Social distancing flattens the curve, meaning that these protective practices slow the rate of infection making it so that hospitals have enough room, supplies, and healthcare workers for all the patients who need care. Right now, we don’t have any vaccine or antiviral medication to treat COVID-19 if people do get the disease. Social distancing: Social distancing involves avoiding large gatherings. In public health, social distancing, also called physical distancing, is a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions or measures intended to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other. Social distancing doesn t mean complete social isolation, though, as experts typically endorse still being able to meet in small groups, go outdoors in public parks or shop for groceries, for example. A big reason for social distancing is to “flatten the curve,” meaning the curve of the number of COVID-19 cases each day, to prevent the health care system from hitting its capacity. We've got a list of animals, people and things that can help you remember how to judge the right distance between yourself and others. The purpose of social distancing is to separate everyone enough so that the chain of infectivity is broken. Social distancing is not currently among public-health recommendations and requirements for most people in the United States, so it’s not like you’re breaking the law if you’re not doing it. LaPook said social distancing has worked in the past, including during the 1918 flu pandemic. It can include large-scale measures like canceling group events or closing public spaces, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds. That’s the concern underlying new changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definitions and guidance on social distancing during the pandemic, which will likely mean … "Cities that did a lot of social distancing did better than those that didn't," he said. Entertainment and nonessential activities should be avoided completely. What Is Social Distancing? If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet (2 meters) between you when possible. While sometimes it’s hard to take a deluge of warnings from officials and the media seriously, practicing social distancing during this COVID-19 outbreak can mean life-or-death for thousands of people. In a nutshell, social distancing is the baseline for what anyone … Social distancing means staying away from people who live outside your home. Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. "'Social distancing' was the wrong term to begin with," Zaki said in a Q&A with the university. The tricky thing is that social distancing works best when done preventatively, before things get really bad, says Uscher-Pines.