How Close Is Too Close?

With Covid-19 hot on the press everybody appears to have an opinion, a favourite protection remedy, the latest cure or conspiracy theory.

South Africa is currently in the middle of the pandemic surge and its not always easy to sift fact from fiction when we are reading about the numbers, the peak dates or the politics surrounding the smoking and alcohol bans. What we do know is that COVID-19 is in our areas, doctors are busy with Covid cases and hospitals are reaching capacity across our country. So lets focus on how to keep ourselves and those around us as safe as possible.

We advise to maintain social as well as physical distancing along with hand washing, sanitizing and mask wearing.

Physical distancing means keeping a safe distance between yourself and other people. This will limit the oppportunities where you may come into contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people. COVID-19 can live for

hours or days on surfaces so you may become infected by touching a surface that contains the virus and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.

When someone sneezes, coughs, or speaks small liquid droplets are launched from their mouth or nose into the air which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets along with the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease. Some people may not know that are infected with the virus as they may have no symptoms but can still spread the virus.

You should have 2 arms’ length between yourself and other people to reduce this risk. Remind those around you to wear their mask and wash their hands frequently.

Not being able to spend time with family and friends, no handshakes, no hugs and not being able to see the smiles behind the masks is tough on all of us, however it is ironically the new way that we show just how much we care by reducing their risk.

Keep safe, wash hands and stay 2 arms’ length away…

Dr Sarahan Brophy

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