What is social distancing? 

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the world, Athlete365 is aiming to provide athletes with all the vital information they need to know about this new coronavirus. Here, we explain what social distancing is 

  • Discover what social distancing is 
  • Learn why it is important during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Find out how to practise social distancing in your everyday life 

You have probably heard a lot about social distancing in recent weeks, as experts recommend practising it to help ensure your health and protect others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about social distancing…  

What is social distancing? 

Social distancing, which is also known as physical distancing, is a control measure that is used to stop or slow the spread of a contagious disease. It basically means reducing the contact that you have with other people. 

Governments around the world are currently advising everyone to practise social distancing in order to reduce the pressure on health services and stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Why is social distancing important right now? 

COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets, which are small amounts of liquid that may come out when someone carrying the disease coughs or sneezes.  

If you are too close to them, you can breathe in these droplets, including the COVID-19 virus. 

By limiting the contact that you have with other people and maintaining social distancing, you reduce your chances of catching the virus and passing it on to someone else. 

How do I practise social distancing? 

The World Health Organization recommends keeping at least one metre (three feet) away from anyone who has a fever, a cough or any other symptoms of the virus. 

This includes avoiding things like shaking hands, hugging or kissing. 

If you are feeling unwell yourself, it is vitally important that you stay away from others. 

And if you need to take care of someone else who has a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing, don’t forget to wear a mask to protect yourself, and practise good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands frequently with soap and water, or an alcohol-based rub. 

How can I keep training? 

Try to exercise and do your workouts at home, if possible. This may mean you need to adapt your sessions slightly, but many athletes are already sharing innovative examples of how they are training on social media. 

Depending on the government measures introduced in your home country, you may also be able to exercise outside, provided you practise social distancing and avoid contact with other people. 

For expert advice from sports psychologist Paul Wylleman on how to stay positive while social distancing, click here