Whether it’s social distancing or physical distancing, it’s the same banana as everyone who has heard of social distancing understands that it actually means physical distancing.
So, what’s the brouhaha over this COVID-19 term? Let’s get to business!
So long as you keep yourself two meters away from the next human; so long as you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze; so long as you stay home especially when you do not feel well – then you got the basics of distancing covered.
If there’s no human to pass on the disease to, then you have succeeded in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
Among the steps governments have taken to amplify distancing include:
- Quarantine Pass. An ID pass that a designated household member has to possess whenever he gets out of his home to buy essentials.
- Military or Police Posts. To make sure people only goes out for essentials and that distancing is done by those on the streets or the places they go to.
- Lining Up. From supermarkets to pharmacies, people are to line up to get in the store (in batches) when purchasing. The problem here would be ‘wet markets’ where people just flock. Here is definitely a distancing failure. Moreover, not all wet markets are spacious aside from having the same entrance and exit points. Can ‘lining up’ work in wet markets? Possible if every batch are given, say, 20 minutes to buy their goods with vendors reminding their customers of social distancing and exits are different from entrances. Well, they just better have temperature checks at the entrance for assurance.
- Cellophane Cover. Pharmacies and bakeries have placed cellophane barriers at the counter (or point of contact) to separate customers from the attending staff.
- Senior Citizen Time. Grocery stores have the first three hours open only to senior citizens.
- Passable Roads. This would reduce the areas where motorists and people ply, thereby, cutting places to monitor. Then again, reducing travel paths could also make social distancing ineffective as those who walk may have lesser room for distancing.
- Cellphone Tracking. Though basically advanced countries would do this, tracking of this kind is simply to make sure that COVID-19 patients do not ‘mingle’ with anyone other than his caregiver. Thus, cellphone tracking should only be used on confirmed patients as well as the people they have been with. Privacy should be respected and maintained by the government and telecom companies.
However, these steps are still wanting in terms of ease in government implementation and public acceptance – as most people are simply uncooperative. Thence, to better social distancing efforts and more, the following should be applied as well.
Market Day. Every locality should have a specific market day to control the number of people going to wet markets. Areas not scheduled for wet markets should be scheduled for groceries and pharmacies. This should be done in rotation with adjacent locales.
Use Influencers. Social media has its benefits. Collaborate with those who has tons of followers or subscribers and ask them to tell their followers to observe social distancing.
The use of influencers is like hiring a celebrity for product endorsements. However, no matter how popular the influencer, messages may fall on deaf ears as humans are social beings and most of them just lacks discipline. Besides, not all their followers are from one country or area. Even so, it’s still worth trying.
Hire Leaders. Okay, villages already have their chieftains – why not them? Village chiefs and alike are only good for villages and ‘market days’. Meanwhile, leaders are needed for a wider spectrum, like, regional or national in scope. And for exceptional ones, their logic – unless discriminated – would be acknowledged globally.
So, how about existing government leaders? Politicians just got to their posts due to a weak electoral system. Some may be qualified but that’s just on a traditional front which ordinary minds created. As in, the possession of diplomas or even their so-called ‘track record’ which is only due to customary barriers – but having nothing when it comes to grey matter and character. Most of the time, just a popularity contest.
Thus, hire empathetic leaders and make them primary advisers at the very least. Real leaders who are critical thinkers, non-conformists and decisive. Leadership is about eloquence and vision, hence, these are those who ‘fights’ for the right principles, those who have years of sensible leadership blogging or podcasting instead of just yelling aimlessly in rallies. These are those who has solutions even for, like, stranded groups and migrant workers that poses distancing issues among others.
Real leaders are disrupters – and COVID-19 needs disrupting.