It’s so obvious that the topic on everyone’s lips these days is the coronavirus. It’s taken over every social media platform. Truth is, it’s a scary period we are in, and we can only hope things get better before long.
One of the possible ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19 virus, and being championed by various governments of the world, is “social distancing”.
It can be confusing to hear that young people are less at risk of COVID-19, but to still be stuck inside for days on end. To help you understand what exactly social distancing means and why every teen and young people need to be observing it, we’ve put together some cogent points worth knowing.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is the act of separating yourself in order to stop the spread of infection. This means staying home, cutting off physical contact with those not in your household, and remaining at least one metre away from people when it is absolutely necessary for you to go out.
In order to help facilitate social distancing, the government has declared lockdown in some states in Nigeria, and restricted movements in others. These actions are similar to what is being experienced in other countries around the world, especially countries with higher cases of COVID-19.
Is Social Distancing the same thing as a self-quarantine? How is it different?
Self-quarantining is a voluntary action one takes if they have had exposure to the virus or close-contact with someone who has tested positive. Self-quarantining is much more serious because you personally have to be careful to not spread the virus. Because of this, you really should not leave the house if you are self-quarantining for a specific reason.
Depend on others to bring you food and other necessary things you may need. Do not share dishes with others in your home and even stay in a different room and use a different bathroom, if available.
While social distancing may feel like self-quarantining in many ways, it is less strict. You can be with the people in your home as long as they aren’t self-quarantining, and you can leave the house when absolutely necessary, as long as you keep a safe distance from others in public.
Why is social distancing so important?
Social distancing has been identified to be one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 Virus. It seems to be our best chance to save ourselves and those of others. The virus is spreading extremely quickly. Within just one month when the first COVID-19 case was discovered in Nigeria, over 230 cases have been reported. In fact, the speed of infection is crazier in other countries.
Health workers are literally risking their lives right now to care for those who are sick and what you can do for them in return at this point is to stay home. Don’t give this virus more and more chances to use you to replicate and spread.
Do Teens And Young Adults Need To Practice Social Distancing?
While teens might be at a lower risk of getting critically ill or dying from the virus, they do contract it, and many times young people who get the virus are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any symptoms. If you ignore social distancing and go out and about your normal life, you could unknowingly be passing the virus to hundreds of people, people who could really be affected by the virus.
And while the chances are lower that the virus will greatly affect young people, it does happen. There have been reported few cases of young adults who died from COVID-19.
Can you hang out with your friends if they appear to be healthy?
Unfortunately, no – you really shouldn’t. Social distancing can work. We have proof from what other countries have done and mathematical models that support this.
Again, you could carry the virus without showing signs for it. Because of this feeling healthy really doesn’t mean anything right now.
Are you allowed to go outside at all?
Yes, and you totally should! Staying inside for weeks and weeks can take a toll on you mentally, so please go outside and get some fresh air when you can. Go for a run, even go to the grocery store if it’s absolutely necessary, just make sure you stay at least one metre away from others while you are outside.