Letter: Playdates and Sleepovers – The Importance of Social Distancing

Dear Editor,

I’m sure you might be wondering about the following question.

The experts say that coronavirus is catchier AND more deadly than the flu. So why is the reality from China not in line with the doomsday predictions?

Consider the following; besides for the area of Wuhan the outbreak in China was not very severe. Additionally, they seem to have quickly got rid of it. The amount of new cases in China have been decreasing and are now almost nonexistent!! It turns out that a small fraction of their 1.4 BILLION population got it. But I thought 20%-80% of the population have to get it?

The simple answer:
– The experts’ doomsday predictions are assuming we WON’T follow strict social distancing guidelines.
– In Wuhan they DID follow strict social distancing guidelines.

The moral of the story is that ב״ה social distancing does work very, very well! The severity of this outbreak is up to us. We therefore MUST follow strict social distancing guidelines.

As a social distancing measure, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health advised against play dates and sleepovers. This makes so much sense. Instead of sitting in a classroom or lunch room with a potentially infected child, our children should now spend the day with them in close quarters?! Interacting with a group of people – one person at a time – does not decrease the chance of transmission, it actually significantly increases it!

We must obey these guidelines and save lives, no matter the hardship. We can set a positive productive atmosphere in the home, and encourage use of the telephone to mitigate the social isolation. However not obeying the guideline and causing unnecessary deaths is not an option for a frum Jew or an ethical human being.

ה׳ ישמרנו!!

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