Quarantine: what is the goal? See insulation tips

Since WHO (World Health Organization) classified Coronavirus (COVID-19) as Pandemic , on March 11, many people have been extremely concerned.

This statement does not mean that the situation is out of control. However, it requires governments around the world to take more drastic measures in order to prevent chaos and the further spread of this highly contagious virus.

Among the measures, is the quarantine . So, below you can better understand what this means, how to act at that moment and find more practical guidelines:

What is quarantine?

According to Law 13,979 / 2020, quarantine is characterized as the restriction of activities or separation of people suspected of contamination from people who are not sick.

Thus, quarantine is understood as a period in which healthy individuals are in seclusion for the maximum period of incubation of the disease (time between the time when the human being is infected by the virus and the onset of symptoms). In general, the date of the last contact with a carrier or source of infection is taken into account.

However, at the present time, considering that COVID-19 was considered a pandemic (worldwide spread of a disease), it is understood that the virus is circulating throughout the world.

For this reason, many countries are taking drastic measures and asking that, even without governmental imposition, as far as possible, everyone quarantine. This measure aims to prevent the further spread of the virus, so that people leave the house only when it is really necessary – always taking the necessary preventive care.

Are quarantine and isolation the same thing?

Many people wonder if quarantine and isolation are the same and, basically, yes.

In general, isolation is a period in which the patient remains in prison during the time of incubation of the disease, in order not to contaminate other people. That is, when there is suspicion of contamination, the person should be isolated until confirmation of the condition or not.

Isolation usually occurs in the home or home environment, but it is possible that it occurs in hospitals or health centers. The idea is basically to prevent a suspected case from continuing to spread the viral agent.

It can also apply to luggage, means of transport, goods, etc. – since the virus can be lodged in materials or surfaces. Thus, potentially infected areas are isolated.

However, with the Coronavirus pandemic , periods of isolation are also being recommended for people who are not sick. That is, it is recommended that everyone, as much as possible, stay at home, as they can become infected and – consequently – transmit the disease to other people.

Both quarantine and isolation are measures that have a simple objective: social detachment. In general, the main difference is that the quarantine is established based on guidelines from health authorities and, when failing to comply with the measure, it may be necessary to respond to the law.

What is the objective?

The quarantine aims to guarantee the maintenance of health services, aiming at maintaining a good functioning in order to serve all the people who really need it.

Thus, it is understood that this procedure is an administrative act and that it is a public health measure – at the moment, to confront the Coronavirus in the country.

With this, it is possible to prevent more people from becoming infected and allowing those who are already sick to have access to the necessary care. Consequently, avoiding higher rates of illness, as well as death rates and chaos in the health system.

Quarantine lasts 40 days?

Contrary to what the name suggests, quarantine does not mean – necessarily – stay 40 days at home. The seclusion time may be shorter or, in some cases, longer than that.

This strategy can be extended for as long as the authorities, mainly in the health area, deem it necessary to contain the community transmission of the virus and, consequently, guarantee a good functioning of health services.

It is worth mentioning that quarantine only occurs from a formal orientation that must have a justification. It needs to be decreed by the Secretariats of Health (municipal or state), by the Minister of State for Health or higher. In addition, it must be published in the Federal Official Gazette.

Can I have contact with other people in the quarantine?

No . When a quarantine state is decreed, people can only leave their homes for extremely necessary situations – such as to buy essential supplies, for example.

Therefore, they should not have contact with other people, considering that in some cases the virus has not yet caused symptoms to the carrier. That is, the person may be infected, not yet know and – consequently – transmit the virus.

Especially in cases of pandemics such as the highly contagious Coronavirus, one should avoid as much as possible any contact with people outside their home.

How it works: what can and cannot do during quarantine?

According to the previous topics, the idea of ​​quarantine is to stay at home for as long as possible. That is, leave only in cases that are really necessary.

But some tips can be useful at this point:

  • If you live in a condominium / building: avoid taking an elevator or staying in areas susceptible to crowding people (such as swimming pools, games rooms, etc.);
  • Try to find alternative times to go to the market or pharmacies and, whenever possible, go alone (the less people on the streets, the better);
  • If you are going to take a child for outside activities, give preference to open places and without crowding people – always taking care of hygiene, avoiding touching the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes;
  • Avoid contact with anyone in the risk group (the elderly, people with pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension, etc.);
  • Do not receive visitors at home, or go out to visit other people;
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (the ideal is that the wash lasts around 20 seconds);
  • Keep the environments ventilated and sanitized.

It is worth remembering that the measures vary for cases of isolation (less restrictive) and quarantine, which is when the authorities start to take more drastic measures and there may be more specific rules to be followed.

Tips for organizing routine during isolation

Many people are left with doubts about how to organize themselves to maintain the routine in a period of isolation, mainly in the midst of a lot of hysteria and bombardment of news.

In general, the guideline is that each person keep at home what is necessary for the recommended period of imprisonment. That is, if the recommendation is to stay home for the next 15 days, make sure that you have what you need for that period.

This includes hygiene items, food, medication and other necessities that you may have according to your routine.

Stay tuned to the news, if you have other guidance on increasing the isolation period, take action according to the information received. This means that you do not need to stock items in your home, as this can damage other people’s supplies and – even – make products more expensive.

In addition, it is not necessary to use masks unless you have had contact with an infected person. Another concern is the use of alcohol: there is no need to have a large amount at home, since the greatest effectiveness is to wash your hands well.

In general, follow the basic recommendation to only leave the house when it is really necessary.


The quarantine or isolation period may seem bad, but it is necessary to avoid major problems related to public health.

Take this time to keep busy (a) in routine activities that can (as work homeoffice , for example), stay with your family and take time out for leisure or personal care.

For more information on health, keep following the Healthy Minute!

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