Washington State House Democrats


Social Distancing: A How-To Guide

Graphic showing the difference between uncontrolled transmission and using protective measures such as social distancing to lower and delay the epidemic peak

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the virus is transferred from person to person.  Even if you do not show signs of the virus, you could be a carrier and should practice social distancing whenever possible. 

Social distancing guidelines include:   

  • Staying home whenever possible, especially when you or anyone in your household is sick.  
  • Maintaining six feet of space between individuals. It’s okay to get fresh air, walk the dog, buy groceries and pick up medications – just maintain six feet of space. 
  • Eliminating nonessential trips outside the home. Use telecommute options and avoid public transportation whenever possible. Trips to the grocery store and pharmacy are okay.  
  • Minimizing contact with people, especially nonessential travel and visits with people over the age of 60. Seniors and people with compromised immune systems should stay home whenever possible.  
  • Rescheduling nonessential social gatherings and travel. There is a current statewide emergency ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and sit-in options at restaurants and bars. Delivery and take-out options are still available.  
  • Keeping in contact with loved ones remotely.  


Social distancing, not social isolation: tips for good behavioral health 

While social distancing practices are one of the best ways to slow down the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19, stress and lack of human interaction can have negative impacts on our behavioral health.  

Here are some recommendations and resources to stay mentally healthy over the next few weeks.  

  • Take care of your physical health. Eat healthy, nutritious foods, and go for walks outside – just maintain the six-feet social distancing rules.  
  • Practice social distancing, not social isolation. Use technology to stay virtually connected with loved ones.  
  • If you’re working from home or your child’s school has been cancelled, create and stick to regular schedules and routines.  
  • There is going to be constant media coverage on COVID-19. You can avoid overloading on COVID-19 negativity by only consuming information from reliable official resources and know it’s okay to disconnect from time to time.  
  • Find things to do that relieve stress that don’t involve screen time, like reading books, picking up old creative hobbies or indoor physical activities, including regular stretching.  
  • Reach out to a professional if you need help. You don’t have to go through it all alone.  
  • Remember, this won’t last forever. These are temporary situations and will eventually end.