Self-Isolation and Social Distancing - Good Nigeria : Good Nigeria News!

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Self-Isolation and Social Distancing

Self-isolation. This, along with Social Distancing, has become a mantra on the lips of everyone. It’s the anthem of the times. The Coronavirus pandemic has exploded into a grave global crisis. With healthcare systems getting overwhelmed and countries like Italy reporting record-high numbers of deaths, most governments are directing a lot of attention towards quelling the spread of the virus.

The novel Coronavirus, called COVID-19, is spread by contaminating the eyes, nose or mouth with droplets from an infected person’s cough or from affected surfaces. The real danger this virus poses, quite unlike many which have come before it, is the ability of asymptomatic carriers to spread it. Symptoms often do not manifest until after two weeks. This leaves most carriers unaware of their status and allows them to spread it unabated for days. Asymptomatic super-spreaders are responsible for a large portion of the virus’ reach.

Advice from the NCDC and WHO recommends people stay at least three feet from each other if they have to go out or be around other people. This act, tagged social distancing, keeps people at a fairly safe distance from the droplets coughed or sneezed by persons harbouring the virus. The distance also minimizes unnecessary body contact which could result in transmission. People are advised to observe strict personal hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or where available, alcohol-based sanitizers. These measures, of course, do not beat avoiding unnecessary contact with others. This is important, not just for the individual’s safety from the pathogen, but also for society at large.

Individuals who have just returned from affected countries or have been in close contact with suspected or confirmed cases are to go into self-isolation. This means keeping a safe distance even from friends and family members in order to protect them.

Never has so much power been placed in the hands of regular everyday people. Ordinary people have been put at the forefront of the war against this virus. They decide what course this pandemic will take by the small efforts they make. Simple revolutionary acts like hand washing and social distancing are the small drops that pool into an ocean and affect the change we need if this pandemic is to become a thing of the past. All over the world, countries are enforcing lockdowns or appealing to their citizens to remain in their homes to prevent the spread of the virus. The situation in Nigeria is the same thing. The only way many people can contribute to ending this pandemic is by staying indoors. It’s by choosing to be alone. But no one is really alone because we are all in this together.

#AloneTogether, a popular hashtag, really drives home the message that, although the situation on the ground requires us to be apart from each other, it is imperative, now more than ever, for us to come together in effort and mind—from the comfort of our homes—as a community. We can look out for each other; we can preserve our lives and help keep the lives of others: our loved ones, our family, our friends, even strangers. This may be the largest call to inexpensive humanitarian service this world has ever seen. Or may ever see.

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