Health

Why Is Social Distancing Important Even After Lifting the Lockdown

Image: CNBC.com

Recently, a number of countries including the US, Germany, and New Zealand have eased their coronavirus-related restrictions and lifted the nationwide lockdowns after controlling the number of new coronavirus infection cases to some extent.

Consequently, all educational institutes, businesses, and offices have reopened and people are returning to their normal lives. However, it has been argued that the post-coronavirus lockdown life is far from normal as there is still a prevalent fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for causing COVID-19.

While it is true that some governments have controlled and decreased new coronavirus cases in their countries, there is still a high risk of coronavirus spread. This is the reason why most of the countries saw a spike in cases right after easing restrictions.

For instance, the government of China immediately imposed a second lockdown in its province of Jilin after two of its cities known as Shulan and Jilin reported around thirty-two cases of the novel coronavirus in a few days, all of which were linked to the same person by scientists.

The rapid increase in infections is the primary reason why the World Health Organization urged countries to not ease the restrictions completely as well as prepare teams specifically for tracing in order to decrease the likelihood of new cases and cut down the risk of a second lockdown following the second wave of coronavirus.

In accordance with researchers, even a few new cases of COVID-19 can damage the progress over the pandemic significantly and re-start all over again the region where the infection has been controlled, which, in turn, will prolong the health crisis globally.

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Only conducting tests for coronavirus infection at a mass level along and taking quick action can prevent the second wave of coronavirus. However, testing is not usually enough and cannot be relied upon completely especially since there have been reports of high numbers of inaccurate results from the tests that are currently being used.

Therefore, after the lockdown in the US was lifted, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention urged people to continue to follow the official guidelines and practice social distancing in public as it is fundamental to prevent any further coronavirus spread and new cases.

Previous research has indicated the coronavirus spread is usually associated with people who display no signs of the infection or are asymptomatic.

An expert on COVID-19 and  infectious diseases specialist,  Dr. Gregory Poland, explained that “Multiple studies now demonstrate the high risk of asymptomatic transmission of the virus by people who don’t know they are infected with the virus,”

He further added that “Social distancing denies the virus the opportunity to infect the next person, and this stops transmission from one person to the next.”

Since no vaccine for coronavirus infection has been developed yet by scientists, the most effective way that can help in stopping coronavirus spread is social distancing, which ensures the virus is not able to transmit from one person to another.

In accordance with the guidelines from the CDC, people should maintain a six feet distance from each other in public and always wear a face mask. Additionally, touching face or mouth, as well as touching items in shops, should also be avoided.

Washing hands or using sanitizer along with the use of disinfectants at home is also fundamental to stopping coronavirus spread. Lastly, in the case of being sick or having symptoms of coronavirus infection, the CDC recommends avoiding going outdoors and consulting a hospital as soon as possible.

Even after the lockdown has been lifted, practicing social distancing and following all guidelines is mandatory to controlling the pandemic and avoiding a second wave of coronavirus infection.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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