Why 6 feet may not be enough social distance to avoid COVID-19

Friday, April 17, 2020 - 05:10 in Psychology & Sociology

In February, a man in Chicago brought food to and hugged two friends who had recently lost a family member. The next day, the man went to the funeral, where he comforted other mourners and shared a potluck meal. A few days later, he attended a family birthday party. The man had symptoms of a mild respiratory illness. Later he’d learn he had COVID-19. His acts of condolence and celebration set off a chain reaction that sickened at least 16 people, three of whom died. At the time, social distancing measures weren’t yet in place in Chicago. COVID-19 had yet to circulate widely in the area. The case now serves as a cautionary tale, underscoring recommendations for people to keep their distance from anyone outside their immediate household, researchers report April 8 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. But how much distance is needed to avoid spreading the coronavirus? Six feet (or two meters) has become the mantra. The World Health Organization and...

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