Social Distancing: Articles Illuminating the Importance of Staying Apart

I imagine all the closures and cancellations give people a sense of ominousness. But it’s really an amazing act of social solidarity: We’re sacrificing so we can give nurses, doctors and hospitals a fighting chance.”- Matt Pearce Tweet

A couple of families have reached out to me to solicit my opinion on getting together with another child or two. I discourage it. It’s my take that while Gov Brown and the Portland leadership team has taken some significant, bold and decisive steps to limiting the exposure of the virus (prohibiting events of more than 250 people,closing K-12 schools statewide, closing Multnomah County Libraries and shutting down Portland Parks and Rec community centers/swimming pools, etc), there’s more we can do to support social distancing and influence the trajectory of the virus in our immediate community and beyond.

As you know, information (and misinformation) about Covid-19 is moving at tremendous speed– not unlike the virus itself. I expect many of you may be consumed with caring for children and gathering food and supplies to prepare yourselves for these upcoming days. I’m thinking there is likely a range of information we’ve each been able to digest. I have been learning from many folks during the past couple of days, and would like to share my thoughts.

Excerpted from Social Distancing: This is Not A Snow Day.

“ 2.) No kid playdates, parties, sleepovers, or families/friends visiting each other’s houses and apartments. 

This sounds extreme because it is. We are trying to create distance between family units and between individuals. It may be particularly uncomfortable for families with small children, kids with differential abilities or challenges, and for kids who simply love to play with their friends. But even if you choose only one friend to have over, you are creating new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that all of our school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent. The symptoms of coronavirus take four to five days to manifest themselves. Someone who comes over looking well can transmit the virus. Sharing food is particularly risky – I definitely do not recommend that people do so outside of their family. 

We have already taken extreme social measures to address this serious disease – let’s not actively co-opt our efforts by having high levels of social interaction at people’s houses instead of the schools or workplaces. Again – the wisdom of early and aggressive social distancing is that it can flatten the curve above, give our health system a chance to not be overwhelmed, and eventually may reduce the length and need for longer periods of extreme social distancing later (see what has transpired in Italy and Wuhan). We need to all do our part during these times, even if it means some discomfort for a while.”

Cancel Everything: Social distancing is the only way to stop the coronavirus. We must start immediately. (The Atlantic) 3/10/20

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now: Politicians, Community Leaders and Business Leaders: What Should You Do and When? (Medium) 3/10/20

Flattening The Curve of Coronavirus Infections (CDC- Center for Disease Control and Prevention) 3/13/20

Social Distancing: This is Not A Snow Day (Ariadnade Labs) 3/13/20

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