Quarantine – what it is and how it works

If there is a word that has become frequent in our routine, it is “quarantine”. But, some people still have doubts about what this isolation process is and how it works.

Quarantine has been carried out in several countries in an essential strategy to control the Coronavirus pandemic. But, understanding the concept and functioning of a quarantine is the crucial point for it to be carried out successfully.

What is the Quarantine

Quarantine - what it is and how it works

Quarantine is nothing more than the process of seclusion of healthy individuals so that they are not contaminated with a particular virus.

Although the term became popular in 2020, the word has always existed and has been used in different periods of humanity, always with the purpose of containing the spread of several viruses.

In quarantine, the individual must avoid contact with other people. It is understood that this distance can avoid contamination and contribute to the containment of diseases.

How long does it last?

One of the biggest confusions regarding the term is its duration. As the name suggests, quarantine can be accomplished in a 40-day cycle of confinement – but that is not a rule.

What really determines how long to keep this measure is the virus incubation period.

That is, it is necessary to study and understand how long, on average, the virus is incubated and for how long an individual can be a disease-transmitting agent.

The quarantine cycle starts from the moment the person has contact with the virus or with someone infected by it. During seclusion, therefore, we must observe whether symptoms appear that indicate the development of the disease and, therefore, the presence of the virus in another person.

How Quarantine is done

For a quarantine to have the expected effect – which is to contain the spread of a particular virus – it must be strictly enforced.

In Brazil, this has been one of the great difficulties in the crisis generated by the Coronavirus, since most people do not comply with quarantine as it should, which greatly compromises the results of the measure.

How is it performed?

Quarantine - what it is and how it works

Quarantine is done with the isolation of an individual in his residence. During this period, contact with other people should be avoided as much as possible, in order to reduce the risk of contamination.

External activities must be suspended or adapted to a home office model so that they can be carried out without displacing the citizen outside their residence.

The big point here is that the quarantine is performed by people who have no symptoms, but who have somehow been in situations where they may have contracted the infection.

Therefore, in a pandemic scenario, in which the virus spreads exponentially, and in situations of high infectious content, quarantine ends up being imposed on the entire population, since anyone can be an asymptomatic transmitter.

Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation

It is very common to confuse quarantine with isolation. Both measures are on the rise and have been adopted as a strategy to contain the advances of COVID19 not only in Brazil, but in the world.

However, although words are often used with the same meaning, there are basic differences between them that must be considered.

Quarantine, as stated earlier, is imposed on people who do not have symptoms, but who have been in situations where they may have contracted the disease.

The isolation, on the other hand, is aimed at people who are already infected, and who are removed from society not with a preventive character, but rather to really prevent the virus from spreading.

Isolation begins when the infection is proven from clinical and laboratory tests. It, unlike quarantine, can be performed both at home and in the hospital, under observation of professionals


The word “quarantine” entered the topic of most searched terms on Google. A lot of people want to know how long it lasts, what it means and how to actually stick to it.

The fact is that, although it has no definite date to end, quarantine has proved, throughout history, to be an essential weapon in combating epidemics.

This strategy has already been adopted on several occasions and the results, in partnership with other means of containing infections, are very positive.

But quarantine can also have harmful effects. It is important to find ways to keep your mind healthy and balanced so that you do not succumb to a state of anxiety or depression, common in these scenarios.

To do this, try to eat properly, practice physical exercises at home, talk to other people, develop healthy habits and do things you like.

All of this will certainly help you to comply with the quarantine more lightly. In addition, keep in mind that this is an orientation from renowned professionals around the world. So, stay safe. Stay at home.

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