Medically reviewed by Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Shera.
Guidelines from WHO and CDC declare that the best way to limit the spread of coronavirus is to socially distance oneself. This means one has to stay home and only go out when necessary. It also means avoiding public places like parks, malls, cinemas and other spaces with large crowds. Many countries, including Pakistan, have shut down restaurants, shops and malls in order to curtail the spread of the virus. As more and more people are socially distancing themselves, it is necessary for us to talk about it. Therefore, in discussions of surviving coronavirus, we offer the following tips for social distancing.
Social distancing does not equal social isolation
The responsible thing to do in this epidemic is to physically distance oneself from people. However, this does not mean that you should altogether stop talking to your friends. It is important for your mental health and general wellbeing to be social – just do it online. This means you should frequently check in with friends, family and loved ones.
Take up a hobby you didn’t have time for before
Do you have a book you always wanted to read but didn’t have time for? Did you want to learn how to paint, or play the guitar, or learn a new language? This is the perfect time to indulge and invest in those new interests.
Take care of your neighbours and community
Social distancing also does not mean you do not engage with your community anymore. You can still generate neighbourly love. Perhaps if you’re cooking, make a big pot and send some food over to your neighbours as well. If you’re heading to the grocery store, ask your neighbours if they want something. Call each and other and leave notes for one another. This helps everyone in the community feel they are not alone.
Organize online social events
If you’re missing going out with your friends, you can organize events online such as group movie watching on Netflix or game night with the help of Google Hangouts or Zoom. There are many opportunities and it’s a chance to get creative!
It is important to us that you stay safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you’d like more tips on social distancing or would like to discuss your experience of social distancing, write to us in the comments below.