The effects of social distancing

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Alyssa Hart, Opinions Editor

According to the CDC, social distancing is “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, Americans have been advised to do just that. 

Social distancing has been implemented to limit person-to-person contact and the transfer of bodily fluids, which is the only way for the coronavirus to spread. Thus, social distancing is completely necessary. Adding onto this, the more people who oblige by the CDC’s policy, the more effective the method will be in slowing the spread of the virus. Those who continue to go out and socialize or expose themselves to large groups are at a greater risk than those who don’t. Especially because an infected person can be contagious for up to two weeks before showing any symptoms whatsoever. Social distancing principals have already been implicated all around the world in the form of school and campus closures, work from home policies, suspension of professional sport seasons, and the cancellation of large events.

The importance of social distancing does not undermine the challenges that come along with it. Although social distancing is less drastic of an action than quarantine or complete isolation, the effects are somewhat similar. It is important to ensure that you do not become too isolated during times like this, as a lack of social interaction can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Humans are social beings and tend to be heavily reliant on emotional support from others. 

So, in this quickly changing environment the fundamental priority for each and every person, should be the physical and emotional well being of themself, and other members of the community. With the newly implemented policy and regulation, the physical health of American citizens has been greatly accommodated. That leaves emotional wellness. During these next few weeks of social distancing, how can the emotional wellness of community members be regulated?

Firstly, it is essential to keep in touch with friends and family. With the use of technology people can connect in a safe manner without risking contamination. To reduce the negative effects of social distancing keeping in touch with loved ones is especially important during this time.

Another helpful practice is to remain calm and think rationally. Although it is important to take all of this seriously, it is necessary to understand how the media capitalizes on fear to gain publicity and edge. Try to find trustworthy sources rather than publicity-hungry creators. If this fails, at least analyze sources with a grain of salt, and understand how the media can swing stories for more clicks. All that can be done is trust in our community and government to handle the issue to the best of their ability, and hope for the best. 

Lastly, during this time, emotional wellness can be built by taking care of yourself. Take time to do things you enjoy for the benefit of your mental health, while also staying mentally engaged as we continue our education virtually. Don’t waste time worrying about what cannot be controlled, but rather use this time as an opportunity to become a better human being.