Social Distancing Is Not Overreacting To COVID-19; It Can Potentially Save Thousands Of Lives

Thought Catalog
4 min readMar 18, 2020
Daria Shevstova

If you’ve been paying attention to the news surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, what you’ve probably seen is a mix of three sentiments: the disease is accelerating rapidly; every measure possible is being taken to cancel events and close public meeting spaces; a lot of the hysteria is manufactured and the Coronavirus isn’t that bad.

Two of those are true, one is false.

While hysteria certainly helps nobody, what we’re seeing is not an overreaction to a “glorified flu,” but precautionary measures being taken so that we do not overwhelm and render ineffective the healthcare system. This is called “social distancing,” and the implications of doing it properly are essential to understand.

What is social distancing?

As The Atlantic explained, on January 23, Wuhan, China had confirmed 444 cases of COVID-19. By the 30th, that number was 4,903. By February 6, that number was 22,112.

A similar pattern was seen in Italy, with 62 cases on February 22, 888 by February 29, and 4,636 by the end of March. It suggests that the United State’s current reported statistic — 604 cases — is probably not an accurate estimate, and even if it is, we should expect it to increase tremendously over the coming days and weeks.

The only way that we can try to contain this is by social distancing, which is essentially just ensuring that everyone stays home and away from public spaces as often as possible.

This is why you’re seeing schools close, basketball seasons be suspended, and many other offices and corporations suggest employees work from home. By slowing the spread, we can try to manage healthcare resources as efficiently as possible.

Italy was essentially a case study for what could happen in other countries.

Even if you are a healthy individual with a low-risk of contracting COVID-19, every measure that you take…

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