The COVID-19 epidemic followed by the lockdown in various countries has led to international anxiety. People are still worried that it might spread very quickly & can take a longer time to contain and can cause damage to life before medical fraternity could discover some remedy for it. The novel coronavirus, which has been named as severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19, has infected millions of people internationally and has become the reason for around 2.5 lacs deaths till today. The United States is the most impacted nation, with more than 1.1 million confirmed cases reported, whereas the United Kingdom is placed at fourth position among the severely affected countries with around 190K confirmed cases and around 29k deaths till 6th May. To stop the spread of novel coronavirus, many countries around the world declared complete lockdown and urged the people to maintain social distancing norms so they can break the chain of this deadly virus. Covid-19 is an infectious disease, which leads to mild to moderate respiratory illness after the initial flu-like symptoms. As there is still no specific vaccines or treatments for the disease, hence prevention is the best possible cure and following social distancing has been prescribed by all to contain the pandemic.
Let’s understand the social distancing phenomena – Social distancing is a public health strategy, which can help to prevent or slow down the spread of infectious microorganisms like a virus. People tend to get infected before they even know that they are in close contact of an infected person as it’s an asymptomatic disease. Though there is no specific rule, but the commonly followed rule means maintaining about 2 metres physical distance between two persons, avoiding gathering in groups, staying away from the congested places, and avoiding any sort of mass meetings. Social distancing on a broader level also means separating people who are sick and quarantining people who may have been infected.
Social distancing norms and their major positives
- COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, which can be spread via sneezing and coughing of infected people. If the social distancing is maintained, then there will be fewer chances of other people getting infected.
- Those countries, who have followed the social distancing norms in the early stage, are less impacted by the novel coronavirus.
- As per a new global study and real-world mobility flow indicate that complete isolation and social distancing of the population amid the COVID-19 epidemic is a very effective strategy that urgently needs to be followed otherwise, there is a high possibility of a second outbreak.
- The World Health Organization has also professed that social distancing is one of the best ways to stop the spread and suggested at least maintaining one-meter distance, especially from those who are sneezing and coughing.
- Social distancing is also helping to avoid using public transport, airports, restaurants and those places where people were facing mass gathering.
- Now, many of the countries are experiencing less transmission rate of COVID-19, as social distancing has played a perfect role to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
- It is also supporting in deferring the peak of epidemic and is providing some time to a medical representative to mitigate the spread.
Some drawback of social distancing which has been creating problems for the masses
Social distancing undoubtedly has played a major role in restricting the rapid spread of the disease; however, it has created lots of inconvenience to the people. Now people are concerned about playing or watching sports with groups, watching a movie in the theatre, gathering in pubs and social hugs to be things of past if the social distancing becomes a thing of day to day life. Despite being essential at this point, social distancing is also impacting the mental health of the people. As per some reports published in media, mental health specialists have cautioned that these social indications will remain in minds even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Many people had to cancel their holiday plans due to lockdown and as social distancing norms are being implemented very strictly around the globe. There are some other disadvantages as well of social distancing:
- Due to social distancing norms, the lifestyle of the people has changed. People are getting frustrated while sitting inside the home all through the day.
- Social distancing may not work if the virus is spread through polluted water or food or by pests or mosquitoes.
- Social distancing leads to loneliness and often anxiety if people are habitual of a social environment.
- It may cause a drop in output and loss of other benefits connected with human contact.
Lockdown and its global impact
The pandemic has pushed the countries into severe economic crisis, as the lockdown was implemented and maintaining social distancing was called for, there has been a complete halt on business activities, but some positive has also emerged from the strict measure of social distancing and lockdown. The foremost positive impact has been observed on the pollution level, whether it is air pollution or noise pollution or land pollution etc., all level of pollution has been reduced significantly. Now a day, people are using car & transportation occasionally only, meeting less in the group, while factories are closed, which usually result in an enormous amount of air, noise and water pollution. As per some reports, the oceans have also become quiet as compared to the pre-novel coronavirus period, mainly because the cruise ships and other industry ships have suspended the operations to contain the spread of the disease.
The other positive impact has been observed in the crime rate, the authorities all across the world have asked the people to carry on safe and remain at home, which helped the countries to reduce the crime rate. The growing crime rates had been one of the biggest concerns for almost all the nations, which drastically got reduced during the novel coronavirus crisis.
The families are staying in their homes, and many of them are working from home, which gives them plenty of time to mix up with each other. This has resulted in the bond between the family members strengthening amid this crisis period. No doubt, many of the people have to rely on other ways to connect friends, families and colleagues, who are away from them because of social distancing. As per some report, people are using media application more than 20 per cent during the novel coronavirus lockdown.