

      I think you just have to answer the door and tell them you aren’t having anyone in the house. Sit on the porch, 6 feet apart if you visit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying you aren’t having company until this is over.

      Reply
  5. Dottie B says:

    how long does the virus live on untreated surfaces ? If there’s no disinfectants and an infected person eats at a table, etc.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      According to the World Health Organization (WHO): It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

      Reply
      • Tami Smith says:

        I work in a dental office and the information we have been provided with states that the virus can survive for 9 days on a dry surface. To contrast this, the cold virus can live for 3 days on a surface.

  6. Dorothea says:

    Another activity option—virtual tours! I saw an article that suggests taking online tours of museums. The following museums have online tours:

    • British Museum, London

    • Guggenheim Museum, New York

    • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

    • Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

    • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea

    • Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany

    • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

    • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

    • The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

    • Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

    • MASP, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    • National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

    Reply
    • Brianna says:

      Mary,

      Thank you for writing about this and clarifying it for your readers. Not enough people are taking this issue seriously in the US.

      I just hope your readers are very careful when checking on their elderly neighbors. The dangers of Covid-19 increase exponentially with every decade of patient age starting at 50. Lots of people will be carriers of this virus with few or no symptoms.
      Checking on a neighbor without being very careful could sadly wind up delivering death via kindness. Please encourage your readers to be extremely careful when visiting the elderly.

      That said, I appreciate not only your message, but your mission with this blog overall. Kudos and applause. Keep up the good work!

      Reply
    • Brianna says:

      As long as whatever you use is 70% alcohol, it doesn’t matter much. So drinking alcohol could work if that’s all you can find. Just google 70% ethanol or buy some everclear and mix in a tiny bit of water. Strangely enough, you need a tiny bit of water. 90%+ alcohol doesn’t have enough water to kill germs according to a scientist friend of mine.

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      If you’re speaking of yourself, Lida, please let me know by email mary @everydaycheapskate.com (close that space when you type that into your email device) if you are in dire need. We may be able to find help for you.

      Reply
  7. Rebecca says:

    Any suggestions for hospitals? My son is having surgery this Friday and will have a stay of 3 days. I’ll be there to help. And motel rooms since I’ll be traveling there?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes. Arm yourself with SNiPER Hospital Infectant. I pour it into a small spray bottle and take it with me everywhere. I suggest you do the same and then spray and wipe down every surface in that motel. SNiPER is EPA certified and the strongest disinfectant available, and that’s why it is a staple in good hospitals. Spray or wipe down, then allow it to air dry for highest effectiveness. No fumes, no color, no fragrance, no odor. Looks like water. The science is that SNiPER is an oxidizers. It attacks germs, virus, bacteria, odor and chemically alters them—the process known as oxidation. Find links and more information for how to get SNiPER HERE.

      Reply
    • Kay Jones says:

      Please call the hospital before you go. Many hospitals are not doing any elective surgeries due to social distancing and having problems getting sterile suipplies.

      Reply
      • Kay jones says:

        My hospital just cancelled all elective surgeries. In addition to the health risk there are problems getting gowns, masks and other supplies. They need to be conserved for urgent and emergency patients.

  8. Karen says:

    This is also a great time to finish those projects that have been on hold forever and to pursue a hobby like drawing/painting, knitting, woodworking, etc.

    Reply
    • Yehudit R says:

      I’m in Israel, where the country has basically shut down–all schools (including universities), community centers, museums, social halls, and stores (except for grocery and drug stores) are closed for the next month or more. No gatherings of more than 10 people. Most schools are continuing with online classes–try making that work with three kids, dad working from home, and one computer.

      One of the things being stressed is the difference between physical distancing and social distancing. Physical distancing is good; social distancing is bad.
      For example:
      DON’T go visit your neighbors in their homes. DO stand on the sidewalk at least 6 feet apart and talk.
      DON’T call grandma on the telephone. DO WhatsApp, Facetime, or Skype grandma so she can see your smiling (or grumpy) face.
      DON’T totally cut yourself off from other people. DO find ways to stay in touch.
      Find ways to contribute to your own psychological well-being and that of others. If you have to go to the store, call a neighbor and ask if you can them anything while you are there. Deliver items by putting them in front of their door and then stepping back so you’re not to close to them. They can pay you by putting the money at door for you to pick up.
      Read to a child over the phone or by Skype, etc.

      One other suggestion to keep yourself healthy: Breathe fresh air.
      Get outside for even a short walk everyday.
      Keep windows open as much as possible (in synagogue yesterday, both doors were kept open and so were half the windows. Weather was chilly and rainy–we all prayed with our coats on)

      May we all stay healthy.

      Reply
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