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Guide for Senior Citizens

What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also known as physical distancing, is a public health measure designed to reduce the transmission of contagious diseases, including COVID-19. It involves maintaining a safe distance between yourself and others who are not part of your household to minimize the risk of exposure to respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. Social distancing helps prevent the spread of the virus, particularly in situations where close contact with others is unavoidable.

Key principles of social distancing include:

  1. Maintaining Distance: Keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet (about 2 meters) from others whenever possible, particularly in indoor settings or crowded outdoor spaces. This distance helps reduce the risk of respiratory droplets from infected individuals reaching you.
  2. Avoiding Crowded Places: Minimize time spent in crowded places or settings where close contact with others is likely, such as public transportation, shopping centers, restaurants, or large gatherings. When possible, choose less crowded times or locations for essential activities.
  3. Limiting Close Contact: Limit close contact with people who are not part of your household, particularly individuals who may be sick or have been exposed to COVID-19 or other contagious diseases. Avoid activities that involve close contact or sharing items with others, such as handshakes, hugs, or sharing utensils or cups.
  4. Wearing Masks: Wear a high quality mask or face covering when in public settings or situations where social distancing may be difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or public transportation. Masks help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from infected individuals, particularly when physical distancing is not feasible.

Social distancing is an effective strategy for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases, particularly when combined with other preventive measures such as wearing masks, practicing good hygiene, and getting vaccinated.

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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