A study out of Singapore showed why social distancing(SOW-SHL DIST-ANCE-ING) — Intentionally increasing the space between people to prevent the spread of a disease is so important in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. If done right, it will make a huge difference in fighting the coronavirus pandemic(PAN-DEM-IC) — When a new disease spreads around the world because there is no resistance to it.
So, if you need a little more motivation to keep your distance, here are the two most important facts from the study.
- For an infection that spreads pretty easily, social distancing reduced the number of confirmed patients from 1.2 million to 258,000 (on the 80th day of the outbreak within a community). That’s close to an 80% reduction.
- For a less infectious virus(VAI-RUS) — A foreign invader in the body that causes cells to function differently and can be spread to others through direct and indirect paths, cases dropped from 279,000 to only 1,800 within those first 80 days.
Note: These numbers are based on estimates, which is the best we can do!
To generate the full benefits of social distancing, all measures needed to be followed.
The research team tested using the following methods: the isolation(EYE-SOW-LAY-SHUN) — Imposed separation from other people to eliminate transmission of an infection via touch or air transfer of the sick as well as quarantining the family of the sick, workplace distancing (i.e. staying home), and closing schools.
The authors also noted that if the percent of people who contract the disease and don’t show symptoms (asymptomatic carriers) is higher, then additional measures (interventions) would be needed. This is why you also need to keep your distance!
For more details around the parameters and results, check out the study for yourself.
- Koo JR, Cook AR, Park M, et al. Interventions to mitigate early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore: a modelling study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020. doi:10.1016/s1473-3099(20)30162-6.