March 12, 2020 | by admin
Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation
during the COVID-19 outbreak
What Is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering places such as movie theaters may close, and sports events and religious services may be cancelled.
What Is Quarantine?
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease.
What Is Isolation?
Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.
In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, local officials may require the public to take measures to limit and control the spread of the disease. This tip sheet provides information about social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. The government has the right to enforce federal and state laws related to public health if people within the country get sick with highly contagious diseases that have the potential to develop into outbreaks or pandemics.
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help.
What To Expect: Typical Reactions
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. People may feel:
Anxiety, worry, or fear related to:
If you or a loved one experience any of these reactions for 2 to 4 weeks or more, contact your health care provider or one of the resources at the end of this tip sheet.
UNDERSTAND THE RISK
Consider the real risk of harm to yourself and others around you. The public perception of risk during a situation such as an infectious disease outbreak is often inaccurate. Media coverage may create the impression that people are in immediate danger when really the risk for infection may be very low. Take steps to get the facts:
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Speaking out about your needs is particularly important if you are in quarantine, since you may not be in a hospital or other facility where your basic needs are met. Ensure you have what you need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
Health care providers and health authorities should provide information on the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment.
WORK WITH YOUR EMPLOYER TO REDUCE FINANCIAL STRESS
If you’re unable to work during this time, you may experience stress related to your job status or financial situation.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. You can:
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
If you are in a medical facility, you may have access to health care providers who can answer your questions. However, if you are quarantined at home, and you’re worried about physical symptoms you or your loved ones may be experiencing, call your doctor or other health care provider:
USE PRACTICAL WAYS TO COPE AND RELAX
After Social Distancing, Quarantine, or Isolation
You may experience mixed emotions, including a sense of relief. If you were isolated because you had the illness, you may feel sadness or anger because friends and loved ones may have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious.
The best way to end this common fear is to learn about the disease and the actual risk to others. Sharing this information will often calm fears in others and allow you to reconnect with them.
If you or your loved ones experience symptoms of extreme stress—such as trouble sleeping, problems with eating too much or too little, inability to carry out routine daily activities, or using drugs or alcohol to cope—speak to a health care provider or call one of the hotlines listed to the right for a referral.
Helpful Resources / Hotlines
SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline
Toll-Free: 1-800-985-5990 (English and español)
SMS: Text TalkWithUs to 66746 SMS (español): “Hablanos” al 66746
Website (English): http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov
Website (español): http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ espanol.aspx
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
Toll-Free: 1-800-662-HELP (24/7/365 Treatment Referral Information Service in English and español)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Toll-Free (English): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Toll-Free (español): 1-888-628-9454
TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
Website (English): http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Website (español): http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ gethelp/spanish.aspx
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator Website: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/locator/home
Sources for Reliable Outbreak-Related Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Americas of the World
525 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
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