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Social distancing works. Here's why.


During the coronavirus pandemic, the advice to "keep your distance" seems pretty simple. But reaction to expert recommendations of social distancing has ranged from eager acceptance to outright defiance. 

In a column for The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State College of Public Health Dean Amy Fairchild makes the case for social distancing as a way to protect the most vulnerable and slow the COVID-19 infection rate: 

When cities and states cancel mass gatherings, the message here is not that everyone needs to hide at home until the pandemic passes. Rather, the message is that none of us should be spending time in rooms where people are densely congregated. It means that we should each keep at least 3 and ideally 6 feet of space between us and the person next to us. Packed concert hall? Crowded Bar? Both bad ideas. Walking trail? Dinner at your house with a couple of friends? Probably fine, but give them a warm smile rather than a handshake or a hug.

Fairchild says we don't know enough about this new virus or its lasting impacts to take the risk. 

Even if we do not change the total number of people infected, if we can spread those cases over a period of weeks rather than days, hospitals can save more lives. We owe it to ourselves to protect the hospitals’ and public health systems’ ability to help us.