Hearing and reading news about more and more people testing positive all around the world does seem scary and stressful. The COVID-19 virus spreads from one person to another through droplets expelled into the air when the infected individual sneezes or coughs. That means if you’re closeby, then those droplets are likely to enter your system through your nose or mouth.
But the good news here is that you can prevent catching the virus simply by staying at home and practicing social distancing. You must think that everybody keeps talking about social distancing and working from home. But how is one supposed to go about it is something that not many people are talking about?
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this article. COVID-19 demands serious attention, which means you need to know everything possible about it to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, healthy, well-informed, and even productive.
What is Social Distancing?
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The term “social distancing” is used to best describe the action taken for infection control. It’s a part of the plan of public health officials. And it’s enforced to slow down or stop the spread of highly contagious diseases. Such as coronavirus of course.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) believes that social distancing is among the most effective strategies. When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. And they describe the meaning of the term as staying away from large gatherings. Along with maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others.
Now I know that this doesn’t sound very pleasant. But it’s at least better than isolation or quarantine. These two drastic measures are taken when the chances of someone carrying the virus are likely.
The other grateful side of social distancing consists of people who are making the most of this time. I mean it can be a huge relief from attending conferences, traveling from one end of the city to another, being a part of noisy, chaotic events to no avail, etc.
Public gatherings are all canceled because of social distancing. This can be a big relief to those who want a much-needed break for the daily bustle of life. So if you’re not infected with the virus, then it’s important you follow social distancing.
And I’m not going to deny that this has resulted in some drastic changes. Particularly in the areas of business, public events, and even social interactions.
But now that you know what it means and why you have to practice is. So maybe it’s less stressful for you. And you can get rid of unwanted or irrational fears.
Why Is CDC Recommending Social Distancing?
I’m sure you already know this. Coronavirus spreads through physical contact mainly. So if you’re in close quarters with the infected person, then you’re most likely to get it. COVID-19 spreads through air or respiratory droplets when the infected individual sneezes or coughs.
These droplets you can then inhale through your nose or mouth. And that’s how the virus enters your lungs. And that’s how the disease spreads. The infected person is most likely to be the sickest. But then there are those that don’t show any symptoms at all but are still carrying the virus.
So you have every logical reason to practice social distancing. Also, it’s important to note that COVID-19 can spread through contaminated objects and surfaces. That means if you touch something that contains the virus. And then touch your nose or mouth, then you’re very likely to contract coronavirus.
There’s just no denying that the virus spreads quickly and easily through communities. And that explains why social distancing has become the norm these days. It’s only common sense to assume that if you reduce your contact with others. Then you’re less likely to catch the virus, which means you’re also less likely to pass it on to other people.
In order to promote the practice of social distancing. The following steps have been taken in many states and cities…
- Non-essential shops and businesses are shut. This means everyone is working from home.
- Mass gatherings such as marathons, festivals, and concerts are canceled.
- Restaurants are closed. But some of them are open only for delivery or takeout.
- Schools and universities are closed.
- Public places like parks, swimming pools, gyms, malls, theatres, etc. are also closed.
- Only essential shops such as grocery stores are open. But even these are allowing only a limited amount of people in at once.
So if you’re standing in a queue, make sure to maintain a distance of 6 feet from the person standing ahead of and behind you.
How Does Social Distancing Help During Pandemics?
No doubt, social distancing slows down or reduces the spread of highly contagious diseases. The proof of which is social distancing during the outbreak of influenza. The rate of success is far greater when people follow preventative measures as well. Like keeping their immune system strong. And washing their hands thoroughly and frequently.
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It’s All About Flattening That Curve!
When fresh cases of COVID-19 spike quickly, it becomes very difficult for medical facilities, hospitals, and healthcare professionals to treat every single person adequately. This also includes those who don’t carry the virus. And these spikes in cases are the most common among areas where social distancing is not practiced diligently.
When the cases reduce, it becomes easier and even more likely to flatten the curve eventually. And fewer cases means the hospitals are able to offer enough resources and space to function smoothly at such times.
How to Practice Social Distancing?
The best way to go about it is to stay away from public gatherings and places. In short, avoid coming in close contact with others. That means no religious gatherings, crowded restaurants, movie theatres, etc.
Now here are some tips you might find useful with regards to social distancing…
- Work from home. This means online meetings instead of workplace gatherings.
- Postpone social events and gatherings.
- Video-chat with your family and friends rather than going out or calling them home. Meeting in public places is also a very bad idea.
- Order for your groceries online.
- Stock up on essential items to avoid frequent grocery visits.
- Whatever it is, shop for items online.
How to Practice Social Distancing When You Live Alone
In that case, it should be easier for you to incorporate social distancing into your life. Because it means no exposure at all to people who may or may not spread the virus to you. However, living alone during coronavirus lockdown can be very challenging.
Dealing with depression and loneliness during these times is very common. Not being able to interact with friends and family does take a toll on mental health. But that’s what phones are for, right? Make it a habit to check in with your loved ones regularly. If you can’t meet them, that doesn’t mean you cannot keep in touch with them either.
Video calls, texts, etc. make it easier to stay connected these days. So you’re not really isolated. Maybe you just have to make that effort. And for nobody but yourself.
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Staying Positive and Calm
It might seem impossible to stay calm and positive during pandemics. But there are ways to manage anxiety and stress. This way you learn how to tackle the most difficult situations with ease.
Social distancing may seem like a very drastic step. But keep in mind that it’s only a precautionary, thus temporary measure. If you practice it, you’ll come out of this healthy. Otherwise, you might just end up having to deal with being quarantined. And that can be very frustrating.
Social distancing is nothing but a proactive precaution to keep the virus from spreading. So if you know someone who isn’t practicing it. Then please explain it to them as well. If you have family members, then everyone in the house should be on the same tangent.
Those that get anxious, including children, should remember that it’s only temporary. Otherwise, community spread is something that just makes matters worse.
Understanding Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During Pandemics
The word “quarantine” is being thrown around so casually these days, right? But what does it really mean? What is the significance of the term when it comes to your life?
First off, quarantine is not a scary scenario. It’s an effective method for protection against coronavirus. That’s about it.
Now let me explain in detail what it means. Along with what other terms connected to it mean. This information is important for you to know during COVID-19 time. Or any other such disease outbreaks.
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Quarantine situations are imposed in order to keep contagious diseases from spreading. A quarantine takes place for individuals or groups of individuals who don’t have any symptoms but were exposed to the virus. This means it keeps people likely to catch coronavirus away from the others. Therefore, preventing the spread of the disease.
So when are quarantines imposed?
- When there’s a sudden outbreak of an infectious disease.
- During larger, more widespread epidemics.
- When global pandemics start to infect more people around the world. As in the case of COVID-19.
Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation
Both are interchangeable terms if you ask me. Meaning both quarantine and isolation serve the same purpose. They’re reserved for people already infected. So both situations keep the infected person away from the healthy lot. Thus, preventing the disease from spreading.
What About Being Legally Quarantined? Is That Possible?
Based on the United States of America Constitution, the answer is yes. The government can use quarantine and isolation for protecting the population from contagious outbreaks like coronavirus. That’s the job of the federal government.
But even States have the jurisdiction to institute quarantine or isolation situations. And if you break the quarantine, the consequences include fine and imprisonment.
However, quarantines imposed by the government are very rare. The last one in America was enforced during the infamous Spanish flu pandemic during 1918-1919. Large-scale quarantine and isolation were imposed according to the CDC.
As for the current coronavirus situation, people have been asked to self-quarantine. Social distancing is highly recommended. Although these quarantine measures are voluntary. Meaning you won’t get fined or imprisoned if you don’t follow through.
But as a responsible citizen and person, you should take such precautionary measures. And if you’ve come into close quarters with an infected individual. Then it’s best to contact your nearest health department for further instructions.
What does close contact mean here? Being less than 6 feet away from someone infected by COVID-19 for a long span of time. That means living with an infected person, visiting a hospital, or sharing a hospital room with an infected person. Even if someone carrying the virus coughs on you, you’re highly likely to catch the disease.
If you think this kind of close contact has occurred. Then get in touch with medical authorities. They provide the most useful instructions and tell you what to do and what happens next.
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What Happens In A State of Quarantine?
Needless to say, not every quarantine situation is the same. But you can turn to the CDC if you want to understand what they recommend…
- Avoid leaving your house unless it’s absolutely necessary. Follow all orders of “shelter-in-place” in your particular area.
- State or local health departments are most likely to keep a check on your health during the quarantine. Even so, if you want to pay a visit to your doctor, then call ahead. Allow the medical facility to take the necessary steps for preventing others from catching the virus.
- There’s zero evidence that links coronavirus to companion animals like pets. Nevertheless, practice caution. This means refraining from snuggling and petting during the quarantine.
Your dog licking or kissing you at such times is also something you should avoid. But that doesn’t mean abandoning your pets, please don’t do that.
- Make sure to not share whatever you’re using. Such as drinking glasses, eating utensils, bathing towels, and the like. Don’t swap them with another family member or your pets.
- Hygiene is the most important thing during such a time. The first line of defense is washing your hands. Also, when you sneeze or cough, do it into a paper napkin and then throw it away.
It’s not easy or pleasant to be trapped in your house. Particularly if there are too many people living with you or none at all. But you should understand that this is only temporary. Your forced stay-cation may just end up saving not only your life but also the life of many others.
How to Save Money During COVID-19?
With little or no income, it’s only natural to make sure you’re not spending too much. But you need realistic goals to follow in order to get your financial situation in check. Such as the following…
1. Stop Worrying About and Contributing To Savings
Your saving goals have to be placed in the backseat now that you’re not making a lot of or any money. This suspension of your savings is only temporary. So it’s okay to postpone your contributions for more financial stability during these pressing times.
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2. Defer Your Loan Payments
During pandemics, banks give you the opportunity to defer payments for at least 3 months. So if you have outstanding debts, then make a list of these monthly payments. And get in touch with the creditors to find out what your options are. This includes car loans, mortgage loans, and other such lines of credit.
3. Work Out a Payment Plan With Your Landlord
The majority of the population is staying on rent. So if you’ve lost your job because of coronavirus, then it means you can’t cover that expense. In that case, make use of eviction moratoriums. But this depends on where you’re living.
Eviction moratoriums legally allow you to stay put even if you cannot pay the rent. This has recently been set into motion. But they don’t protect everyone. That said, talk to your landlord and work out a plan. Tell him/her that you don’t wish to get away with not paying the rent eventually. But to give you some time to clear the whole amount.
Some landlords are willing to even slash down the rent amount. So don’t hesitate to work out a plan. And do everything in a very calm and composed manner. Because you don’t want to spoil your relationship with the landlord.
4. Apply For Medicaid
If you simply are unable to cover your COBRA premiums, then here’s the perfect solution. Just apply for Medicaid. It’s a health coverage program sponsored by the government. And it protects those individuals who cannot afford healthcare because of the present situation. No matter the age of that person.
Irrespective of how much money you were earning before. The plan takes your current income into consideration in order to determine your eligibility.
5. Adjust Your Car Insurance
With your car just parked out there, it’s only logical to check if your current car insurance policy allows you to cut back. After all, things like car insurance, life insurance, and home insurance are simply eating away most of your money. And these are dollars you could be using during coronavirus.
So review your current car insurance policy. You might be able to lower the coverage, raise the deductible, or eliminate the policy. It’s time to make smarter decisions. These things you can obviously pay for once again when your income starts flowing in.
6. Refinance Your Auto Loan
Interest rates have fallen, right? With it comes the talk of mortgage refinancing. Along with a drop by a whole point in the interest rates of auto refinance loans. In fact, these refinancing rates have been predicted to drop further.
So in the case of expensive car payments, why not take complete advantage of the current low-rate situation! It doesn’t matter if you are not employed. There are a few lenders that are providing special offers for refinancing for employees that have been laid off.
Another huge benefit here is that you get a break from your car payments for up to 1-3 months. Since your payment on the new loan is not due for 30-90 days from the start of your contract because of coronavirus.
7. Downgrade Your Credit Card
An average American uses at least 3-4 credit cards. And every card comes with its own unique rewards and offers. The greater the reward, the higher the annual fee, right? So you’re looking at clearing more than $100 by the end of the year.
Keeping that in mind, call the credit card company and get your card downgraded. Go for an option that doesn’t charge any annual fees. You can let go of those special rewards for the time being. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t they?
8. Transfer The Balance Amount of Your Credit Card
If that option is available to you, then why not take advantage of the situation! You may have to pay a 3% to 5% fee for it. But I’m sure it’s going to be worth it. Especially if that means you don’t have to pay interest amounts for a whole year or more.
When struggling to make and save money during COVID-19. It only makes sense to pay small amounts in the form of balance rather than interest. When you get into a better position financially. Then you can make those bigger debt payments.
9. Cut Digital Cord
This brings into the picture streaming services. On the one hand, Netflix and Hulu are the most popular. On the other hand, there are more diverse options like HBO Go, Sling TV, Disney Plus, etc. Your TV bill becomes more expensive than your food bill this way.
So choose streaming services that are offering free subscriptions. For a whole year or even 6 months.
10. Check With Your Service Providers
Ask these companies if they’re offering financial relief due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes your internet and cell phone providers. Some of them are actually allowing deferred or reduced payments. This matters a lot in terms of managing your daily financial budget.
11. Put Your Memberships On Hold
Freezing your annual memberships such as the ones you have at the gym is a very smart idea. You’re only doing so on a temporary basis. It’s not like you’re asking for a refund. So even the company isn’t suffering a loss.
12. Make An Inventory of Your Pantry
Taking stock of your pantry is a very important step during a pandemic. But this doesn’t mean eating less food. It means checking what all you have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge. Based on this, limit your store purchases to only the necessities.
Plan your daily meals around what’s available at home. You might just end up spending less money on groceries. And actually reducing the amount of food you waste otherwise.
How to Make Money from Home During Coronavirus?
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Nobody really knows how long it’s going to take for our lives to go back to being normal again. Until then, why not try to turn your at-home experience into just another way to make some money!
#1 Become A Delivery Person
This applies to those who don’t live among a high-risk population. Amazon and other such companies are actually hiring extra employees for meeting the high demands of orders. In fact, food delivery services and grocery stores are also hiring work staff for the same purpose.
Just keep your safety and health in mind during the deliveries. Wear protective equipment and follow proper safety guidelines.
#2 Become An Online Tutor
If you have an impressive educational background, then this might really work for you. Particularly if your state or country is strictly practicing social distancing. Distance learning, homework help, and homeschooling are great ideas. Especially for an educated or organized person who wants to make money at home during the lockdown.
Also, parents are bound to feel relieved. They know there’s someone out there to discipline their kids. And keep them occupied.
#3 Become An Online Fitness Trainer
With more and more people being stuck at home. The need for getting some physical activity done in the day becomes more and more important. Also, since gyms are shut for a long time, you can easily tap into that market.
No wonder so many fitness enthusiasts and professionals are offering online coaching classes. On social platforms such as Zoom. And if you’re not confident enough, then just take an online fitness certification. It doesn’t take much time or cost too much money. And you’re ready to take on whatever clients come your way.
The PERFECT Home Workout (Sets and Reps Included)
#4 Become A Virtual Assistant
Deadlines for federal tax have been pushed to the 15th of July. This means accountants and tax professionals have a lot of work to do. And that, in turn, opens the door to jobs pertaining to managing schedules and data entry.
In fact, plenty of technology and website industries are offering freelance work. So you can work flexible hours in case you have children to look after at home.
#5 Become A Blogger or Podcaster
One very effective means of making money is starting a blog or podcast. You can choose your choice of social platform i.e. YouTube, Instagram, etc. Once you gain a good amount of audience, affiliate links and sponsored posts can bring in tons of revenue.
#6 Find Out Your Aid Options
The government in the US has introduced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It’s called the CARES Act. And it offers 11% federal funding to States for providing 13 weeks worth of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Along with creating a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
The program is designed for people who exhaust standard benefits. Such as freelancers, contractors, and such and such. And even those who would not be eligible for it on a general basis.
So don’t forget to check if you can apply for these kinds of State-sponsored programs. Many qualify simply on the basis of being laid off by their company because of COVID-19.
How to Pass Time at Home During Coronavirus?
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Getting bored may be common but let me tell you that it’s not justified. I mean you have all the time in the world to start a new hobby. So instead of complaining about not having anything to do. Why not actually do something? Here are some of the most useful tips…
1. Create A Daily Workout Routine
Staying active is more important now than ever. But staying active at home? How is that even possible? So what if gyms, parks, fitness studios, etc. are shut! There are plenty of YouTube channels and videos that prove you don’t need equipment to stay fit.
Full Body HIIT NO JUMPING (12 min APARTMENT FRIENDLY FAT BURN)
2. Take A Virtual Class
Many universities are offering online classes to keep your mind engaged. There are tons of online courses also that you can take. Such as Udemy, Coursera, Thinkific, and lots more. You can even learn a new language online.
3. Start A Creative Project
An arts and crafts project is a great idea when it comes to spending time productively. You have options like sewing, knitting, painting, and even writing. So make the most of your canvases, paints, needlepoint kits, etc. during coronavirus.
It’s a great small business idea as well. So why not turn your passion into your profession.
4. Cook Or Bake Something Special
See what you have available at home and cook or bake something special using those ingredients. It’s actually a very fun activity to do that satisfies your taste buds as well.
5. Read Books
With you being stuck at home and not having anything to do, your excuses for not reading can go out the window. So how about finishing that book you started?
6. Tackle Home Improvement Jobs
For how long have you been putting off cleaning or fixing something in your home? So now is the time to get the job done.
Deep cleaning your house can actually feel like a very rewarding experience at this point. I mean you are in fact spending all of your time cooped up at home. So why not stay cooped in a clean and organized house!
How To Date During Coronavirus?
Let’s be honest, dating is over with the lockdown. Everyone that is single is hopping on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, etc. to match with opposite gender (or the same gender) to build a connection. That’s basically what dating has become.
The problem is, when people were on these apps before the lockdown, they had a goal in mind – to meet the person the are chatting with for a coffee. So they knew what they were working towards.
Now, nobody knows how long this lockdown is going to be for. Most people say that it will only last for a few weeks, other say that it will last a couple months. For all you know, you could spend an entire year in lockdown.
So you have to come up with a new game plan to make sure that the people you match with are having fun and would like to keep in touch. So that once lockdown ends, you can get together and see if there is a spark between you two.
To make this easier, you can get on dating chatrooms like chatrooms.org.au or any other dating chatrooms out there.
I know this is idea sounds so 90s but hear me out. You need to keep things fun so you can keep talking for months on end. And you cannot keep that spark alive on a one on one conversation. Think about it. How many topics are you going to talk about to keep having fun?
After a certain point you won’t have anything to talk about. You will run out of topics and your chats will become stale. And at that point both of you will start looking for other people and will forget about each other. And for all you know, this could be a once in a lifetime relationship for both of you.
In a chatroom scenario, there is a group that is having a conversation. So you can participate in the group and have fun. You don’t to take all the burden to come up with exciting stuff all the time. You can just participate, have fun and try to have fun in a one-on-one setting on the side.
That way, you can build a connection with the other person while also having fun on the group. And once the lockdown is over both of you can decide to meet up.
We may be looking at long-term social distancing. So it’s important to not only understand what the term means and its significance. But it’s also equally crucial to stay at home while being productive.
In this post, I have discussed all you might want to know about saving money and being safe. The goal is to spend your days doing something you find interesting and fun. So don’t force yourself to take on an activity you’re not enjoying.
And also remember to stay active. There are many ways to do so even when you’re stuck at home. It’s time to look within when you can’t get out.
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!