As we’re adapting to the coronavirus, it’s important to be mindful of other people when stepping outside of our homes.
Going outside of your house is not only a precious activity, but also one that exposes you to other people and their ways of social distancing. Once outside you’re faced with hundreds of different reactions, whether they’re of people jumping out of your way or stepping too close to you.
One of COVID-19’s most significant impacts is the ways in which it affects our behavior in public. While different states are mandating the use of face masks and maintaining 6-feet of distance between yourself and others, most people don’t know what to do when faced with a packed elevator or a crowded aisle at the supermarket.
Here are some social distancing etiquette basics we should all start practicing:
Avoid crowded spaces
Whether they’re elevators, supermarket aisles or sidewalks, your best bet is to avoid crowded spaces, giving people enough room to move about, while protecting yourself. If you’re waiting on an elevator to get to your apartment, consider waiting until the elevator is relatively empty or using the stairs.
Respect the boundaries of essential workers
It’s very important for everyone to be as nice and respectful as possible with others, especially to essential workers who spend their days tending to grocery stores, which are big hot spots for anxiety. Don’t crowd these workers when they’re stocking up on groceries and try to keep your distance from them and from others at the store. If someone steps up too close to you, try to stay calm and ask politely if they could give you some space.
Runners and bikers should be extra careful
There’s a lot of information out there regarding runners and bikers and their germs, with some claiming that due to the speed in which they’re moving, their droplets can travel farther distances. If you’re someone who’s exercising outdoors, be sure to use the streets and to leave the sidewalks for pedestrians. Run against the flow of traffic, that way you’ll be able to spot oncoming cars and stay safe.
Remember that we’re all new to this
We’re all new to social distancing guidelines, meaning that it’s very likely for everyone to overreact and forget about the appropriate way to behave in public. Try to avoid confrontations with others and cut people some slack; this is a very stressful time for everyone and it’ll take us a little while to get used to the ways in which the new world works.