Social distance and the wearing of face masks can prevent at least 60% of cases of coronavirus in a population. This was found in a recent study conducted in the United States.
The joint study by New York University and the Italian Polytechnic University of Turin examined the effects of face masks and social distance.
Earlier, it was clear that wearing a face mask and social distance could prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but the benefits of combining the two were not well known.
During the research, a model was developed to test the effectiveness of combining the two precautions. Researchers say that social distance or face masks alone are not enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 unless everyone in a place follows a single measure.
Researchers added, however, that the spread of the virus could be stopped without large-scale vaccinations if a large portion of the population took both precautions. The research model was based on different ways of communicating between people.
To determine the usefulness of the model, the researchers collected data and analyzed it at the population rates of all US states between July and December 2020.
The results showed that a combination of both precautions was effective in preventing the epidemic and should be widely implemented for public health.
The results of the study were published in the Medical Journal of the American Institute of Physics. The evidence clearly shows that face masks and social distance reduce mortality.
In many cases, face masks and social distance help to keep the disease completely away, but it is also possible that they result in lesser amounts of the virus reaching people, which also reduces the amount of viral load in the body.
When people are exposed to low viral load, their immune system does not respond more aggressively, leading to milder symptoms. The December 2020 study by the University of New Mexico in the United States also stated that without social distance, it is not possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through a face mask alone.
The study, published in the Journal Physics of Fluids, examined five different types of face mask materials to see if they prevented the spread of viral particles during coughing or sneezing.
The study found that each type of material dramatically limited the number of particles, but also found that at a distance of fewer than 6 feet, these limited particles can also infect others with COVID-19.
Research has shown that face masks certainly help prevent this epidemic, but if people are very close to each other, they are more likely to transmit the virus. Researchers say that not only face masks but also social distance are necessary to avoid COVID-19.