Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak.

What Is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering places such as movie theatres may close, and sports events and religious services may be cancelled.

What Is Quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease.

What Is Isolation?

Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.

Things to do:

  • Sanitise your hands regularly. We cannot stress this enough.
  • Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. Cough into your elbow (“vampire cough”) to limit spreading of germs. Viral droplets can travel up to six feet in a cough or sneeze. Wear a mask at all times. It is the easiest.
  • Wash surfaces and clothes regularly. The CDC says you can make a disinfectant solution from bleach using five tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of water — but do not mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Regular detergent will work for washing clothes.
  • Avoid touching surfaces in public. According to the Washington Post, experiments found coronavirus particles can linger in the air for up to 3 hours, but longer on surfaces — 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family via social media, text, phone or video chat. Social distancing doesn’t mean being antisocial. Stay connected with Facebook, Snapchat, FaceTime, Skype and other means. If you have elderly loved ones that are technologically limited, a simple phone call is wonderful, too.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Go to stores during off-peak hours. If you need to get groceries or other items, try and avoid going at the busiest times. Sanitise your hands before and after you got to the store. Change your clothes.
  • Keep a two-week supply of food and water. In a pandemic, the federal government advises keeping a two-week supply of food and water, plus prescription drugs and pet food. Canned food, frozen vegetables, pasta, crackers and frozen dinners are good items to have.