Take care of your Air, Don’t share it

It is a well known fact that viral load is much higher indoors than it is outdoors.

Health Yoga
Picture: Pixabay

Late in 2020, after the first surge, when there was near universal fatigue with the constraints of C-19, many among those with means have pulled down their masks, travelled for a “break,” and hosted or attended lavish parties and weddings.

After all, “how long can we go on like this?” Well, what’s done is done but what matters now is that we follow scientific evidence and walk the line. Since we now know that the transmission is primarily through aerosolised particles from our breath – the simple guidance is – Don’t share the air!

It is a well known fact that viral load is much higher indoors than it is outdoors. In outdoor spaces it is possible to protect yourself from C by maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask. However, when you are indoors you have to create a bubble; you are not safe anywhere as long as aerosolised transmission exists.

The 6 feet social distancing rule was originally developed when the prevailing belief was that occurred solely through heavier droplets projected from the mouth and nose during speech, coughing and sneezing.

Picture: Pixabay

However, scientists have now been increasingly speaking about the role of aerosols, smaller particles that linger in the air longer, for up to 3 hours, and can travel to all the corners of the room – essentially, making social distancing an unviable strategy, indoors.

This virus has identified human weakness of socialising and we need to fight by stopping socialising till all are vaccinated. Imagine that we are sitting in a bunker for 6 months and detach from those not in your cohort. Right now in this vertical transaction – we must separate from each other and minimise interactions to a very small group .

Think hard about the consequences of entertaining folks indoors, from outside your bubble. Studies say a large population among us does not show symptoms and consequently, the asymptomatic people can continue to spread the infection at home, at a faster pace.

The amount of time that it is safe to spend in an indoor space depends on a number of factors, such as face-mask usage, the size of the space and the amount of ventilation. Masks, like vaccines, will be more effective in reducing transmission rates only when very large sections of society are compliant, particularly in indoor spaces.

If masks are not used properly, then there is a 90 per cent chance of an infected person infecting an uninfected person.Therefore, this is the time to be at home, not invite anyone over and avoid stepping out unnecessarily. However, if you do gather, aim for outside.

If you are indoors, take precautions such as ventilation and masking up. Fresh air exchange and movement helps disburse the air and reduce the viral load.

Overall, mask-wearing (N95), sufficient ventilation and filtration are found to be the best ways to limit both short-range and overall airborne transmission of C-19. While hope is on the horizon in the form o, you must not let your guard down; everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread.

Keep doing the things that work and save lives — wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, avoid gatherings, ventilate and keep your distance from others. And once again, #DontShareTheAir.

Author: Jai Dhar Gupta, Founder, Nirvana Being

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and The Health Master does not necessarily subscribe to it. The Health Master shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person / organisation directly or indirectly.

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