Even if you have been living in isolation since the coronavirus outbreak was first reported, you’ve probably heard politicians from around the world urge people to practise social distancing.
Experts have warned 15 million Australians could become infected with COVID-19, which is more than half of the nation’s population, if social distancing guidelines are not followed.
Social distancing is more than a phrase Australian politicians are using to advise the public what to do during these unprecedented times, it’s a practice that can actually help ease the spread of COVID-19.
The Australian Government has released an infographic which shows how important social distancing is and how adhering to the 1.5 metre rule can help.
According to the World Health Organisation, human-to-human transmission of the virus results in between 1.4 and 2.5 people getting infected from just one person.
The infographic explains if one person is infected they can go on and infect a further 2.5 people in just five days.
Those 2.5 people who were infected then go on to infect 406 people in just 30 days.
However, if there is 50 per cent less exposure, that one person will only infect 1.25 people in five days, resulting in just 15 people infected in 30 days.
But if we limit exposure by 75 per cent, one infectious person will pass on the disease to .625 people in five days, which will result in 2.5 infected people in 30 days.
To do your part and help ease the spread of the coronavirus, stay 1.5 metres away from others.
“Even if you don’t feel symptoms, you must exercise health social distancing to prevent the virus spreading to others and those who are more vulnerable,” another infographic says.
“Social distancing is a very important measure to delay the growth in the spread of coronavirus,” Australian Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said in a March 14 press conference.
“Social distancing can be difficult for the community, we understand that, and we understand that the community is with us on the need to try and slow the spread of this virus in our community.
“And we do know that larger gatherings, larger groups are well known internationally to be one of the quickest ways to spread the virus if there is community transmission.”
Avoiding larger group gatherings has been made easier by the nationwide shutdown of venues including restaurants, bars, gym and cinemas, just to name a few, but there are exceptions to these measures.
Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations will remain open, leaving people vulnerable to exposure, it’s important to adhere to the 1.5 metre rule when going to such places.
“Don’t wait to see a sign, don’t wait for any other specific instruction. Do the right thing, do the common-sense thing and support each other and you will save lives,” Mr Morrison said when explaining how social distancing was going to play a part in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
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