In the past 48 hours, America has stepped closer to lockdown: Several states have closed schools, professional sports leagues have suspended their seasons, and companies across the U.S. have asked employees to work from home. These measures are all intended to limit social interactions, and hopefully, slow the spread of the coronavirus.
And while the response may seem extreme, one of the best methods in public health to slow the spread of a virus and minimize its effects on the most vulnerable populations is this very strategy, called social distancing.
Public health officials say social distancing is not meant to induce panic. On the contrary, the goal is to protect people who are healthy by keeping them away from the sick.