Coming out of lockdown
The more we understand about risks the more we can look after ourselves and in doing so help protect those we come into contact with.
Until now we have had very hard and firm guidelines in the UK which have brought the R0 (R-naught = reproduction rate) of the COVID outbreak down to below one. This means on average every 100 people infected with COVID 19 will pass it on to fewer than 100 people. If we could maintain R0 below one the coronavirus will shrink out of existence within a few months.
If you want to find out more about R0 we can suggest two options:
- the Australian Academy of Science explain about it to show why physical distancing works, click here.
- the Maths Magazine have an article which explains about the interplay between R0 and herd immunity, though it is for those who are more comfortable with equations, click here.
Information to help you stay safe in public
However, it is impractical to keep a country in permanently in lockdown and physically distanced. The firm rules we had are becoming more fluid as people are encouraged back to work and more social contact is permitted. We have been asked to use our common sense and, in order to do that, we should try and get an understanding of the risks in different situations and how to avoid them. The 2 metre rule may be impossible to maintain, but there are times when that is OK, times when it is not and times when even being on the other side of s big room might not be safe.
We have found a really informative breakdown which explains the science of how to catch a virus and more importantly how to avoid catching a virus.
- How safe is it to pass someone in the street closer than 2 metres?
- How safe is it to sit on the other side of a large office to other people? (it depends on the air conditioning!)
- Is risk affected by the type of activity people are doing?
The brilliant Erin Bromage is a Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology (specializing in Immunology) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. That means he knows his stuff. And like the cleverest of people has a way of explaining it which makes it digestible to those of us who are new to it. He uses some American numbers but the basic behaviour of the coronavirus is the same the world over so the information stands.
If you want to get a better understanding of how to manage the risks, click here and read his explanation.
Staying safe when isolated
If your behaviour means you spend significant amounts of time by yourself please do consider getting and personal alarm system of some sort. We happen to think ours is pretty great, so please do have a look at the Assure.