A stoner’s guide to social distancing

Published Mar 22, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Thiago Santos

Weed and quarantine, a combination that the majority of us would never have thought possible, until now. As this new virus makes its way across the globe, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake, it is now more important than ever that we pay attention to how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. The hope is that this will all be over soon, but until it is, there are a few things that every stoner should know.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a term that we’re hearing about on the news almost every single day, but few really understand what it means. Social distancing means to keep a safe space between yourself and everyone that lives outside of your home. In some cases that could be maintaining a distance between people out in public or limiting regular outings such as grocery runs to those that are necessary.

It also means that those who are sick should do their best to stay in isolation, even from family members who have yet to show any symptoms. That includes those who are in close quarters and anyone who resides under the same roof as someone who is ill. In some cases, a specific set of symptoms are used for screening, but with a virus-like COVID-19, the symptoms are similar to those of a common cold or flu, so anyone who is sick should be staying indoors.

So, does that mean I can’t socialize at all?

In this day and age, we are fortunate to have such extensive technology choices that can help to keep us connected no matter where we might be in the world. So, therefore, no, you don’t have to stop contacting your friends and family. You can always pick up a phone, join a group chat, host a watch party on Facebook, or facetime using one of the many great apps out there. It’s just best to keep physical contact to a minimum, and that is especially true for those who are most vulnerable due to age or prior health conditions.

In fact, socializing is an essential part of maintaining good mental health and strong connections within the community, both of which are incredibly powerful tools when faced with a global emergency. So, reach out to everyone that you know, stay connected, and do your best to help each other to weather the storm that is slowly creeping in. It will help to give you peace of mind knowing that they are ok, and that life is continuing despite the current struggles we’re facing.

The goal of social distancing

Social distancing is the best way to combat any illness, and it’s most useful in situations like what we’re experiencing with COVID-19, where researchers, experts, and scientists are still several months away from uncovering a safe and effective treatment or vaccine. Since people need to be in contact with one another to spread this virus, breaking that link is the chain that can often be enough to completely eradicate some illnesses.

In the case of COVID-19, the goal with social distancing is not to eradicate the disease, as it is so widespread that there is little to no chance of this measure working well enough to get rid of it altogether. Instead, the goal is to slow the spread within the population, in hopes of avoiding overwhelming our unprepared healthcare systems.

Treatment of a severe case of COVID-19 may require the assistance of a respirator, which is a healthcare tool that is in short supply, and it also takes up a bed that must be in total isolation. This is not a problem for most hospitals when only a handful of patients require this kind of specialized care, but once those who are infected reach into the hundreds or even thousands, it puts a strain on our limited resources and overworked healthcare workers.

That is why our current goal with social distancing is not to eradicate COVID-19, it’s to slow the spread so that the fresh new influx of people with the virus comes in at a rate that is manageable with our current healthcare system. It will continue to make its way through the population regardless, but for now, we need to slow it down to give doctors and specialists who are working on treatments and vaccines the time they need to find a successful solution to combat COVID-19.

Should I quit smoking weed due to COVID-19?

Now that we have all of the essentials out of the way, you might be wondering if it’s still safe to get high during this pandemic, especially if you are one of the many cannabis enthusiasts who cannot grow, and must make regular purchases from licensed suppliers. Well, you will be happy to know that you don’t have to stop toking just yet, but it might be a good idea to take some precautions along the way because even if you manage to have access to weed delivery, the extra exchange does open you up to a higher potential for contracting a contagious virus.

How to keep from getting sick

You’re probably relieved to hear that you can keep up with your regular stoner activities, but we want to make it clear that this additional human interaction should be conducted with the utmost of care to ensure the safety of you and your trusted supplier who has many others that rely on their wellbeing. So, make sure to stock up so you don’t have to order so frequently, and to take precautions during these interactions to avoid germ exchange.

Healthy ways to pass the time

Whether you’re stuck under quarantine or just staying in isolation to do your part with social distancing, it is important to find ways to keep your hands and mind busy. It can help to take your mind off all of the insanity, and it can improve your health. So, pull out your favorite board games or jump on into an online world. Read a book, or take on a challenge like spring cleaning, it really doesn’t matter what you choose to do. Were all stuck inside and keeping busy is the best way to pass the time as we await better news.

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