“social distancing,

Most of us call it “social distancing,” but it can help to think of it as “physical distancing” instead. Social distancing puts space between people. By keeping their distance from others, people infected with the virus are less likely to spread it.

The virus mainly spreads when someone breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes, which sends tiny droplets into the air. People standing nearby can get these droplets in their eyes, nose, or mouth, or they can breathe them in.

When there’s at least 6 feet between people, these droplets are more likely to fall onto the ground rather than on other people. Less often, tinier droplets can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These are called aerosols.

Because infected people may not have symptoms, it is best to keep a safe distance whenever you’re around people you don’t live with