- People engaging in activities like walking, biking, and jogging, during the pandemic may likely contract the dreaded virus, especially if they do not observe social distancing.
- According to a study, a 4 to 5 meter distance from others should be observed when walking. Meanwhile, slow runners and bikers should maintain a distance of about 10 meters while at least 20 meters is recommended for fast biking.
A Belgian-Dutch study warned the public that walking, running, and biking closely with other people can increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19). Through a simulation, engineers and doctors learned that droplets ranging from 40mm to 200mm can be exhaled by a moving person A and then can be inhaled by person B if he or she is behind that individual.
Majority of countries around the world, the study stated, impose a social distance of 1 to 2 meters. The study likewise pointed out that such measure may be effective for people who are standing in a line, but when two or more persons went for a walk, run, or bike ride, things could be very different.
“When someone during a run breathes, sneezes or coughs, those particles stay behind in the air. The person running behind you in the so-called slip-stream goes through this cloud of droplets (and eventually inhales the particles emitted by the first person),” the report stated.
The experts further explained that when person A exhales droplets and person B moves forwards, person B can move into the droplet cloud exhaled by person A.
“So people movement can affect droplet exposure,” they specified.
Moreover, the experts suggested that the ideal distance for people in motion “side-by-side” or in a staggered position, they can have 1.5 meters to 2 meters (or 6 ft) from each other. However, if two or more persons in motion who are positioned in a slipstream. they should have 5 meters for walking fast, 10 meters for running fast, 20 meters for cycling fast.
“The social distance to be kept when in the slipstream increases with increasing speed of person B,” the experts said.
The researchers came up with this discovery by “simulating the occurrence of saliva particles of people in motion”, including walking and running in two different positions, “diagonally behind each other”, and “directly behind each other”.
Through an animation, they showed that aside from people who sneeze or cough with force, a breathing person may also droplets and can also leave particles behind in the air.
The red dots in the animation, they explained, represent the biggest particles, which creates the highest chance of “contamination”, but also falls down quickly.
Numerous netizens eventually reacted to the study.