Saturday, May 23, 2020

Social Distancing Is Not Enough

In its conclusion, the Korean CDC writes that the spread of the virus was almost entirely limited to the one floor “despite considerable interaction between workers on different floors in the elevators and lobby.” This would suggest that the main facilitator wasn’t common touch points, such as doors and elevator buttons, but rather common airspace. When people talk—or sneeze or cough—they produce respiratory droplets that can come to rest in other people’s mouths, noses, and lungs. Talking for hours in close quarters, in an unventilated space, can create an ideal petri dish for COVID-19 transmission.

It would be irresponsible to use the Korean study an an illustrative example if it were an outlier. But its main finding is fully in line with the emerging scientific consensus. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its summary of COVID-19 transmission to clarify that the virus “does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects—like, say, elevator buttons. Instead, they wrote, “the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person … through respiratory droplets.”


I realize this is totally selfish, but it would be fine with me if we reconfigured the world so that everyone lived and worked in more outside type places. Civilization wants to pack us all into enclosed spaces like a bunch of bugs or galley slaves or something. Just my opinion.

| Permalink


Post a comment