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MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/23/mit-researchers-say-youre-no-safer-from-covid-indoors-at-6-feet-or-60-feet-in-new-study.html?__source=iosappshare|ph.telegra.Telegraph.Share

HEALTH AND SCIENCE
MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies
PUBLISHED FRI, APR 23 202112:15 PM EDTUPDATED 4 HOURS AGO
Rich Mendez
KEY POINTS
An MIT study showed that people who maintain 60 feet of distance from others indoors are no more protected than if they socially distanced by just 6 feet.
According to the researchers, other calculations of the risk of indoor transmission have omitted too many factors to accurately quantify that risk.
“We need scientific information conveyed to the public in a way that is not just fear mongering but is actually based in analysis,” the author of the study said.***

Comments

  • edited April 26
    Here is the peer reviewed article from MIT researchers and published in PNAS, a scientific journal with high impact factor. The article was reviewed three times before it was accepted to be published by the reviewers.
    https://pnas.org/content/pnas/118/17/e2018995118.full.pdf

    The initial assumptions was that the virus transmitted principially through, (1) contaminated surfaces, (2) large droplets and (3) aerosol form. The initial CDC guidance focus on points 1 and 2, and aerosol form transmission is unlikely. 6' social distancing came from an earlier guidance with other infectious diseases.

    Interview with Dr. Bazant (the author in the article above) in cnbc focused on COVID transmission in an indoor environment where particles exist as aerosol form. The MIT data suggested Thus it is time factor spent in this environment is the dominant factor while filtration (face mask) and distance (6' social distance) are less important. Air flow and circulation will reduce transmission.

    Will review the article more thoroughly and post more later.
  • Take away: worst possible environment is a bar/restaurant where people stay for several rounds.
  • No safer at 1000 feet, either. What is so surprising in the fact that in many situations subject to a variable, that variable loses impact beyond a certain point? Common as dirt.
  • Several more potentially unsafe scenarios:

    1. Indoor sport games, i. e. NCAA, Olympic events

    2. Church gatherings with singing

  • "By assuming that the respiratory droplets are mixed uniformly through an indoor space, we derive a simple safety guideline for mitigating airborne transmission that would impose an upper bound on the product of the number of occupants and their time spent in a room. "

    This may be required by the study, but it is not realistic, as the source of the infection in any room starts as a point source. The particles would eventually mix uniformly, if there were no outside air, no ventilation etc, no doors opening etc. The studies in Chinese restaurants show getting infected depends on 1) proximity to case and 2) the direction of the air movement and 3) duration.


    We demonstrate how this bound depends on the rates of ventilation and air filtration, dimensions of the room, breathing rate, respiratory activity and face mask use of its occupants, and infectiousness of the respiratory aerosols.

    Most of these factors are not measurable in real life situations, although increasing air filtration, larger rooms, and masks will reduce spread.

    Singing is the worst thing you can do, followed by sitting in a dark low ceilinged bar wt a bunch of drunks.
  • singing drunks, come on
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