5 common questions about social distancing, answered
Well, we’ve made it through one week of aggressive social distancing. We could have many more to go, as Vox’s Brian Resnick has written.
With that in mind, I decided to concentrate on the reader questions that I seemed to be getting multiple versions of. These are the questions a lot of you have as we adjust to our new reality.
First up: What exactly are the dos and don’ts of social distancing?
Questions from Lisa D.:
And Deirdra M.
These two questions seemed of a piece: When we say social distancing, exactly how much distance are we supposed to be keeping?
First, we should remember that the novel coronavirus is very contagious (an infected person will infect 2 to 2.5 others on average, versus about 1.3 others with the flu), and there is evidence that people who have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all are helping spread the disease. That makes it more difficult to contain and is partly why we are taking such aggressive social isolation tactics: We cannot always be sure who has the virus, and we don’t want to risk it being passed along unwittingly to a more vulnerable person.
That’s why the first, second, and third rules of social distancing are obviously: Keep your distance!