Why physical distancing is not enough

Floor markings helping people maintain distance in public places (GoToVan)

The lockdown policy in England gave birth to many funny memes, including modification of the cover of The Beatles album Abbey Road. The photo on the Abbey Road crossing was taken more than half a century ago by Iain Stewart Macmillan, a photographer from Scotland.

Macmillan only had ten minutes to photograph John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr who were taking a break from working on the songs "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "The End" while Paul McCartney had just finished working on "Oh! Darling."

During the lockdown, the legendary photo came with a different look. The four musicians no longer go hand in hand and close together but rather far apart. The photo displayed on Instagram account @activistala was given the description, "6 feet or 1.8 metres is the distance that experts have recommended to keep between each other."

"Social feeds are suddenly full of sad and scary news, so we thought we should do something more lighthearted and fun, while still keeping the importance of the message," said Beto Fernandez, one of the founders of Activista.

For him, pop culture can be a positive medium for conveying messages compared to the news which has recently left worrying. In the project titled "6 Feet Covers," Activista also redesigned the covers of iconic music albums such as those of Queen, Blondie, U2, Green Day, Oasis, Fugees, and Ramones.

This project carries a message about the importance of maintaining distance during the pandemic. Later, we know it as physical distancing.

People maintaining physical distance while waiting to enter a store during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (Philafrenzy)

The World Health Organization (WHO) changed the recommendation that was originally social distancing to physical distancing. This phrase is also considered more appropriate by many parties. We do not cut off relationships with the family and social environment. We are only maintaining physical distance as a preventive measure.

"In these strange times of the virus, we want clear physical distance (minimum two metres), but at the same time, we want people to remain close to each other socially," said Martin W. Bauer, a professor of social psychology at the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at The London School of Economics.

The number of confirmed cases in the United States has reached 675,243 people. That is why each individual is responsible for reducing activities by staying at home if there is no urgent need, also avoiding public events.

Learning from Italy, the surge in patients and deaths due to COVID-19 increased dramatically amid the regional quarantine policy because of, among other things, the non-compliance of its residents to keep their distance.

Although it cannot prevent a 100 percent risk of transmission of the virus, at least, physical distancing slows its spread. Physical distancing does not only apply in public places but also in all households because not all family members are negative and safe from this coronavirus.

The coronavirus is easily transmitted through droplets released when a person coughs or sneezes, and can last up to several hours on the surface of an object, depending on the type, temperature, and humidity of the environment.

A sneeze in progress, revealing the plume of salivary droplets as they are expelled in a large cone-shaped array from this man's open mouth, thereby dramatically illustrating the reason one needs to cover his/her mouth when coughing or sneezing in order to protect others from germ exposure (James Gathany)

During the incubation period of 14 days that may not even show symptoms, a person was able to transmit it to others. This needs to be watched out for, especially a number of patients not experiencing symptoms of pain such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

This fact also makes many people panic. In fact, as reported by Psychology Today, panic in the midst of the spread of disease actually risks making someone vulnerable to exposure. The cortisol hormone released by the body during panic can suppress immunity, making the immune system decrease.

So, what can be done is to shift the focus from the pandemic to yourself, for example, by staying at home and living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining endurance, and caring for yourself, especially in the current situations.

It is fitting for us to take care of our health by eating nutritious food, drinking water as needed, and supplementing our vitamin intake needs. If necessary, consume Oronamin C, which is rich in vitamins C and B and contains honey, one to four bottles per day.

This Japanese vitamin drink without preservatives, synthetic dyes, or artificial sweeteners can accompany you at home and help you to maintain your body immunity. Because it is liquid, the nutrients contained in Oronamin C can be absorbed by the body properly.

Its bottle is also designed to protect the vitamin content from direct sunlight, so it stays intact to your hands. Who knows, its freshness can simultaneously improve your mood.

Staying at home can also be utilized to do things often overlooked or unthinkable in the midst of busyness such as sunbathing, exercising, and others. The bonus is, we have many moments with family. But the first thing to do is to set your time.

For many people, working from home in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge. It was experienced by Dot, a state-owned bank employee.

"The workload is still the same while my concentration is much reduced. Every time I want to focus, there are always other things to do: cooking, preparing my daughter to learn online, and many other distractions that ultimately make my working hours much longer and tiring."

Adjustment is indeed not easy, but that does not mean it cannot be tricked. Separate your work and household matters, so you have clear boundaries when to start and finish your work so that your thoughts don't overlap. If necessary, wear neat clothes and prepare a workspace that supports you to focus more.

Clear working hours also allow you to have a break that you can use to do your preferred activities: watching Netflix series, listening to podcasts, hunting recipes, or playing games. WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy Ray Chambers even suggested that people played games during quarantine to relieve stress.

Abbey Road, which is now completely deserted, was utilized by the City of London to rejuvenate public facilities, one of which, by repainting the legendary crossing that has long faded. The positive thing is, the world is taking a break to prepare for a better life. We also need a break to be saved.


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