Social distancing: No, it's not visiting your squad to binge watch your fave series

24 March 2020 - 06:14 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Social distancing is defined as a deliberate attempt to avoid contact with people who may be sneezing or coughing by staying at home or maintaining a one-metre distance from others in social settings.
Social distancing is defined as a deliberate attempt to avoid contact with people who may be sneezing or coughing by staying at home or maintaining a one-metre distance from others in social settings.
Image: 123rf.com/Csaba Deli

Social distancing as a precautionary measure amid the Covid-19 outbreak remains misunderstood. Many see it as an opportunity to visit or host friends and family, which it is not.

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic in December 2019, United Nations (UN) health agency the World Health Organisation (WHO) released recommendations people need to follow to slow or minimise the spread of coronavirus.

It defines social-distancing as avoiding contact with people who may be sneezing or coughing by staying at home or maintaining a one-metre distance from others in social settings. 

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease which is spread through droplets or touching one's face after coming into contact with objects which have been exposed to an infected individual, who may or may not show symptoms, says Unicef.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. It prevents people leaving their homes and closes businesses to contain the virus. By Monday, SA had 402 cases of Covid-19. 

Police, traffic officers, health workers and military medical personnel are some of those exempted from the lockdown.

“This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands,” said Ramaphosa, after announcing that the lockdown would start at midnight on Thursday.