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Breaking The Habit

Social Distancing – How Effective Is It?

A lot of people are apprehensive about all the measures the government is implementing in managing this COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the biggest keyphrases has been “social distancing”.

Other terms floating around indeed have sounded scary. Quarantine, lockdown, etc. Pair it with the news circulating everywhere, and it’s a recipe for panic and paranoia.

Canceling events, calls to stay at home, even local government-imposted curfews – the reality is that all these measures work. Similar measures are being implemented worldwide. We don’t need to be scared of these words and actions, because they’re exactly what we need.

It’s about flattening the curve

Social distancing, cancelling everything, and staying in your homes has a huge benefit in managing this pandemic. It goes deeper than just avoiding contact with possible carriers. It’s a public health strategy called “flattening the curve.”

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All the measures being implemented are understandably troublesome. It can even be frustrating or downright disadvantageous for many. However, suspending classes, recommending work-from-home, cancelling events, and limiting land, air, and sea travel – all of these have a point.

Aside from limiting yourself to exposure, social distancing is a proven technique to slow down the spread of the virus. While we leave it to the world’s best scientists to come up with a vaccine, we also must do everything we can to slow down the spread of the virus.

Slowing down the spread, not stopping it completely

“Flattening the curve” means that you lessen the amount of people who get infected at one time. These techniques of implementing quarantines and curfews limit the contact of people with each other, which lessens the chance of more people getting infected.

 

 

(Image from Manila Bulletin)

The main goal of this is to manage the spikes in cases of infection. This means that cases will not go to the hospital all at the same time. This in turn avoids overloading a country’s public health infrastructure (i.e. hospitals and clinics).

Some argue that Italy did not manage to flatten the curve – which led to their hospitals being constantly in a state of over-capacity.

We already know how overcrowded our hospitals get. This makes flattening the curve even more crucial for countries like the Philippines. These measures our government is doing will buy our healthcare professionals added time to manage existing cases.

Help your healthcare providers – stay at home

It’s not about our individual needs and preferences at this point. All of these measures are for the greater good. That’s why it’s called public health. It takes community action to ensure that we keep more people healthy.

So please, follow what the government says. Help your healthcare providers do their job by doing everything you can to stop the virus’ spread.

Please wash your hands. Observe proper hygiene practices. Don’t go out of the house if you don’t need to. Don’t require your employees to go to the office if they can do their work from home. All of us need to work together in order to overcome this situation. God Bless the Philippines.

READ: The Duterte Effect – What Does It Really Mean?

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