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Sharp Health News

6 things you can do while practicing social distancing

April 3, 2020

6 things you can do while practicing social distancing
In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be feeling scared and overwhelmed. With plans and events being canceled and new information coming out every day, it may seem like things are getting out of control. But there is one way you can help control the spread of COVID-19: practice social distancing.

Social distancing means staying at least 6 feet away from others to prevent the spread of germs. In addition to just staying apart from others, California issued a statewide order for residents — with the exception of those working in critical infrastructure sectors — to stay home for anything other than essential needs. This means all retail stores, gyms, dine-in restaurants and entertainment venues are closed until further notice. While this order is limiting, here are six things you can still do while practicing social distancing.

  1. Take care of urgent needs
    While most non-essential businesses are closing, there are a few important exceptions. Gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks, and laundromats remain open. When you frequent these places, make sure to maintain 6 feet distance between yourself and others, and wash your hands frequently.

  2. Order takeout, but be cautious
    When ordering takeout or delivery, it is recommended to discard the packaging your order comes in and instead use your own plates and utensils. As always, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating. In addition, many delivery apps now offer options to drop off food at your door to limit contact with others.

  3. Use video chatting technology
    Sadly, social distancing means limiting face-to-face hangouts with friends or family, but there are some other ways to connect with loved ones. You can hop on FaceTime to chat, watch a movie virtually through Skype, or have a remote family gathering through Zoom or Google Hangouts. Creating a family or friend group chat is also a great way to communicate during this time.

  4. Take a walk
    The state has clarified that people can still go outside for walks, from taking the dog out to a neighborhood stroll with family. During this stressful time, it is important to take time to relax. Walking can be a great way to keep up your exercise routine and help remain calm. Just be sure to always maintain 6 feet of distance from non-family members.

  5. Practice self-care
    Now more than ever, it’s important to make time for self-care. Be sure to take breaks during the day to focus on your needs. Practicing yoga, meditating and journaling are all good ways to check in with yourself.

  6. Stay informed
    When staying at home, it is important to keep up with the latest COVID-19 updates. While the news can be overwhelming, being informed and prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Be sure to follow these public health agencies for the most up-to-date information:

    San Diego County Office of Health and Human Services
    California Department of Public Health
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    World Health Organization (WHO)
Learn more about what Sharp is doing to identify and treat COVID-19.

This story was updated on April 8, 2020.

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