One of the best questions that people are asking concerning Social-Distancing is: How far is far enough? The answer is that it depends on your personal situation and the circumstances of the interaction. In this article, I will first address the three (3) types of Social-Distancing and then I’ll address the options that exist for remaining productive and proactive.
It’s important to understand that when a person or company notifies you that it is distancing for Self-Isolation, that does not mean that they have infected parties. It is a precautionary practice based on several factors that could potentially contribute to the greater problem. It’s a responsible act.
Self-Isolation is completely voluntary and the measure is subject to change with or without notice based on circumstances.
Quarantine, on the other hand, is a compulsory act that signifies that one or more parties are infected or seriously exhibiting symptoms, which require supervision and treatment. You should not make efforts to visit those in quarantine without medical supervision and advice.
This can also be frustrating because friends and loved ones may not be accessible at all. Understandably, we will be worried about them. It is critical that we allow the distance necessary for treatment and that we do not interfere or create situations that put others at risk. Communicate with health care professionals, understand the limitations imposed, and most importantly, follow the rules.
Finally, there are a large number of people that are not affected directly by the virus: either based on a natural immunity or on the circumstances they are in. For those of us in that position, we must remain calm and understanding of others. The distancing is temporary, and regardless of how time-sensitive or important we thought things were before the closures, the timelines are reset now. This issue comes first.
What to do?
The recommended distance to maintain is 3-6 feet from each other; however, when possible we should try to maintain distances of 10 or more feet. Spoiler alert, some of us use elevators – not every situation will allow the recommended distance. Use common sense and practice good hygiene. A good suggestion is to wear gloves (medical or other) and wash them daily. I personally recommend washing your hands every few hours and/or using a sanitizing liquid periodically.
Courts, visitations, etc. are to a large extent on hold. Anything that was in process before still is, but won’t be dealt with officially in most cases until the danger has passed. This doesn’t mean you can use this “lull” to avoid your duties or responsibilities. You still have to pay bills, work (if your employer has remote options for you), and maintain your obligations. You DO have a greater responsibility to ensure that your actions don’t make things worse for other people.
If you normally have visits with your kids – you may have to delay them at times. There is no circumstance in which endangering the child will be appreciated by the courts or any of the parties. Now is the time to exercise improved communication and respect for each other. It will take a lot of honesty and teamwork to navigate these times.
On the upside, we are in a technological time and there are countless options for communicating, entertaining each other and improving our habits. Many home service providers are waiving overage fees and usage rates during this time. (Do be careful with wireless cellular overages as they are often not covered and using those instead of wifi could become very expensive quickly.) Instead, make use of the countless free options such as conference calling, video streaming, watching movies, playing games, and doing work online.
Be smart, and stay safe!