Whenever there is an outbreak of a disease that easily spreads from person-to-person you may hear health experts urge everyone to start practicing Social Distancing or Physical Distancing. Is it just because of people coughing and sneezing and why is it so important?
Watch the video for the full experience!
Why Social / Physical Distance?
You may hear or read that diseases like the COVID-19 coronavirus spread from person-to-person through small droplets that come from an infected persons mouth and nose and get advice like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
If you stand outside in the cold and talk or exhale you can see your breath. What you see is the condensation of the moisture in the air coming out of your lungs through your mouth or nose.
Is that considered to be droplets that can transmit the virus?
I looked into this further but even with legitimate sources like the CDC, the WHO and others, it’s hard to find and there’s conflicting information.
A quick note before continuing… I want to note that I am not a health professional and am only posing questions and providing my opinions from the information I find online. See the links in the video description below for my sources.
It’s already confusing with all the information available out there and it doesn’t help that there is conflicting information from good sources.
Sometimes you read that COVID-19 is spread through coughing or sneezing and other times it’s through coughing, sneezing or exhaling. This conflict is also seen in information provided by the WHO’s website where there is mention of only coughing and sneezing while another document mentions coughing and exhaling.
According to information I found on the NCBI website (National Center for Biotechnology Information) droplets produced from humans includes breathing, talking, sneezing, coughing and even laughing and singing. Though, note that each will exhibit different droplet sizes and contents, which would affect how far they can travel and potentially infect.
Here are some examples of what it looks like when you breathe, talk and cough.
According to the WHO droplets can infect by coming in contact with your eyes, nose or mouth from touching or breathing in.
Visually, you can see why you might want to practice social/physical distancing.
What is Social / Physical Distancing?
Social/Physical distancing is a health strategy of increasing the physical distance between you and other people to help prevent the spread of disease. Again, here we get conflicting advice on Social Distancing from reputable sources. Sometimes the advice is to stay at least 1m (~3 feet) away, other times it is 1 to 2m, while other times it is at least 2m (~6 feet).
Given that COVID-19 has been declared a Pandemic by the WHO, and transmission is possible from asymptomatic people (infected person with no obvious symptoms), it may be best to error on the side of caution and practice Social Distancing/Physical Distancing of at least 2 meters when you need to be out in the public or even at home around your family if anyone has been out in the public recently.
While at the person-to-person scale, social distancing is important, we must also understand that at a higher level, it also means not holding or not attending social gatherings, meetings and limiting non-essential travel, working from home, etc… No matter how large.
At a higher level, social gatherings like: Family gatherings, religious services, cultural, sports, entertainment events, etc… should be avoided
To our readers, wherever you are from … Stay safe, positive and continue to practice proper social physical distancing & hygiene:
→ Practice Physical Distancing/Social Distancing of at least 2 meters
→ Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
→ Cover mouth & nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing
→ Washing your hands properly and thoroughly for 20 seconds
#physicaldistancing #socialdistancing #physicaldistance #coronavirus #COVID19 #coronaoutbreak #SARSCoV2 #VirusCorona #quarantine #stayathome #stayhome
If you are interested, here is an article comparing effectiveness of different materials used for face masks compared to N95 masks and Surgical masks.
Do you have an Under Armour Sportsmask? If you hate the air leak around the nose then checkout our UA Face Mask mod to fix this issue!
Also checkout what items you might have not sanitized yet!
WHO (2020 Mar 9)
Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
WHO (2020 Mar 3)
Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
WHO (2020 Mar 11)
WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020
NCBI (2009 Oct 7)
Exhaled droplets due to talking and coughing
Natural Ventilation for Infection Control in Health-Care Settings – Annex C Respiratory droplets
NCBI (2020 Mar 4)
Clinical characteristics of 24 asymptomatic infections with COVID-19 screened among close contacts in Nanjing, China.
NIH (2020 Mar 17)
New coronavirus stable for hours on surfaces
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Ministry of Health – Singapore (2020)