Mathematics Model Proves Why Social Distancing Matters So Much in Controlling COVID-19

Following social distancing measures is imperative right now, to flatten the cure of the current coronavirus pandemic. This is exactly what a researcher from Oxford University has found out. A mathematical modeling expert from the university has found that coronavirus can be controlled by up to 90% by following the simple strategy of limiting social contact.

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly with over 1.38 million people infected and over 78,000 dead across the globe in the past few months. Since there is no vaccine or cure for this disease at the moment, social distancing and other preventive measures are the best solution to tackle this pandemic.

In the United States, more than 385,000 people have been infected with the COVID-19. The country has also seen over 12,000 deaths and over 21,000 people who have recovered successfully from the infection.

Source: Johns Hopkins

Mathematical Modelling by Dr. Robin Thompson

As the virus continues to spread increasingly all over the world, public health professionals have stressed that following social distancing guidelines can control the spread of the virus.

Dr. Robin Thompson, Junior Research Fellow in Mathematical Epidemiology, has found that reducing person-to-person contact can reduce nearly 90% of the spread of the novel coronavirus. Dr. Thompson’s numbers are based on the idea that one person could transfer the virus to three other people within one week. Furthermore, those three infected persons will pass the virus onto three other persons and the chain goes on.

According to Dr. Thompson, without social distancing, one infected person can transmit the virus to 1,093 other people in just six weeks. But if they follow social distancing measures, one infected person can transmit the virus to only 127 other people in six weeks.

Dr. Thompson says:

Social distancing is of clear public health importance. It involves all of us reducing our contacts, irrespective of whether or not we think we are carrying the virus. It means that infected individuals are less likely to transmit the virus, and healthy individuals are less likely to contract it.

Gary Warshaw, a graphic designer, and digital modeler, along with Dr. Robert A.J. Signer, Ph.D. and an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, have shown how one person can infect many others, in a graphical  way.

How to Limit Social Contact

The spread of COVID-19 is not something that could be stopped immediately but following the guidelines from health experts can still slow down the spread. Some effective measures can be followed to limit the social connections such as avoiding family gatherings, events and public places to limit the likelihood of catching or spreading the virus, closing schools and if possible maintaining a distance of roughly six feet from others to reduce the risk of catching those viral droplets when people speak, sneeze or cough.

Moreover, work from home can be a great option to control the transmission of the disease and it will eventually help in ending the pandemic. And if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you should self-isolate for at least 14 days and also follow the recommendations of public health authorities.

Dr. Thompson also says that we all need to go shopping sometimes. However, by following social distancing, we can all make a difference.

Social distancing can be considered as a key in preventing the pathogen into the society. This can be done by following some guidelines from public health ministries such as washing hands for 20 seconds, wearing a mask and avoid touching others.

The aim behind social distancing is to control the continuous spread of the virus and slow down the number of infections to control the pandemic. This is will also allow the researchers, scientists and doctors to spend less time on medical care of the patients which developing a vaccine or medication to cure the infection.

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