There are gas clouds carrying droplets filled with germs and viruses to that extent.
The new corona virus that caused Covid-19 forced countries in the world to make rules about social distancing or keep a distance when interacting with others.Social distancing is important to prevent people from getting droplets or saliva droplets when people suspected to be positive of Covid-19 speak, cough, or sneeze.
Some countries apply social distancing as far as 2 meters. But there are also countries that require residents to maintain a distance of 1 to 1.5 meters.But a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT in the United States said that social distancing by keeping a distance of up to two meters was not enough to stem the transmission of the corona virus.
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Using his research on respiratory dynamics (such as coughing and sneezing) for years at The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory, Lydia Bourouiba found breathing produces a cloud of gas that can move up to 8 meters.The results of his research could have an effect on the social distancing rules recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease (CDC) in preventing the spread of the corona virus.According to Bourouiba, guidance on setting a safe distance in social distancing that is only two meters is considered insufficient.
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Bursts of ‘Cloud Gas’ from Coughing and Sneezing
Bourouiba’s research calls for better steps to protect health workers, by maintaining a longer distance from infected people who cough or sneeze.He said the current guidelines are based on the principle of ‘big droplets’ as a method of transmission of the virus. Large droplets can only travel a certain distance, such as 1 to 2 meters.
In fact, the ‘cloud of gas’ that is ejected when someone coughs, sneezes, or exhales, can carry drops of all sizes.So, only a part of this gas cloud can be relieved when someone covers their sneezing or coughing with their hands or arms.
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What is the Effective Distance?
Meanwhile, Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said many were asking about the effective distance that the virus could travel when someone sneezed or coughed.”For me, the question is not the distance that viruses can travel. But how far viruses can travel before they are no longer a threat. The smaller the particles, the lower the risk that the virus can infect someone,” Pottinger said.
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Why 2 meters?
According to Pottinger, the real threat of the corona virus is larger droplets, such as saliva, snot, saliva. Drops that almost look like rain when someone sneezes.”These droplets are still large enough that gravity is still working on them. Usually, these large, contagious droplets will fall about 2 meters after leaving someone’s body. This is where the social distancing rules come from,” Pottinger said.
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No Need Up To 8 Meters
Pottinger disagrees if the effective distance for social distancing is up to eight meters. If the corona virus is effective at distances of up to 8 meters, as Bourouiba argues in his research, Pottinger believes more people will get sick.”If the corona virus really runs very efficiently through the air, surely everyone will be infected. If a radius of 8 meters is high risk for someone, then this will be a completely different conversation. But what is happening now is not like that,” he said.