As of Monday, March 16, Georgia has confirmed 121 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) according to the state department of public health. Drastic measures have taken place to slow down the transmission of the virus. Businesses, schools, worship centers, and community events are canceling affairs or postponing them. Public officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend citizens to practice “social distancing.”
According to the Oxford dictionary, social distancing is a degree of remoteness between a member of one social group and the members of another. The CDC defines the term as at least six feet away from individuals, in gatherings of 10 people or less.
“Minimizing contact with people in social gatherings or nonessential work/travel, has a significant impact on the ability of the virus to spread in the population,” said Dr. Gerardo Chowell, Georgia State University chair of population health sciences.
The thought of being alone may be daunting for some people. Social distancing is not synonymous with self-isolation. Personal connections via telephone or social media are best. This time apart calls for individuals to be creative in the ways they communicate and connect. Certainly picking up the phone to call someone will have far greater reach than texting. Video chats and FaceTime calls make interpersonal communication even better.
Times such as now require the community to work together to promote and maintain public health. Social distancing can be a time of self-care. Although the internet has given flamboyant means to ‘self-care’– it is merely an activity that aids mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Some self-care activities include 7-8 hours of sleep at night, eating a nutritious meal, meditating, spending time with your loved ones, exercising, and lastly, any opportunity to laugh. Many doctors still believe laughter is the best medicine due to its various health benefits it promotes.
Nonetheless, the world as we know is changing in an unknown direction. Families should equip themselves for what is to come. As a community, we must not move by fear but remain steadfast in our faith. Social distancing is the ultimate way to disconnect from the world and reconnect with our higher power. Please take advantage of the policies and procedures put in place to aid our communities during this growing pandemic.