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Social Distancing 101

Equipped with a design rooted in science-based evidence, TakeCare Supply has developed reusable masks for non-medical workers to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While wearing reusable masks can act as a secondary line of defence against the spread of COVID-19, taking proper social distancing measures is a necessary and critical step in flattening the curve. 

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is quite literally the physical distancing from other people in public and social settings. 

Why am I being told to social distance?

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.Governments around the world have since responded with a series of recommendations, policies, and actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within their countries, states, and provinces, and communities. One of these measures is social distancing. 

How does social distancing help reduce the spread of COVID-19?

COVID-19 spreads via direct contact, fomites (objects that can carry infection), and droplets. Direct contact with individuals such as shaking hands or hugging, and contact with fomites such as touching contaminated door handles or the laundry of an infected person increases the risk of transmission. 
Additionally, when people sneeze, cough, breathe or talk they expel droplets. When a non-infected person comes into contact with and internalizes infected droplets they are at risk of becoming infected as well. 

By reducing direct contact with others, fomites and droplets, social distancing reduces the likelihood that someone will come into contact with these droplets or an infected surface and thus reduces the spread of COVID-19. 

We also know that every virus has a reproductive number which indicates the number of secondary infections generated from one infected individual. COVID-19’s reproductive number is between 2 and 2.5.  - higher than influenza. 

Reproductive Rate 24

So, how do I effectively social distance?

Reduce your in-person contact with other people  

What this looks like:

  • Fewer trips to the grocery store 

  • Only taking public transit or travelling when absolutely necessary

  • No in-person social gatherings 

  • Working from home when possible

  • Avoiding crowded public spaces and non-essential trips to public places

When out in public, stay 2 meters away from others 

What this looks like:

  • Moving over on the sidewalk when passing other pedestrians

  • Standing back and apart from others at crosswalks and intersections

  • Following markers or indicators in stores regarding social distancing

  • Not petting the cute doggos you see out for their walks 

  • Waiting for the next elevator to avoid crowding or taking the stairs when possible 

Take precautionary and proactive measures in addition to social distancing

What this looks like:

  • Wearing a reusable non-medical grade mask (unless you are a medical worker) when out in public to protect others

  • Wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds

  • Avoid touching your face, hair, and phone before washing your hands 

  • Frequently disinfect high touch surfaces and items including your cell phone, keys, door handles and faucets

  • When coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your elbow


1. World Health Organization, Rolling updates on coronavirus (COVID-19), “WHO characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic”, 2020, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

2. Canada, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and Risks, 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html#h 

3. World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Report 46, March 2020, https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200306-sitrep-46-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=96b04adf_2

4. Joseph Eisenberg, The Conversation, "How scientists quantify the intensity of an outbreak like the coronavirus", https://theconversation.com/r0-how-scientists-quantify-the-intensity-of-an-outbreak-like-coronavirus-and-predict-the-pandemics-spread-130777