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Published on April 27, 2020

Now Is Not the Time to Stop Social Distancing

Now Is Not the Time to Stop Practicing Social Distancing

Now is not the time to stop social distancing. It's also important to seek care immediately if you're having an emergency medical event like a heart attack or stroke. Chief physician executive Bruce Swords, MD, discusses these topics in this week's 2 Your Well-Being discussion with WFMY News 2.

I've heard that although some areas are reopening, now may not be the time to stop social distancing. Is that true?

“I agree with you that now is not the time to quit social distancing. If you think about this curve that we have thought about for the last many, many weeks, we are still increasing. We are still on the up slope of that curve, and even if someone wanted to make the argument that we're nearing the peak or at the peak, the downside of that curve is at least as long as the upside of that curve. So now is the time to double down on social distancing. Stay away from each other, period.”

What would happen if people decided to stop practicing social distancing?

“I think if you look at this from an epidemiological point of view and a transmission point of view, if we all gathered tonight and had one big party, there are many of us who could be infected and don't know it. We're going to transmit that to the healthy amongst us and 5 to 14 days from now, we will see this curve that has had a slope to it … the slope would increase and we'd have a significant problem in a very short period of time.”

How long will we need to practice social distancing?

“It’s a great question, and it's a really tough one to answer. We have lots of modeling inside of our facilities and people who are doing a lot of math equations trying to answer that question specifically. We anticipate the peak at Cone Health will be well into May or June, and so we certainly will be preaching social distancing through that time period and beyond. I think we're going to have to get used to the idea of staying away from each other for a prolonged period of time. It may look differently a few months from now than it does today, but I think we will be social distancing for a prolonged period of time.

How can we as a community help Cone Health during this pandemic?

“The best thing that the community can do for the community and Cone Health as part of the community is to continue to social distance, to stay away from each other and be healthy.”

I’m concerned about getting emergency care. What should I do?

“Cone Health is here to serve all the communities that we serve. If you need us, if you've got a medical emergency, seek care now. Don't put emergency care off. We're here to help. … Now is not the time to ignore those serious medical events because there's a slight fear of coronavirus.”

2 Your Well-Being

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Tune in to WFMY News 2 every Monday to watch health segments on a variety of wellness topics.