(COVID-19) spread throughout the world, the world fought back. We're still finding
out about COVID-19, but we know a lot. One thing we've learned is that social distancing
is an important way to help prevent the virus from spreading.
What Is Social Distancing?
Most of us call it "social distancing," but it can help to think of it as "physical
distancing" instead. Social distancing puts space between people. By keeping their
distance from others, people infected with the virus
are less likely to spread it.
The virus mainly spreads when someone breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes, which
sends tiny droplets into the air. People standing nearby can get these droplets in
their eyes, nose, or mouth, or they can breathe them in.
When there's at least 6 feet between people, these droplets are more likely to
fall onto the ground rather than on other people. Less often, tinier droplets can
linger in the air for minutes to hours. These are called aerosols.
Because infected people may not have symptoms, it is best to keep a safe distance
whenever you're around people you don't live with.
How Do We Keep a Safe Distance in Public?
Many states have reopened businesses and restarted recreational activities. So
you might wonder how to keep your distance from others when you leave your home. Here
are some tips for the whole family:
Whether outdoors or indoors, stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear
Sit or stand at least 6 feet away from others while taking public transportation.
Use drive-thru or curbside pick-up when possible for food orders and shopping.
Shopping online from home is another way to keep your distance from others.
Choose outdoor venues for dining or activities whenever possible, as that gives
people more space to spread out.
Follow local guidelines on things like how many people can gather in groups and
what activities are OK. They may differ from place to place. Also check with your
doctor, local health department, or CDC
for the most updated information.
How Can We Still Be Social?
It can feel like ordinary life has changed in countless ways. Many large group
events and sports activities were called off, and activities that weren't canceled
or have restarted have strict safety measures in place. These temporary but necessary
steps help communities with their social distancing.
But we don't have to feel isolated or lonely. There are fun ways to stay socially
connected while keeping a safe distance from each other. Zoom dinners with faraway
loved ones, remote book clubs, and drive-by birthday parties are some ways to be together
while apart during the pandemic.
Help your kids stay connected with friends and extended family members through
video visits or playdates. If your kids meet friends in person, help them plan small
outdoor get-togethers where they can keep a safe distance from each other, such as
doing sidewalk chalk art or riding bikes.
You also can plan family activities. Take a walk or a hike to get out and get active
without physical contact. Try to find quiet streets or less well-known paths for these
outings. It's best not to go to places where lots of people gather, especially those
with things that lots of kids use, like jungle gyms.
More and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Eventually, we can
socialize as we used to. But for now, it is safest to keep social distancing when
out in public.