Social Distancing is Important, Best Thing To Do is Stay Home! | Aakash Healthcare
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Social Distancing is Important, Best Thing To Do is Stay Home!

For the past few weeks many of us have started to stay indoors, self-isolating, ‘socially distancing’ ourselves in an attempt to stop the spreading and contracting the ‘SARS-CoV-2’(severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) previously known as Novel Corona Virus. Sadly, the number of cases is significantly increasing with each passing day. We currently There are numerous questions that are running through peoples’ minds like when will all of this be done, when will we get back with our regular daily activities like going to work, socialising etc.   

Let us have a look at what other countries are doing and how effective social distancing has been in slowing the spread of the ‘SARS-CoV-2’. As the virus is continually spreading among the people, different communities have been requested to reduce contact among people. This is social distancing. As we progress through this article, we will find out why it is important.  

Looking at what happened in countries such as China, specifically the Wuhan province, and Italy, it is commendable that they have been extremely strict about social distancing, but still there have been an increase in the number of new cases of the new coronavirus which is truly frightening and mind boggling.  

Epidemiologically speaking, there’s a good reason for this. 

It takes almost seven to fourteen days, before any symptoms start to show, it takes another few days for people to realise that the disease is not going away, and they take some time to reach the hospital, waiting for another few days for them to actually get tested and get the reports back. There is a delay between when people put in place successful interventions to reduce the spread of the ‘SARS-CoV-2’ and when experts see the actual number of reported cases peak or begin to drop. 

Quarantine yourself 

Self-isolation and quarantine, both mean the same thing that there is no contact with the public. However, quarantine is used for people, who were exposed to a person with the ‘SARS-CoV-2’ but has to get tested. These people are advised to stay away from others for days or longer, to ensure they do not spread the virus during pre-illness or incubation period. 

When the number of new cases does drop, will we be able to resume with our normal activities right away? 

If social distancing helps in alleviating the situation, which I think it will, we’ll be reducing a lot of needless infections and flattening the curve. But if we’re really effective and hopefully we will be, only a small number of the population will become infected over the next few months. It will be an extremely good thing if everyone does their bit in reducing the spread and the total number of cases.  

Also, keep in mind, if we lift the social distancing interventions too early, we’re not going to see positive outcomes. 

Let’s say on April 15, we have a Cricket Match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium with fifty thousand people attending. This will not be good. Of those fifty thousand people in the stadium, more than ninety five percent of people are still going to be susceptible to the virus. We won’t have achieved herd immunity; therefore, the virus will still be able to infect the population again. 

Once we are done with this round of social distancing in the next few weeks or months, we need to be very careful as we slowly lift our social distancing measures to make sure the virus doesn’t take hold and blow out of proportion again. 

Remember the spread of COVID-19 has been rapid. The central and state governments are doing whatever is necessary to protect all of us from getting sick. All public transports, malls, shops and borders are closed for now. While most people who become infected, will have indicators similar to a cold or the common flu, children seem less affected by the virus than older adults, we all are responsible for protecting those at higher risk and everyone should do their bit!  

Currently, steps like social distancing may feel like an inconvenience, but it's the best way right now to protect our family, friends, and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the ‘New Corona Virus’, 

If you are concerned that someone in your family may be at higher risk, you can contact our flu clinic, you can visit us at https://aakashhealthcare.com/  and book your appointment with an expert who will discuss what preventative measures may be appropriate for you. 

Please keep in mind that the first few weeks of ‘social distancing’ might be discouraging for everyone. I believe that given sometime we will see the number of cases drop, thanks to people who have been practicing social distancing at their end.  

Dr. Akshay Budhraja 
Consultant 
Respiratory & Sleep Medicine 

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