The loopholes in the social distancing are not worth the risk

Les échappatoires à la distanciation sociale ne valent pas le risque

Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty

Outside with nothing between you and the person with whom you socialize, the barrier becomes much easier to blur, according to an expert.

Install garden chairs in entries for neighbourhood parties are socially distant. Talk to the neighbors from the balconies of the buildings. If install in a parking lot to discuss from one car to the other parking vehicles at two meters away from each other.

People find innovative ways to continue to socialize with their friends and neighbors while trying to meet the physical distancing during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Although it may seem harmless enough, some experts say that these loopholes to the social distancing are probably not the risk.

“As human beings, we will always find ways to push the limits, to understand how we can work around the problems,” admitted the microbiologist Jason Kindrachuk during a telephone interview with The canadian Press.

“But it is here that, in regard to the public message, we must continue to reiterate the importance of social distancing, the reason why we do it. “

“And how much risk are we willing to take, which could potentially lead to the spread of this virus ? “

The new coronavirus is transmitted by respiratory droplets, which are released into the air when infected people breathe, talk, sneeze or cough. The droplets tend to move about two meters before touching the ground, explained Mr. Kindrachuk.

This means that to keep a safe distance of at least two meters or six feet of someone else, is one of the most effective methods that we have available to stop the spread.

Mr. Kindrachuk, who is also an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, said that maintaining a distance of two metres while attempting to socialize may be easier to do in some cases — such as talking to a neighbor from your terrace with a fence serving as a physical barrier.

However, when you are outside with nothing between you and the person with whom you socialize, the barrier becomes much easier to blur.

“If you are in two entries, are you really six feet of one another ? Are you going to take as much care or will you start to maybe see some of your worries decrease, because you become comfortable ? “asks Mr. Kindrachuk. “If you’re in this group, are you sure that each person maintains this physical distance ? “

“Because we are dealing with a virus that is transmitted in an invisible way, is not it ? And potentially by people who may not show signs of infection. “

Dr. Gerald Evans, a physician and president of the infectious diseases division at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, believes that some loopholes social can be safe, provided that the distance is effectively maintained.

Precautions to be taken
He added that having these activities outside, where there is ” a huge dilution effect which disperses the particles of droplets “, may also help to limit the spread of the virus.

“Inside, it is a different story,” said Mr. Evans. “And clearly, if someone was sick, it would be a totally different story also. “

Mr. Evans noted that additional precautions should still be taken into account when you are trying to stay at a distance while socializing outside, such as by ensuring that any object around you — a chair, a cooler, a glass — also remains two metres away from any other person.

“What you can’t do is share anything,” said Mr. Evans. “If you were sitting on a garden chair and you were about two or three metres of your neighbour, the effect of droplets is not there. But if you hold a glass in one hand with lemonade or beer in it, you certainly don’t want that this object is found close to your neighbors because, yes, these objects can also be contaminated by these droplets. “

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an expert in infectious diseases, University Health Network, Toronto, said that it was not wise to try to find some sort of loophole in the social distancing.

He said that the messages of public health authorities-federal, provincial and municipal governments in Canada are all going in the same direction and that some of the cities of the world now impose fines on those who do not follow measures of social distancing.

“What you can and cannot do is very clear,” says Dr. Bogoch. “You can get out to exercise and go for a walk with the dog, but otherwise, stay away. Stay at home. “

“Maybe [these behaviors] are not technically wrong, but this is certainly not in the spirit of what we should do. “

Mr. Kindrachuk points out that even something like going to drop off baked goods or a homemade meal at the door of a friend might be dangerous.

Stay away and limit the number of surfaces touched by multiple people is the best approach, he recalled.

“I think the medical and scientific community as a whole wants people to understand and realize why the physical distance is so important, especially because we do not have a vaccine,” said Mr. Kindrachuk. “Our only real opportunity to curb the transmission of this virus is to reduce its ability to spread from one person to another. “

“If we want this to be completely content, we must do everything in our power to prevent the virus being transmitted. “

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