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Social Distancing and the Coronavirus COVID-19

Updated on March 20, 2020

It's all changed very rapidly, just as Dean Koontz's thriller, Edge of Darkness, mentioned in his 1981 book. In it, he wrote about how a deadly virus that originated in Wuhan, China, would become a pandemic in record time across the globe.

Now, it really did happen!

While some regions have been lesser impacted by the virus, others, like Italy, USA, Europe, are reaching epidemic highs for infections. Many places are in lock down and its inhabitants are isolated from others or staying at home. In the USA, several states ordered all restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches, schools be closed. Everyone is being told to not go out unless you need to. Not to travel unless you need to. Many countries are closing their borders to non-citizens as spikes in the virus peak higher and higher. Those flying to other countries will face a two week quarantine. Many already infected are being told to self quarantine and wear a N95 mask if going out in public areas where people are.

It's all very grim.

Social Distancing

The virus does spread easily between infected people and others via airborne if within 3-6 feet (1- 2m). It does continue to leave on surfaces for up to 9 days unless wiped with 70% alcohol. It can even remain contagious on your beloved cell phone surface, toilet paper and on the bottle of hand sanitizer. Many businesses remain open but require employees to wipe down computers etc. every two hours to reduce risk.

Like most things, there are many situations where the social distancing is not going to work, like, interacting with employees at a store when buying items, interacting with them in some manner for long periods. The scary thing for all concerned that a person with the virus may not know it and seems fine. They then interact in public in the usual way, forgetting about distances, and infects another person (who has no symptoms for 5 days) who then does the same thing again and again and again. This is how the virus spreads. The only way to stop this is to know, via testing, whether you have it or not. The problem has been a total lack of testing everyone.

Social distancing helps but 70 million Americans are being told not to socialize, but do things alone or small groups as long as you keep personal distance ! Really? Closing beaches and parks, places where you can be alone or easily keep 3-6 feet away from others is too draconian. People simply will take their chances especially if the place is empty. Places like Florida will suffer dramatic economic collapse just like the stock market has. Ordering millions to stay at home for weeks or worse, simply will not work unless police are going to enforce via citations, like they do in Italy.

For instance, in Florida, a city announced that all beaches are closed to the public, yet, they are still having lifequards present. Why? Because they know people will continue to go the beach to swim etc. It is a city liability issue. Stopping beach access is impossible in many cases and why should they be closed? Just be responsible and keep your social distancing from others. Park closures face the same issues.

Everyone needs to be responsible about when or when not to use social distancing, depending on the situation, their health, etc. The best way is to just pretend you are infected. So, when you go out for food, gas, shopping, wear a mask or at least, maintain social distancing. The problem is you never know who might actually be infected and they don't know, either. Just presume whoever you encounter, are infected and keep your distance, wear gloves.


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