New Video Shows How Far a Single Cough Can Travel in a Grocery Store
A new video simulation released by Finnish researchers might be the best evidence to date that demonstrates the importance of covering one's mouthing during this very trying time of the coronavirus outbreak—particularly while shopping in the close confines of a grocery store.
Despite most people following White House guidelines of staying at home and limiting time outside, trips to the grocery store are still very much an essential activity. And grocery store clerks and associates are literally on the front lines of this public health risk battle. In fact, the White House coronavirus task force recently updated its guidelines to encourage everyone to wear masks when traveling out of one's home (though, voluntarily).
If you ever needed to see an example of why its suddenly critical to cover your face, watch this three-dimensional model of how contagions travel in a grocery store:
Yeah… it's pretty terrifying.
This 3D simulation comes from a joint project between Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and the University of Helsinki.
The video is the culmination of studying "how extremely small airborne aerosol particles emitted from the respiratory tract when coughing, sneezing, or even talking are transported in the air. Such particles can carry pathogens such as coronaviruses."
A statement about the video further explains:
Preliminary results indicate that aerosol particles carrying the virus can remain in the air longer than was originally thought, so it's important to avoid busy public indoor spaces. This also reduces the risk of droplet infection, which remains the main path of transmission for coronavirus.
People who seem to be the most at risk, right now, are grocery store employees. As of right now, at least four grocery store associates have succumbed to the coronavirus, leading to a number of national chains instituting preventative policies designed to keep both staffers and customers as safe and healthy as possible.