Put simply, social distancing means limiting personal contact with other people.
The public definition of social distancing has become stricter as this pandemic has progressed. The CDC defines social distancing as: "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible." But, definitions of “congregant settings” and “mass gatherings” have remained vague.
You can practice social distancing through your own choices to limit travel, to cancel or not attend group gatherings, and to avoid public AND personal settings where groups of people may be interacting. The most recent federal government recommendation, from the President’s Task Force, is fewer than 10 people. One point to remember is that every individual in your interaction network is also interacting with people outside of your network. The more varied and more active the people in your network, the more likely the virus is to spread to you and others in your household.
Your community and community groups may promote or enforce social distancing measures through school closures and distance learning, encouraging or requiring some work be done remotely, restricting restaurant services to drive-through, carryout or delivery only, etc. All of these actions are intended to limit interpersonal contact and to slow the spread of the disease as possible.
Individuals and families will make their own decisions within the boundaries of what community, county, state, and federal authorities are requiring and enforcing. Work obligations and childcare and senior care options are especially limiting for some families. When making care arrangements, through formal or informal sources, you should select an option that screens children and parents for symptoms, practices enhanced sanitation procedures, and keeps children in consistent, small groups. Practice social distancing as strictly as possible for your family and household. Expect the same of your workplace, daycare, and other places where you and your family interact with people.