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Settling Into Social Distancing

View Kenna Stock, CEO, and Dr. Edward McBride, CMO, as they discuss the frequently used term social distancing, and how we best apply this practice in our everyday lives.

As communities and households settle into a new normal, it’s common to ask ourselves what these frequently used terms mean.  Social distancing, in particular, trends news channels, social media and daily conversation. But why is it so important, and what does this practice look like in our everyday life?

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between you and another individual. By increasing the space between people, illness transmission is drastically reduced and allows more protection for individuals, especially the most vulnerable. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that at least six feet of distance from others lessens your chances of contracting COVID-19.

Actively practicing social distancing also helps ‘flatten the curve.’ We have learned from other communities that failure to take appropriate precautionary measures can result in a dramatic spike in the number of cases occurring over a short period of time. Such a spike very quickly overwhelms a medical community, which means that patients are less likely to receive the supportive care they need to recover.

“To flatten the curve, we must implement precautionary measures and cause the spread to slow and the number of cases to reduce,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward McBride, “Fewer cases at one time means more rapid recovery and a reduction in the inadvertent spread to others.”

In addition, social distancing encourages individuals to stay home and only leave their homes for essentials. Essential reasons include,

  • Going to the doctor or pharmacy
  • If you work an essential job and don’t have the option to work from home
  • Caring for a loved one that needs assistance
  • Outdoor exercise – staying at least six feet away from others
  • Going grocery shopping – with curbside and at-home delivery options, grocery shopping from home is now more convenient than ever!

Harbin Clinic has also adopted a new normal of social distancing. For patients visiting one of our locations, “patient only” restriction policies and designated areas for screening at building entrances and check-ins have been implemented.

For the safety and protection of our patients, many of our providers are now offering HarbinCONNECT virtual visits to help patients receive the medical care they need without leaving their homes.

HarbinCONNECT is a convenient option for secure phone or face-to-face video appointments with primary care, Immediate Care and specialty providers available. Patients will receive a thorough evaluation as well as recommendations for diagnosis and treatment including prescriptions as indicated.

“We have worked diligently to provide adaptive and innovative care options in an effort to bring accessibility to our patients while maintaining our priority of safety,” explains Chief Executive Officer Kenna Stock. 

For more information on HarbinCONNECT, visit

Published April 7, 2020

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