Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, some people have created 'social bubbles' or 'social pods', which are nothing but small groups of familiar people with whom they physically interact (routinely) in order to get the comfort and socialization they need to get through the pandemic.
Experts say entering into a social pod is not something that should be done lightly though and every person should evaluate the risks before joining. According to experts, the more people you interact with at a gathering and the longer you are together, the higher the potential risk of contracting the virus.
However, most experts agree that maintaining a small circle of people that you interact with in person can be beneficial to your well-being. 'It is certainly a good time to be mindful about who you are hanging out with, your current health status, and theirs. But that doesn't mean we have to all self-isolate for perpetuity," says a Guwahati based doctor adding, "Social isolation for a prolonged period of time is not without its own risks. With no end to the pandemic in sight, it is important to learn how to live with COVID-19, rather than waiting for it to be over."
Nevertheless, making adjustments or shrinking your social bubble may be necessary at different times during the pandemic to further minimize the risk to you and those in your group.Today with lockdowns easing and people expanding their social and economic activities; second waves of the virus have broken out in several parts of the world.
It is therefore a good time to re-evaluate your chosen social (mixing) circle now and maybe eliminate the ones who have greater proximity or associations with a large number of people who are unknown to you.
Here are some useful tips that might help you while shrinking your social circle:
Making adjustments or shrinking your social bubble may be necessary at different times during the pandemic to minimize the risk to you and those in your groupCut out those you don't have to see: Start by cutting physical contact with those you do not live in the same household with and with people who you are not responsible for. Start by limiting direct/physical interaction with those who you rarely see anyway followed by people who are at increased risk of exposure (people with less abidance to social distancing and virus precaution protocols, people who partake in high-social gatherings and travel frequently)
Strike a balance:
Physical distancing should not change the way you love and care for family and friends. Keep other lines of communication open so it does not feel like you are completely disconnected from those you were seeing on a regular basis.
Keeping yourself active via exercise (independently and preferably indoors at home), partaking in a hobby, or reading/learning something new can keep you physically and cognitively engaged, easing the stress of social distancing.
Maintain safety within your trimmed social pod too:
Even while engaging in a trimmed (downsized) social circle you need to be conscious and aware all the time. You need to be acutely aware of your own health status too. Have you had a fever recently? Are you feeling inexplicably fatigued? Do you have a cough? Are you pregnant or immunocompromised in some way? Answering 'yes' to any of these questions may indicate that it is safer to forego social activity, according to health experts.