Would you double your social “bubble” as the pandemic continues?
Support bubbles, or quarantine pods, could be the cure for loneliness, depression and anxiety after months of social estrangement and isolation amid the coronavirus health crisis, some experts say.
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An idea originating in New Zealand, the concept of “social bubble” requires two people or households to commit to socializing in person exclusively with each other, the Associated Press reports, to limit the risk of potential infection.
The support bubbles are only recommended, however, if all participants agree to pay attention to the safe social distancing guidelines beyond.
“Now you’re swimming in the same pool not just with that person, but with all the people that those people are interacting with,” said Dr. Aaron Milstone of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine about the idea.
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Across the pond, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that single parents or adults living alone can create bubbles of support with another home. Participants are advised to maintain a physical distance of at least six and a half feet apart when meeting with others, either indoors or outdoors.
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Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Human Behavior suggested that such bubbles might work better to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve compared to other socialization strategies, such as meeting with other members of the neighborhood.
However, it is still too early to determine whether these social bubbles will “work” on a larger scale, according to the Associated Press.
“I don’t think we can promise people complete safety when they have face-to-face contact with other people outside their home,” study co-author Per Block of the University of Oxford said of the findings.
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According to a study conducted in April by the US Census Bureau. USA And five federal agencies, a third of Americans have had anxiety or depression issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
Associated Press contributed to this report.