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Caregiving Chronicles

News and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and beyond.

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Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from CaregivingMetroWest.org Program Director Douglas Flynn.


Coronavirus "buzz words" explained
By DebraMcDonagh / April 28, 2020

Social and Physical Distancing, Self-Quarantine, Isolation, Flattening the Curve.

We have all heard, "stay at home," "wash your hands," and "don't touch your face." But facts are essential right now to reduce an inclination toward panicking. So, what actually is the difference between social distancing and self-quarantine? 

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains key phrases associated with the pandemic: 

Social distancing or Physical Distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Other examples of social and physical distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are: 

  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person
  • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings 

What is self-quarantine? People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Self-quarantine involves:

  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils 
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

What is isolating? For people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. 

  • Isolation can take place at home, or a hospital, or care facility.
  • Special personal protective equipment will be used to care for these patients in health care settings.

What is "flattening the curve?" Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection, so hospitals have room, supplies, and doctors for all of the patients who need care. 

To read more detail on each term, you can view the entire Johns Hopkins article by clicking here.



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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc.'s Family Caregiver Support Program and Caregiving MetroWest are grateful for the generous support of our community partner, Avidia Bank, which helps us continue to give area family caregivers the information, resources and support they need.