If this isn’t a reason to stay out of public spaces, we don’t know what is

A new 3D-rendered simulation by Finnish researchers shows how aerosol particles coughed out by a person in an indoor environment can spread terrifyingly far.

BY VICTOR TANGERMANN (posted in it’s entirety)

The research aims to determine how the coronavirus can spread through the air, and found that “aerosol particles carrying the virus can remain in the air longer than was originally thought, so it is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces,” according to a statement.

The 3D environment is trying to provide an analogue for the average grocery store with run-of-the-mill ventilation.

“In the 3D model, a person coughs in a corridor bounded by shelves under representative indoor ventilation air flow conditions,” reads the video. “As a result of coughing, an aerosol cloud travels in the air to the corridor. It takes up several minutes for the cloud to spread and disperse.”

“Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus,” explained Aalto University assistant professor Ville Vuorinen in the statement. “These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity.”

Aerosol particles from a dry cough — a common symptom of COVID-19 — are so small (less than 15 micrometers) that they float through the air rather than sinking to the floor. Air currents can help them spread. According to the researchers, previous studies have shown that influenza A viruses can be found in even smaller particles — less than five micrometers.

The model underlines that avoiding crowded places or “nodal points” could be an effective way to curb the spread of the virus.

Masks have also proven to be an extremely effective way to curb the spread through aerosol particles and droplets — that is, if a recent study published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature is to be believed.

8 comments on “If this isn’t a reason to stay out of public spaces, we don’t know what is

  1. I read this understanding the danger of spreading illness but also thought about those of us who spread happiness or anger much the same way – human emotion is an aerosol. Reactions can make us sick. I need to watch – limit – my impact on other people. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol,
      They are just beginning to understand the transmission process – particularly how people are carriers long before they are symptomatic or never symptomatic. All we can do is be as safe as is possible until a vaccine is approved. I’ve only been out of the house to walk Freddie since I have several underlying conditions that would probably land me in in the celestial realm and my husband doesn’t want me to leave yet!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t want you to leave this realm yet either – I am just beginning to get to know you a little bit.

        Hubby is in much the same boat, other than his dialysis treatment he doesn’t leave the apt. It’s just too big a risk when you are topping the list of people at risk. And I am quite sure he’s far from alone.

        Yeah, that’s the thing, still so many unknowns. I mean they only identified the culprit a few months ago. It will take a fair amount of time to figure out a vaccine.

        Take care, stay safe. and don’t you dare even consider leaving us for a good long while.


        • Ok, I’ll stay around for a while – Freddie would be the most upset if I wasn’t around to walk him and sneak him treats.
          I have a girlfriend who was on dialysis for a long time before she got a transplant from a cousin who was a match. At one point, she decided to do her dialysis at home, thinking it would give her more freedom. They delivered this massive amount of equipment product – it was stacked to the ceiling. Turned out that doing it at home took much longer than at the center. She spent hours and hours every day on the machine, not to mention all the sanitary measures she had to take, before she finally decided to go back to the center. Knowing what she went though I have a huge amount of empathy for everyone undergoing that life-sustaining procedure.

          Your husband is indeed at high risk and you too cuz as you said no one knows much about this teeny life form which is striving to thrive.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fortunately I am in fairly good health, but I do take your point. Thank you.
            Yes, we were introduced to the other dialysis methods but hubby felt safer doing it at the hospital. I have to admit that’s been a tad scary with all this going on. However, the main door is blocked off with two nurses and a security guard checking everyone coming in, which makes me feel much better. In addition, each person who comes in have to sanitize their hands with sanitizer (supplied) and wear a mask (also supplied) before they are allowed to enter. There is only one entrance for people needing the emergency dept. or there for medical procedures. No visitors are allowed at this time.

            And the building where tests for the dread virus is across town, far away from the hospital so that is a big help too. I think the health professionals and the municipality itself has done a wonderful job with limiting as much as possible any potential for the thing to spread. So, kudos to them!


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