Since implementing social distancing practices nationwide, the U.S. has seen a significant reduction in both new infections and projected deaths. Some health officials even suggest we continue distancing ourselves beyond the initial outbreak, which may help prevent second-wave infections.
Social distancing means avoiding large crowds, staying home and keeping a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Combined with frequent handwashing, it’s a strong method to keep yourself healthy. Tap or click here to see more COVID-19 prevention tips from The Kim Komando Show.
Even though we know social distancing is working, new research is showing we may have to adjust the “six-foot rule” to be more effective. Several new studies indicate that viral particles may travel further than we originally thought. Here’s what we learned, as well as what you can do to stay safe.
They fly, now?
As a “novel” coronavirus, our understanding of how SARS-CoV2 functions are incomplete, to say the least. But accelerated scientific research is helping us expand our knowledge of how the virus replicates and transmits.
And from what we can tell, we might have underestimated just how hardy this virus is. Tap or click here to find out how to clean your delivery packages from these tough little particles.
A series of scary new simulations created by technology firm Ansys demonstrate just how far coronavirus particles can travel in the air, which puts doubt on the effectiveness of the so-called “six-foot rule.” Viral particles found in droplets are now believed to hang in the air for longer than previously expected.
Six feet was chosen as a rule-of-thumb by infectious disease experts due to the effects of gravity, which typically pull the particles to the ground beyond that distance. The simulations by Ansys, on the other hand, show that a runner exhaling viral droplets may leave a trail behind them that other people can walk right into.
Distance doesn’t matter if infected or asymptomatic people are exhaling clouds of the virus. To combat this effect, Ansys recommends people who jog or walk together do so side-by-side rather than behind one another. Keeping a distance between each other is still recommended as well as an extra precaution.
In the air tonight
That’s not the only startling simulation showing how tough the virus can be to avoid. Researchers from Aalto University in Finland have put together an animation showing how droplets from an uncovered cough can linger in the air and travel across two aisles in a store.
Not only does Aalto University’s study underscore how important it is to cover your mouth when you cough, but it also shows how dangerous gathering indoors can be for your health during this pandemic.
No wonder the CDC is revising its assessment and recommending people wear face masks as much as possible when in public. Tap or click here to see how to make a Face mask for yourself.
This is horrifying! How can I protect myself outdoors?
Aside from wearing a mask and maintaining social distance, it’s best to try and visualize how the virus travels when you’re out in public. This will help you keep far enough away from others and remember not to follow behind or downwind anyone else.
Imagine, if you can, that everyone around you is a smoker. We all know secondhand smoke can cause the same nasty effects like breathing difficulties and cancer risks that regular cigarettes can. If you walk downwind of a smoker taking a drag, you’ll be enveloped in a cloud of smoke, and won’t be able to avoid breathing it in.
The premise is the same for coronavirus. If you visualize that everyone else is exhaling virus-filled smoke clouds, you won’t make the mistake of walking behind others or getting too close. Instead of six feet of distance between you and others, try 25 feet. Six feet will suffice, otherwise, but continue to avoid standing directly behind other people.
Inhaling droplets is essentially breathing “secondhand virus,” and nobody wants that.
Beyond safe distancing, keep washing those hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. And please, for the love of all things good, stay home! That’s the most powerful prevention method of all. You can’t get sick if you’re not exposed.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.