As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic—meaning, the disease has spread worldwide. There are “now more than 118,000 cases in 114 different countries and 4,291 people have lost their lives.”
In the past few weeks, people have been taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Events with big crowds have been canceled or postponed, employees are advised to work from home, and even celebs like Vice Ganda, are starting to practice social distancing.
What exactly is social distancing?
According to the Centers for Distance and Prevention (CDC), social distancing means “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet or two meters) from others when possible.” Basically, you’re limiting your physical interactions with other people.
Why is social distancing important?
ICYDK, COVID-19 is spread the same way as most respiratory illnesses—through contact with droplets from the mouth and nose of someone who is sick. Also, even if you don’t interact with someone who’s affected by the disease, the fluids may land on surfaces and the virus may live for at least eight to nine hours. When you maintain a social distance with other people—whether by staying at home or by limiting interactions—you are preventing yourself and other people from passing on the disease. Remember: You may still be a carrier of the disease even if you feel completely normal and don’t exhibit any symptoms.
But keep in mind that social distancing isn’t limited to maintaining a literal gap between you and other people. It also includes practicing proper hygiene—such as handwashing—to get rid of any contagious droplets. After all, it’s what the Department of Health (DOH) states as the most effective way to protect yourself from the virus.
Currently, there are 49 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
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