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The Following is an Excerpt from this Book

With the coronavirus transmitting across the globe, health experts recommend that people, who are very much at risk of becoming infected, must stay as often as possible at home to keep a distance from huge gatherings. Aging people and persons with cardinal health problems are advised to create distance between themselves and others while restricting to the homely environment with adequate privacy. It’s a commonplace stuff, as claimed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), on NBC’s Meet the Press. He also asserted that people should not go to a mass event, especially if they are susceptible to viruses. Viruses like the novel coronavirus, as well as the common cold and seasonal influenza, are quickly transmitted by close contact with other individuals.

The virus can be spread by droplets in the air as individuals sneeze or cough. It might also be spread on surfaces when something like a door handle or elevator button is reached by someone who is sick and coughs or sneezes into their hands and then touches his own nose, eyes, or mouth, and passes the virus. If a virus epidemic is serious, officials in charge of public health must always do more than make recommendations to keep people safe. The appropriate authorities must take action to reduce the progression of the disease by stopping large numbers of people from congregating. This state of affairs is regarded as social distancing.

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One of the aims of social distancing is to keep people out of environments such as classrooms, offices and shopping malls, where they are in close proximity for an extended time. Another objective is to stop public congregation, such as movies, concerts, religious ceremonies, and sports events. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when people are out in the open, the best idea is to keep a distance from one another about six feet asunder. County health officials may ask companies to have workers working from home, and may encourage educational institutions to close down, allowing students to attend classes online. They might close the in-house transportation and terminate events such as ceremonies and school functions.

Social distancing measures are linked with cities, police administration, education centers, state and federal agencies. The idea is to slow down the outbreak of epidemics and the most insecure people in the community are covered by limiting interactions among people. Changes such as social distancing can make the distinction from preventing a virus to spread faster.

Isolation and quarantine

Social distancing is a set of initiatives that are used to safeguard the entire population of a nation. However, people also need to take extra care to secure others from getting infected with the help of quarantine or isolation.

Isolation: Isolated individuals are those who are suspected or believed to have been infected by the virus. The process of isolation helps them recover without further spreading the virus to other people. People are altogether isolated because the disease is communicable. So while the sick people are isolated, health officials continue to monitor all the source contacts they have in their history. It helps to access the root of the illness and also identifies if someone else should be isolated or quarantined.

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Quarantine: The quarantine restricts the movement of individuals or separates them who are subjected to virus infection but are still out of danger. The quarantine effect lasts for a reasonable time to make sure that exposed people will not be taken ill. Sometimes, it has been seen that people who have contact with an infected person are asked to go back to self-quarantine at home. Though, if there is an alleged exposure to someone with the virus, the regulatory authorities may also mandate large numbers of related people to be quarantined like entire students of a classroom or passengers of a specific train compartment.

One might have noticed that sometimes a person talks to another person putting a step back. The second person may take a step forward, but the first person again steps back. Many people will term it as a weird approach on part of the first person. But there is nothing strange about the entire way of conversation. It just implies that the second person is too close to him, and he has invaded the first person’s personal space. Likewise, people can just imagine that everyone has an invisible circle of communication. It is discomforting when someone else enters this domain as both the persons in question strive to regain their territory.

For several decades, scientists have been trying to explain the space and distance approach. Why do people feel discomfort in a congested elevator or overflowing bus? Why do they get edgy and feel awkward in the queue? Edward T. Hall, an anthropologist, who, in 1966, introduced the term proxemics or the study of static measurable distances among people as they communicate. So, what is the distance should one choose? How close is it to the other person in question? How could one avoid intrusion of a human personal space?

There are four public dialogue corridors: personal, intimate, social and public. The personal, intimate and social zones are the ones that people need to be aware of when talking to visitors in one’s place of comfort. The intimate distance commences with contact with the skin and is approximately 46 cm (18 inches) wide. An intimate distance is regarded as the space utilized by the emotionally closer people (friends, family, and children). Personal distance varies from 46 cm to 120 cm (18 inches to 4 feet) or at arm’s length. It is not decent to enter this zone while talking to an individual. One should try to read and realize the person he is communicating with. If the other person takes a step back, it’s a message that the interaction too proximate. If the other person moves his head forward or leans towards the first person, it may be an indication for reducing the distance.

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The preventive measures viz., social distancing (quarantine and self-isolation) are based on these space elements that play an important role in slow down the spread of a pandemic.

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