Since the Corona-Virus hit us we've been hearing these three terms in the news and/or on social media quite frequently. But what do they actually mean? And can we use them interchangeably?
Social distancing was the first step we took to avoid the spread of the virus. It means to physically stay away at a safe distance from other people. COVID-19 mainly spread through coming in close contact with an infected person. It is also possible that if a person touches a surface infected with the virus and then touch their face, eyes or nose they might get infected too.
To avoid this, we've been advised to practice social distancing. To stay at least 6 feet away from people, not gather in groups and avoid mass gatherings. If you think you are unlikely to fall sick, it is highly possible that you can carry the virus and infect other people unintentionally. So it is best advised to follow the guidelines of the authorities wherever you live. If you're going out to buy necessary stuff like grocery and medicines, maintain a proper distance and wear a face mask.
Quarantine is aimed to separate people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 from others. These people may or may not be sick, and it is advised that they stay separated and limit their moment outside of their home and see if they develop any symptoms. If you have a travel history with a place with rising cases, it is important to self-quarantine. You might not show symptoms but you can be a carrier of the virus and risk compromising other's health.
Isolation is to separate sick people from healthy people. If you are isolating at home, use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. The sick person should take all his meals separately from other household members and objects used by him/her like utensils, bedding and towels should not be used by anybody else. You only have to isolate if you tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting your results for the test or are developing symptoms for the virus, like cough, fever or shortness of breath.
Stay Safe & Stay Healthy!