What is social distancing and why is it important? University of Georgia College of Public Health were on hand to answer these questions for confused Georgians as the state called for residents to practice social distancing statewide.
Dr. Marsha Davis, dean of the College, says properly distancing ourselves from others is imperative for “flattening the curve.”
“The curve we’re talking about refers to the number of new infections in the U.S. and how quickly we are seeing new cases. Without measures like social distancing, new infections increase rapidly and threaten to overwhelm our health care system,” said Davis.
“Avoiding public gatherings, staying home more often and keeping their distance from others will mean that people are less mobile and interact with each other less. When that happens, the virus has fewer opportunities to spread. It is the best way we can protect ourselves and do our part to contain this outbreak.”
Below, Dr. Curt Harris, director of UGA’s Institute for Disaster Management, answers some common questions Georgians have had about the do’s and don’ts of social distancing.
What is social distancing?
Dr. Harris: Social distancing is a preventive measure put into place to reduce contact between people and slow down the spread of the virus. It does not mean that you cannot go to the grocery store or gym, but you should limit the amount of time you are in those places and practice disinfection protocols while there. Wipe down your shopping cart or gym equipment. Wash your hands when you get home. Maintain 6 feet of space between you and others when possible. Do not shake hands with people you know. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze into your elbow.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on March 27