As many of us make our way through grocery stores, restaurants, and dentist offices, we are being asked to socially distance ourselves from one another. The recommendation to socially distance has come from major health organizations (such as the CDC) and is intended to help slow the spread of the coronavirus from one person to another.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a physical separation of people who are not normally within close contact of one another. This involves keeping at least six feet away from others whenever possible. The CDC advises that this distance can be determined by estimating approximately two arm-lengths away from others.
Social distancing is recommended as a preventative measure to protect yourself and others from the spread of the COVID virus. Because infection occurs as a result of droplet transfer (via cough, sneeze or speaking) from one person to another, it is recommended that a safe distance be maintained to prevent transmission. Social distancing should also be combined with a face covering and regular hand washing to be the most effective.
How effective is social distancing?
Social distancing can help to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. According to Statista, a single person has the potential to infect hundreds of people each month if they maintain normal contact levels. The following table illustrates the effectiveness of social distancing, as reported by Statista.
The Potential of One Person to Transmit COVID-19 (Jairo, there may be a better way to illustrate this with visual icons)
|In 5 Days||In 30 Days|
|Normal social behavior||2.5 people||406 people|
|Social interaction reduced by 50%||1.25 people||15 people|
|Social interaction reduced by 75%||.625 people||2.5 people|
Tips for social distancing
While the benefits of social distancing remain fairly clear, its can sometimes be difficult to practice in all scenarios. In order to social distance most effectively, use these tips:
- Plan ahead: Consider the options for social distancing ahead of time. If you need to run errands or do shopping, you might plan to go at non-peak times to limit your chances of exposure. Consider transportation options and how you might socially distance if using public transportation or ride-sharing services.
- Avoid large gatherings: When possible, try to avoid large groups of people. This many involve modifying your shopping schedule or taking advantage of delivery options. Follow your local guidelines for gatherings or and wear PPE when interacting with others.
- Limit contact with others when possible: Choose curb-side, drive-through or other no-contact pickup options for shopping and errands.
- Research office policy before you go for an appointment: Most doctors and dentists have firm policies in place for supporting social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID. Know the office policy before you go to limit your exposure to others. At Eraso Orthodontics, we only allow four people in our waiting room at a time and encourage non-patients (parents or caretakers) to wait in the car during appointments.
- Wear PPE and wash hands frequently: Social distancing works best when combined with other preventative measures. Take the extra effort to wear face coverings and wash hands frequently to be most effective.
At Eraso Orthodontics, we are taking extra measures to ensure we are socially distancing patients and that they are seen six feet or further apart. Additionally, our staff is frequently checking their own temperatures and that of each patient before they are allowed into the office. A questionnaire is conducted with each patient to determine if there is any concern for exposure. PPE is also worn by staff and extra sanitation is performed between each patient. We are doing all that we can to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and families.