It's hard to imagine that less than 12 months ago social distancing was an unfamiliar term to most of us. If you had asked me what that meant at the start of 2020 my answer would have been, That's when you hide behind behind the magazines in the supermarket in a vain attempt not to be seen by an old friend because you're wearing a daggy tracksuit, no makeup and hair don't care look!
Fast forward to now and social distancing has become one of the most important universal rules we can all follow. If we happen to forget we only have to look at the ground in most cases where X marks a spot letting us know 1.5 metres from the next person. Helpful for those of us who are never quite sure of how far 1.5 metres really is.
It's pretty clear that physical distancing is an effective way to slow the spread of Covid19 By simply avoiding close contact with people in public you are doing your part. Most Australians have taken this on board and know it's vitally important in keeping us all safe during this pandemic. Even private occasions with family and friends has changed. Our urge to hug has resorted to awkward elbow tapping and smiles. This highly transmittable virus has sadly made our usual physical acts of affection the most dangerous thing we can do to the people we love.
By not following physical and social distancing rules now we will only pave the way for a more uncertain future. One where lives will be lost, jobs will be scarce and our health care system left crumbling The intangible, invisible nature of this virus leads to complacency and with no firm positive outcome in sight it's easier for some to ignore it's existence. If they can't see the finish line then they don't want to be in the race. Well whether we like it or not we are all participating in this race.
It's a simple fact that the more barriers we put in front of Covid19 the less likely it will spread from person to person. We cannot argue with space is safe. We've had nearly 10 months to get to know this unwelcome intruder and how it can easily change our lives dramatically. So let's get cracking and make some positive changes to how we do things and what we wear NOW.
If you are out in public especially using public transport including ride sharing wear a face mask. Let's face it no one really wants to chat first thing in the morning on the way to work so here's your excuse. Wear a face mask. Use your phone to pay for items, sanitise or wash your hands and stand on the X marks the spot for a safe distance if that's what is required. Some people really don't like rules but now is not the time to assert your opinions and to be perfectly honest no one cares. We would all like to say at the end of this we made an effort to do the right thing.
Shielding yourself by wearing cloth face masks in public is now becoming more common and practical. And why not? It's a pretty easy and an affordable change to make. Washable and reusable face masks are ideal for the average person wishing to protect themselves. Those that aren't immune compromised, elderly, sick or in health care really should consider a cloth face mask that's triple layered, adjustable and cotton lined. Surgical masks and plastic face shields are necessary protection for those who truly need them on the front line in this corona virus fight. The use and disposal of PPE should be left to those who truly need them, know how to use them properly and safely dispose of them.
Let's maintain 1.5 metres distance from people when we are out in public and wear a face mask when necessary. EASY. When this is all over the huggers of the world will be able to rejoice and hug away and we will all know how far 1.5 metres is. No tape measure required.
Social courtesy and making these small changes will inevitably save lives.
After all isn't that what we all want?