"The tricky thing is that social distancing works best when done preventatively, before things get really bad..."

"... says [Lori Uscher-Pines, a senior health-policy researcher at the RAND Corporation]. But there are downsides, too — canceled events mean lost money (and sometimes lost jobs), and self-isolation can be hard on one’s mental health. For that reason, says Uscher-Pines, many public-health officials find it challenging to decide when to instate social-distancing regulations.... 'If you are personally concerned about COVID-19, you should try to limit your contact and exposure to crowded places, and try to maintain a distance of three to six feet [from other people],' she says.... Err on the side of a liberal interpretation, when possible — for instance, if (and when) schools close, keep kids away from their classmates outside the school building too. 'A big concern with something like school closure is that school will be closed, but then kids will mix on their own outside of school, and that kind of defeats the purpose,' she adds."

From "What Does ‘Social Distancing’ Really Mean?" (New York Magazine).

ADDED: The term "social distancing" is not familiar enough for me to feel comfortable using it in explaining why I'm not doing something. When I wrote an email to cancel an appointment just now, I referred to what I'm doing as "taking a 'social distancing' approach," and I thought that sounded rude and changed it to "taking a 'self-isolating' approach." That's more I'm doing this to myself and less I'm doing this to you.

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