Physics Professor Explains How Keeping a Distance from People during The Coronavirus Crisis Saves Lives
In this clear and direct video, the University of Virginia physicist Lou Bloomfield explains how keeping a distance from people during the Coronavirus crisis actually saves lives.
“From a statistical point of view, every time you keep your distance from others during this crisis, you are saving lives,” Bloomfield said.
“At present, each person with COVID-19 transmits coronavirus to an average of about two to three people,” Bloomfield further explained. “With such a large multiplying factor, we have rapid exponential growth. Because it takes about five days for COVID-19 to develop, the cases are doubling every two or three days. If there are 100 cases today, there will be 200 cases in a couple of days, and a thousand cases in a little over a week. In a month, it will be almost a million cases. Not good.”
The solution he says is social distancing.
“The fewer people each sick person exposes to coronavirus, the smaller the multiplying factor and the lower the transmission rate,” Bloomfield said. “Instead of the cases doubling every two or three days, they might double every week, every two weeks, or maybe they would stop doubling altogether.”
China and South Korea are now experiencing exponential decay of coronavirus cases due to social distancing, said Bloomfield.
“To achieve that goal, we all need to act,” he said. “Every positive action we take as individuals has a statistical probability of decreasing the transmission rate, and the multiplying factor for all of society. Correspondingly, every careless action statistically increases that multiplying factor.”
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