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Social distancing: Ways to practice under coronavirus outbreak

As the second wave of imported coronavirus cases began to emerge, health experts in Hong Kong are advocating ‘social distancing’ to slow the spread. At the time of writing this article, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced that non-residents will be denied entry into Hong Kong for 14 days, bars will be banned from serving alcohols, and harsher punishments will be imposed for quarantine violators.

In this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article, we will take a look at what exactly social distancing is and how we can practice it without a mental breakdown.

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What does social distancing mean?

By definition, social distancing is a set of non-pharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. Though it is not a new concept, it is a well-established measure most effective when an infection can be transmitted via droplet contact, direct physical contact, or airborne transmission.

The coronavirus can spread when people who have contracted it are in direct physical contact with another person. Thus, governments across the globe are calling for their citizens to reduce social interaction as much as possible, including:

  • Avoid contact with someone exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport whenever possible
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, such as pubs and restaurants
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Instead, keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services when necessary

Tips on practicing social distancing

Here at Pacific Prime Hong Kong, we understand how torturing it is having to stay at home all the time. To help you fight off boredom and find meaning in self-isolation, we have listed a few tips below:

  1. Learn a new skill

Home isolation is a golden time for you to pick up a new skill, brush up on an old skill, and explore unknown possibilities. It can be writing a website, learning a new language, or even tackling the ancient art of tarot. Get creative and the sky’s the limit. Youtube has countless online tutorial videos, or you can check out the 450 free online classes from eight Ivy League schools. If you’re willing to spend more, you can easily take a paid course or hire an expert to teach you via Zoom or other educational tools.

  1. Work out at home

Not only should you care about your mental wellness, but also your physical health. Fret not if you can’t go to the gym. Again, you can make good use of your idle time and build a better body by practicing different types of home exercise. With Youtube and other online tutorial sites, you can easily learn yoga, strength training, HIIT, qigong, bodyweight, pilates, etc.

  1. Call your friends

While this self-quarantine period offers you the best chance to enjoy some much-needed me-time, it may quickly become very boring and the chances are that your best buddies are also bored as heck. Why not stay connected to your friends and family through social media, email, and video chatting? Or host a Netflix Party, a Chrome extension that synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat so that you and your friends can watch movies together but apart. And don’t forget the good old fashioned phone calls or even hand-written letters! 

  1. Whip up a new meal

With all the ingredients you have stocked up on in the pantry, why not consider preparing a big meal for your family? It’s time you try out some recipes or use up the extra ingredients you’ve bought from the last time. Not only does cooking relieve stress, but it is also a great way to bond with those who live with you. Cooking skills are important especially because the government may order restaurants to close entirely to stop the spread of the virus in the future.

  1. Online dating

As CE Carrie Lam put, “In bars, people sometimes get intimate after drinking, and this will raise the risk of cross-infection.” So online dating becomes an easy solution to this problem, given that a lot of people are rather lonely staying at home and are on dating apps.

When you pull off a virtual date via video chat, you won’t even have to worry about which restaurant to go or who picks up the check. The only thing you need to consider is whether there’s any chemistry between you and your match. And if you find that he/she is not your cup of tea, you may politely wrap things up and end the chat, whereas it may not be as easy to end a bad date in real life.

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How long are we going to practice social distancing?

On 20 March, the UK government’s scientific advisers have published a statement warning that their citizens may need to self isolate for longer than a year. It is really hard to estimate when the social distancing measures should end. The rule of thumb is to stay alert and do not let your guard down.

Check out our previous feature articles on coronavirus in our blog such as “Coronavirus outbreak: impact on expats in Hong Kong”, “Coronavirus: What to do with the kids when school is closed”, and “Coronavirus: 7 easy ways to make work from home more productive”.

We hope you enjoy the tips above and find them useful. For any questions regarding individual health insurance for expats, global health insurance, family health insurance, or other forms of insurance protection, feel free to contact one of our advisors for a free consultation and free plan comparison.

anthony

Content Creator at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
Anthony Chan is a content writer at Pacific Prime. He’s responsible for writing, translating, and editing articles, guides, infographics, leaflets, as well as other resources for Pacific Prime and Kwiksure.

When he’s not working, he’s usually on the hunt for great restaurants, playing badminton, and writing screenplays.
anthony