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How to Practice Social Distancing

how to practice social distancing

By now, you’ve heard the advice that we need to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. But if you’re confused as to what that looks like in practice, NPR has got some answers and we broke it down for you below.

So what is and isn’t OK in our new world of social distancing? Here’s what the new CDC guidelines and other health experts have to say.

What about visiting Grandma and Grandpa?

The federal government is asking visitors to stay away from nursing homes and retirement or long-term care facilities unless they’re going to provide critical assistance. That includes children.

But I’m a healthy grownup, not a kid. Is it OK to visit my elderly relatives?

Don’t visit older relatives unless it’s absolutely necessary — as in, they need food, supplies, medication etc.

I still need to go to work. Is it OK to drop my kid off at day care?

If you don’t have the option of keeping your kids home. Try to find a day care setting with a small number of kids, don’t send them to day care if they’re sick, and make sure kids have gotten their flu shot (it won’t protect them against coronavirus but it is still flu season).

Are kids’ play dates OK?

Millions of American parents are now trying to figure out how to work from home — while also tending to kids whose schools are closed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Play dates seem like an obvious solution; however, they defeat the purpose of everyone hunkering down.

What about playing outside with other kids or going to the park?

If you do let your kids outside to play with others, make sure the children keep at least 6 feet of distance from other children.

And for adults, what about having close friends over to visit?

The new CDC guidance is to avoid social visits for now. Once again, think virtual — maybe have a Facetime happy hour instead.

Can I travel? I’m seeing really cheap airfares now.

The CDC is telling people to avoid discretionary travel. 

I had a doctor’s visit scheduled months ago. Should I still go?

If it’s a nonessential visit to a doctor or dentist, reschedule it.

I need to go to the grocery store. How do I do that in a way that’s safest for me and others?

This counts as an essential trip, of course. But try going to the grocery store during off-peak hours, when it’s less likely to be crowded.


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