Keeping your Distance: Stop the Spread of COVID-19


Right now, we all need some space. At least six feet. That’s how much space is required between two people for effective social distancing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Come any closer, and you risk spreading or contracting COVID-19. Here’s how the World Health Organization explains it: “When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth that may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease.”

COVID-19 may also be spread before symptoms show up, which can take five to six days, if you touch a surface with the virus and then touch your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. But that is not thought to be the main way that the disease is spread, the CDC says.

Social distancing is nothing new. It’s a standard tool in fighting infectious disease, such as influenza. It’s essential today to “flatten the curve” and significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. That means we need to limit the number of cases so the capacities of our hospitals are not overwhelmed. We can do that by staying six feet apart – or better yet, staying home.

Extinguishing COVID-19

Spanish artists Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre, a husband-and-wife team, created a video called, “Safety Match,” to explain the impact of social distancing. “I wanted to do my part,” Delcan, who comes from a family of doctors and nurses, told Artnet News. “We thought maybe one thing we could do is help people realize they need to stay inside.”

Flattening the curve

The team at Vox Media created this video to show how social distancing will help flatten the curve.

A coronavirus simulator

The Washington Post’s coronavirus simulator gives a very clear image of how quickly the disease can spread, if we don’t keep our distance from each other.

Keep your hands to yourself

Standing six feet means no hugging, no kissing. That’s right, like the Georgia Satellites sing, “Keep your hands to yourself.”  

WHO coronavirus Munson Healthcare

That also means no bumping elbows (since we’re coughing into our elbows), no hip bumps, and no foot bumps. Here are some ways you can greet your friends from six feet away:

  • Direct eye contact
  • Hand over heart
  • Smile and slight nod
  • Air high five
  • Air nose rub
  • Peace sign
  • Vulcan greeting
  • Namaste
  • Jazz Hands