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The True Value of Social Distancing

  • Category: Article
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  • Written By: Edna Espino

OKLAHOMA CITY - As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the battle against this disease has now become a public effort. To slow the spread of this disease through U.S. communities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged Americans to practice "social distancing" measures.

Social distancing refers to every day actions that lower the likelihood of spreading disease to someone else. Ultimately, it aims to prevent infected people from coming into close contact with uninfected people. Participation in social distancing can help slow down the outbreak and reduce the chance of infection among high risk populations.

Ways you can engage in social distancing include:

  • Keeping your distance -- Avoid large gatherings. Keep at least six feet of distance from others especially people who are sick.
  • Staying home -- If you are feeling sick or are presenting flu-like symptoms, avoid visiting public places. Cover your cough and sneeze. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.

“Develop unique ways to communicate with friends, children and loved ones without being in their presence,” said Douglas Drevets, M.D., OU Medicine chief of Infectious Diseases. “This will help with the psychological aspects of social distancing and isolation and through this you can encourage them and yourselves to protect one another.”

Along with physical distance, proper hand washing is important for protecting not only yourself but others around you—because the virus can be spread even without symptoms.

“We are all in this together,” Drevets said. “We can all do our part for social distancing. We can take the guidance from the national health authorities seriously and by helping each other with perseverance and calm determination, we will get through.”

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OU Medicine — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Medicine is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Medicine serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Medicine is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Medicine was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Medicine’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit