Stay home and don’t be selfish, we should all be social distancing

It’s our responsibility to stay home, it’s not hard

*Disclaimer: I do not claim to know everything there is to know except what I have learnt from reliable sources and from watching what is going on in the world*

Despite current advice from the government regarding COVID-19, some people are still failing to take social distancing seriously. A lot of this is down to a lack of information from the government during this time, however, we all have the responsibility to do our bit and heed what the government is telling us to do.

The government’s guidelines for social distancing are as follows:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs.
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Think of it like this: there are two kids in the class who keep talking over the teacher and the teacher says “if you don’t stop then I’m going to give the whole class detention.” They don’t stop and the whole class is punished as a result. Continuing to ignore the government advice of social distancing is basically a very large scale “ruining it for everyone else”. You know “that guy” you never wanted to be? Don’t be “that guy” now.

Bars, restaurants, cafes etc. may be shut as of now, however, this does not mean that the socialising you would have done in these places should continue in the home. Social distancing is staying at home, and only leaving the house if it is essential, for example for food shopping. That is not to say you cannot get some fresh air by going on a walk or a run, but if you encounter a friend, keep a distance of at least 2m from them. You can still have a decent conversation, without taking any risks.

Most importantly, share this message with others, as the government is not doing enough to explain WHY we are social distancing, which means that people are not following the advice.

At the end of the day, we are still only being given strong “advice” and we can still make the choice to hang out in groups. But, before you invite your friends over for a hangout “whilst you still can”, reconsider the implications on yourself and others. When this has all blown over there will be the wild parties and wild gatherings. Just be patient and consider others; this really isn’t the time to be selfish. Just because you might be young and healthy, you might pass it on to someone who is not and they will not be so lucky. If you catch the virus, you will most likely want treatment, therefore taking up space in hospitals filled with people who are terminally ill and didn’t end up in a hospital bed because they “decided to have a social gathering.” Think of others. Don’t be selfish.

If you are still unsure how to best go about social distancing, whether you are remaining at uni or going home, click here.

If you are concerned about your mental health during this time, click here for advice.

Finally, click here to join the Student Union’s coronavirus community page for ideas on how to get through the boredom of self-isolation.

Stay home, wash your hands, stay safe.