Coronavirus: Differences Between Quarantine, Isolation and Social Distancing

While there is no cure or vaccine for coronavirus just yet, we have to do what we can in order to slow the curve and stop the spread of the virus. The best way to do that is through public safety tools, and the three that have been developed are quarantine, isolation, and social distancing. It can be hard to keep up with the rules for each, so we broke down the differences between quarantine, isolation, and social distancing, and explain how they all relate to your sobriety.

Understanding Coronavirus Quarantine

Quarantine has been defined as separating people who might have been exposed to an infection but who aren’t yet sick. According to the CDC, symptoms can take up to 14 days to present themselves after exposure. For example, if you were to come in contact with someone who has coronavirus, it can take up to two weeks before you become sick and show symptoms. That means that for up to two weeks, you can be spreading the virus without even knowing it. Because the virus is so rampant, there is a high likelihood you can become exposed to it whenever you leave your home. The idea is that if all people quarantine for 14 days, they will not be able to spread the virus to others.

Quarantine and Sobriety

Quarantine applies to people who feel as if they may have been exposed to the virus. They are instructed to not leave their home at all for up to 14 days, which can feel very isolating. As such, this is one of the most intense measures of the three public safety tools, because the individual cannot go anywhere at all.

If you are quarantining and are in recovery, be sure to keep yourself busy, lean on your support via phone or virtual chats, and practice self-care before you become too bored, angry, lonely, or hungry.

Understanding Coronavirus Isolation

Isolation is separating those with confirmed infections from other people so that they can get better without infecting anyone else. According to Vox, a key to making isolation work is to pair it with contact tracing. While sick patients are in isolation, public health workers can do detective work, figuring out all the people those infected with the virus had contact with. That way, they can find the infected person’s source of the disease and potentially isolate them, as well as identify people who are at risk of contracting the disease and place them under isolation or quarantine.

The length of isolation can vary. The CDC recommends that isolation lasts until you have had no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication for at least 72 hours, other symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, have improved, and at least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Isolation and Sobriety

Finding out you may have coronavirus can be extremely scary. However, it is important to remember that most people are able to recover successfully at home with mild symptoms. It is important to keep in contact with your doctor and monitor your symptoms to see if you might need to receive medical care. Symptoms for which you should seek medical attention include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. Otherwise, stay in isolation and rest.

If you do find out that you have coronavirus, it’s especially important to stay in touch with your sober support. Video chat with your sponsor or group and talk about your symptoms as well as your mental health. There are also resources for groups of people online who have coronavirus, such as Facebook groups, so you can relate to others who have it and exchange stories.

Understanding Coronavirus Social Distancing

Social distancing refers to a slew of tactics meant to keep people from congregating in large crowds to slow the spread of a virus. These tactics include staying at least 6 ft. away from other people, limiting gatherings to five or fewer people, closing schools, staying home from work, and avoiding large groups of people in general.

Social Distancing and Sobriety

Social distancing measures have closed restaurants, group meetings, parties, social gatherings, and work functions. This can be extremely difficult for people in recovery who rely on the support and keeping busy in order to stay sober. For ways to stay busy during social distancing, read this blog.

Quarantine, isolation, and social distancing can leave people feeling very lonely, anxious, and with a case of cabin fever. For some, it can be enough to push them into a relapse situation. If quarantine, isolation, and social distancing are becoming overwhelmingly triggering for you, reach out to us. We can help you.

About Cliffside Malibu

Because no two addictions are the same, we develop individualized treatment plans for every client at Cliffside Malibu. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model across a range of levels of care, including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program includes family therapy and holistic therapy. Whether an individual has a substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information, visit Cliffside Malibu.