As we wait for scientists and healthcare professionals to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, there is another, more readily available tool at our disposal.
Social distancing, defined as measures taken to reduce physical contact, is the first line of defense for containing an infectious disease like COVID-19. That’s because these infections spread when people cough, sneeze, or touch surfaces on which the virus resides.
To help us grasp the impact these measures can actually have, today’s infographic illustrates how a reduction in social exposure can theoretically contain the spread of infection.
We All Have a Part to Play
With the global number of COVID-19 cases still rising, many governments have issued quarantine orders and travel bans.
The math supports these decisions—reducing our physical contact with others, even when we aren’t experiencing any symptoms, is crucial. Studies like the one summarized above also prove that taking action sooner, rather than later, can go a long way in reducing the spread of infection.
The key takeaway from all of this? Social distancing is a powerful disease control tool, but only if we all participate.