Sunday, March 15, 2020

What is social distancing? Understanding the best tool to fight the coronavirus


by Thomas Perls, Boston University

BOSTON, Mass. (AP) — As the coronavirus spreads into more and more communities, public health officials are placing responsibility on individuals to help slow the pandemic. Social distancing is the way to do it. Geriatrician Thomas Perls explains how this crucial tool works.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of a disease that is being passed from person to person. Simply put, it means that people stay far enough away from each other so that the coronavirus – or any pathogen – cannot spread from one person to another.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes social distancing as staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a distance of 6 feet or 2 meters – about one body length – away from other people. In New York City, for example, theaters have closed temporarily, many conventions around the world are being canceled and schools are closing all across the U.S. I’ve stopped taking the train during rush hour. Now I either work from home or drive in with my wife, or I take the train during off-hours so I can maintain the 6-foot distance.  Read more >>