Posted: March 23, 2020 Contributor: Maddie Quinn

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Although social distancing might sound like your crush’s latest excuse to ghost you, it’s actually an important measure to stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19. The term has been trending on Twitter, with even President Trump endorsing it. In a broad sense, social distancing is a term applied to certain actions that are taken by Public Health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease.

Social distancing, defined

So what exactly is social distancing anyway? Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading airborne diseases, in this case, COVID-19. The CDC recommends staying at least six feet away from other people—that means no sit-down restaurants, no bars, no sporting events, no large lecture halls, no classrooms, and no large meetings. 

An image has been circulating around the internet and social media of a row of burnt matches with a middle match that is positioned away from the others, thereby preventing the rest of the matches from burning. This is the perfect illustration of social distancing because it demonstrates how a single person can help prevent the rapid spread of disease. Now think of this matches scenario on a much larger scale—if the majority of the population practices social distancing, we can significantly slow the spread of COVID-19.

Millions of Americans are being urged to stay home 

Earlier this month, the CDC recommended that any gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or rescheduled to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. Since then, that number has been reduced even further—groups should be no larger than 10 people (and that’s pushing it). The CDC and other officials continue to urge the public to stay home as much as possible. Many public schools and universities have moved their studies online in an effort to contain the virus. In addition, thousands of restaurants, fitness studios, and other non-essential stores have closed their doors to slow the pandemic. 

How social distancing helps “flatten the curve”

The fear is that if we don’t practice social distancing and continue life as usual, the disease will spread at a much faster rate. The whole idea is to “flatten the curve” in order to prevent the overload of our public health system. Left unchecked, the virus will spread at an exponential rate and exhaust all of our resources immediately, which could lead to overcrowded hospitals and deadly consequences. 

illustration of how to flatten the curve through social distancing

What does social distancing look like IRL? 

Social distancing do’s 

Do work from home if you can.
Do wash your hands like it’s going out of style.
Do go out for a walk or a run. Just respect others’ personal space and stay six feet away.
Do leave the house for groceries and other essential items. Try to limit grocery shopping to once a week.
Do schedule a virtual happy hour with friends. Lots of people are using Zoom to connect.
Do work out at home—there are a bunch of great fitness apps out there!
Do call or facetime your parents and friends.
Do order delivery and support your local restaurants.
– Do buy gift cards to save for later in order to support local businesses. 

Social distancing don’ts 

Don’t go hang out at your friend’s house.
Don’t have a picnic in the park with your group of friends.
Don’t travel, especially on an airplane.
Don’t assume that just because someone doesn’t have any symptoms, they’re not contagious.
Don’t go to the gym, dine-in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and any other non-essential public locations. 

Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19

Disappointingly, people all over the United States have been out in large numbers at restaurants, bars, and other events, despite the CDC’s clear recommendations. We want to make one thing clear—continuing to go out and disregard CDC guidelines doesn’t make you “brave”; it just makes you extremely inconsiderate. Even if you’re healthy and not worried about getting the virus, you could be seriously endangering the health of your loved ones, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems. Even those who become mildly ill (or who may never even know they are infected) can propel the exponential growth of the virus through the population.  

PRJKT RUBY remains a reliable resource for birth control

At PRJKT RUBY, we want to reassure you that we’re not going anywhere. During these uncertain times, we want to be a resource for you. With increasing restrictions and limited access to prescribers, PRJKT RUBY remains a reliable source to get three months’ worth of birth control delivered directly to your door—no human contact required. Ultimately, our mission at PRJKT RUBY is to make it easier for women to gain access to birth control, and we will continue to fulfill that goal as more people depend on telemedicine for remote care. 

How you can help

Remember, every time you order, we donate to help women in the U.S. and in developing countries gain access to birth control. This is especially important during a crisis like this when certain groups are disproportionately affected. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (844) 887-7829 or reach out via email at service@prjktruby.com. We urge everyone to continue to follow State, Federal, and CDC guidelines in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve the health of our neighbors and loved ones. Stay healthy. 

References & Resources: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/smarter-living/coronavirus-social-distancing.html 

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2020/coronavirus-what-social-distancing-means.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/17/817251610/its-time-to-get-serious-about-social-distancing-here-s-how

 

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