Social distancing in the time of crisis

The coronavirus is terrorizing the town. We can defeat the enemy in the language that it listens. Covid-19, a coronavirus, is the cause of the present pandemic. It spreads by contact. So, the ‘avoiding contact (with Covid-19) is the best antidote’. In the absence of any known cure, the body defense mechanism (immune system) is the best treatment available now. Until our immune system takes over, the available treatment options help manage the symptoms.

What we know about Covid-19:

  1. Many of the infected people do not show any symptoms and body defense mechanism fights it off.
  2. People over 70 years of age, cancer patients, immune compromised individuals, people with breathing difficulties have been found vulnerable. 
  3. Currently there is no known medicines are available to cure this illness.
  4. Initial studies and observations indicate that this virus may live up to 72 hours on hard surfaces and do not withstand temperatures above 50C. Note of caution, these values are awaiting scientific validation.
FPLA Action Plan for COVID-19 Crisis

Therefore, until we develop vaccines to prevent and medicines to cure, the next best thing we can do is to avoid catching this virus in the first place. Here comes the role of social distancing.

Humans are social, we love big parties (It is fiesta time every time, all the times. We may not have paid attention, but we gather more often than we even think. Collectively or individually, we come in contact with many people in the offices, schools, universities, colleges, shopping malls, public transit, worship halls and more. Now, aware of where and how we gather, we can conscientiously avoid large groups and practice social distancing. Social distancing has effectively reduced the spread of covid-19. This is the reason, why the government has ordered closure of schools, business establishments, and imposed travel restrictions. It is not a knee jerk reaction, based on scientific data. In many cases panic kills more than the disease. So, do not panic, this hardship will also pass.

So, what is social distancing?


Figure 1: A baseline simulation with case isolation only (red); a simulation with social distancing in place throughout the epidemic, flattening the curve (green), and a simulation with more effective social distancing in place for a limited period only, typically followed by a resurgent epidemic when social distancing is halted (blue). These are not quantitative predictions but robust qualitative illustrations for a range of model choices. Source: How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic? Anderson R.M, et. al. Published: March 09, 2020 DOI:

Don’ts of social distancing:

CDC r​ecommends

  • Avoid physical contacts
  • No handshakes,
  • No Social hugs
  • No rubbing the cheeks
  • No fist bumps
  • No High Fives
  • No other forms of greetings that involve physical contact.

Do’s of social distancing:

  • Keep minimum 6’ distance between individuals,
  • You may elbow greet,
  • Say Namaste by bringing two palms together as in prayer.
  • Continue healthy habits including regular exercise and reducing physical contact with other individuals,
  • Follow hygienic practices such as bathing daily, washing hands with soap and warm water when you return home, reach office, or any other public places. Change into clean washed clothes daily. These measures have shown to have reduced the disease spread.

What to do when you feel sick?

In case if you feel sick, avoid going out of your house. Contact the Florida department of health help line Email:; Tel: (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24/7. DO NOT call 911. Stay at home, take rest, if the situation demands consult a doctor and follow their advice. In the unfortunate instance of being diagnosed with Covid-19, the administration will advice and monitor your health best suited to your situation.

About the author:

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D.

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D. is an accomplished infectious diseases researcher. At the National Institute of Health, Tokyo, Japan he led a research project to develop vaccines against Enterotoxic E. coli (ETEC) that causes economic devastation in pig farms. Currently, he is the director of Full Potential Learning Academy a one-on-one tutoring center located in Miami Lakes, FL, where students learn one-on-one onsite and via live online. Take online tutoring, Beat the coronavirus. You can email Dr. Pochi at director@FullPotentialTutor.Com.