After COVID-19 began spreading in communities all over the globe, phrases like ‘social distancing’, ‘self-quarantine’, and ‘flattening the curve’ emerged, introducing a drastic change in our daily lives and what it takes to keep ourselves and our loved ones protected during a pandemic.
Hospitalists are frontline healthcare providers that put their lives at risk almost daily to care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients in their communities. Their health and safety are of the utmost importance because they’re the ones working nonstop to save lives.
Many efforts have been rightfully focused on making sure healthcare workers always have the necessary PPE (personal protective equipment) with them, owing to the growing risk of nosocomial infection to healthcare providers. However, an effective and important strategy known as ‘social distancing’ should also be implemented to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Social Distancing vs. Physical Distancing
The practice of social distancing, as you may be aware, involves staying home whenever possible, limiting contact with other people, and keeping a safe distance from people outside of your household.
As more and more public spaces are beginning to open, another term ‘physical distancing’ has surfaced which is being used to promote that individual must stay at least 2 meters away from others.
Even though both terms can be used interchangeably, social distancing refers more to the act of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But now that restaurants and other non-essential organizations are back in business, the practice of physical distancing has become exceedingly important.
Why Practice Social Distancing?
Even if you’re not in high-risk groups, you should still practice social distancing to keep others around you from getting exposed to the virus and suffering from serious health complications. This is because COVID-19 spreads mostly among people who are less than 2 meters away from each other for a prolonged period.
It can spread easily when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks in a public place, and droplets from their nose or mouth get released into the air and land in the noses or mouths of people that are in close contact with them. These droplets can then get inhaled into the lungs.
According to recent studies, people who were exposed to the infection but didn’t necessarily show any symptoms of the infection are likely to play a crucial role in spreading the virus. This just goes to show that an infected person can easily spread the virus before they even realized they’ve been infected.
This is why we must maintain a safe distance of at least 2 meters from other people whenever we’re out in public, even if no one seems to show any symptoms. Social distancing is also particularly important for those that are at a higher risk.
Social Distancing Products You Should Know About
Even though public health officials and notable infection experts have stressed the importance of social and physical distancing to control the spread of COVID-19 time and again, it’s possible that, for some people, it’s simply not possible to stay 2 meters apart. This includes essential workers and frontline healthcare providers.
Let’s take a look at some interesting and useful social distancing products for the hospitality sector:
1. Sneeze Guards
For people working in conditions that don’t allow them to maintain social distancing, such as doctors and nurses operating on a patient, protective shields known as cough and sneeze guards can be used to protect them from the exposure of droplets and pathogens.
These shields can serve as protective barriers that can prevent the flow of respiratory droplets released from the mouths and noses of people. However, it’s worth noting that these guards aren’t medical devices. They come with PPE qualities that help minimize transmission even among people who aren’t wearing masks.
2. Safety Signs
Navigating a closed space can be quite challenging and rightfully so for healthcare workers when they’re on the job and moving from one place to another. It can be difficult for them to remember the safety precautions they need to take when they’re completely swept up in their work.
Luckily, safety signs such as social distancing floor stickers and standees can be installed in different areas of a hospital or healthcare facility to serve as visual reminders for workers to maintain social distancing.
Social distancing floor stickers are quite easy to install and can be customized according to the healthcare organization’s brand to remind staff about the important tips they should be following to stay protected.
3. Hand Sanitizing and Hand-Washing Stations
It’s hard not to touch anything when you’re working in a healthcare facility and treating patients. There’s no way to know if an infected person has touched something before you touched it, which is why hand washing and sanitizer dispensing stations should be set up at every corner so healthcare workers can wash their hands and prevent the spread of the virus.
The great thing about hand sanitizer and handwashing stations is that they’re quite visible and accessible. This will ensure that all the staff members can easily move in and out of place with squeaky clean hands and not worry about getting infected.
4. Dividers for Reception Desks
Another great product you can consider installing in hospitals and other such facilities is workspace dividers. They are designed to support social distancing where it isn’t reasonable for people to maintain a safe distance from each other, especially when they’re working as a team. These dividers can be placed on reception desks or inside waiting rooms to make sure no one’s in close contact.
They can be printed with messages and safety recommendations and set up at intervals between people so they can comply with social distancing measures.
There’s no denying that the pandemic is overwhelming, but it’s important to realize that everyone needs to participate to prevent or slow down the spread of the virus and restore some form of normalcy in our daily lives. If we all do our part and take precautions, we can make a big difference in our lives and the lives of others around us.
Richard Kearsey is a digital designer at Emerald Colour – a graphic design agency in London that offers various services, like website design, animation, bespoke exhibition stand design, etc. He loves creativity and enjoys experimenting with various design techniques for both web and print. He also enjoys sharing his thought on the latest design trends and upcoming marketing ideas.
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