MIT COVID-19 Study Concludes No Safer 6 feet than 60 feet Social Distancing

A new study under extensive peer review has determined that what we’ve been told about social distancing is inaccurate. Six feet is no safer than 60 feet, according to this study. It also concludes that more time spent inside a confined area is more hazardous, regardless of social distance.

This doesn’t sound good for time spent inside a movie theater, particularly if it’s for a long movie (ahem, Snyder cut).

“This emphasis on distancing has been really misplaced from the very beginning. The CDC or WHO have never really provided justification for it, they’ve just said this is what you must do and the only justification I’m aware of, is based on studies of coughs and sneezes, where they look at the largest particles that might sediment onto the floor and even then it’s very approximate, you can certainly have longer or shorter range, large droplets,” Bazant said.

“The distancing isn’t helping you that much and it’s also giving you a false sense of security because you’re as safe at 6 feet as you are at 60 feet if you’re indoors. Everyone in that space is at roughly the same risk, actually,” he noted.

MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies

In our county in Washington State, we’re on the verge of a 4th COVID-19 spike. They just rolled us back to Phase 2 which reduces allowed occupancy indoors at movie theaters. According to the study above, this reduction is pointless for actually reducing the risk of infection.

Got to love science. All these smart minds and we’re just figuring this out now?

Will Social Distancing by Movie Theaters Truly Provide More Protection Against Viral Infection?

Will admit that I kind of laughed when I first learned abut “social distancing” by the movie theaters.

I mean, really, it’s like people going into a frenzy over buying toilet paper and water at the grocery store. They are putting themselves at greater risk by shopping where there are tons of people. The more people you’re around, the greater chance you’ll encounter someone infected, therefore increasing the chance you’ll be infected.

CEO and President Adam Aron said, “With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”

AMC capping ticket sales in effort to prevent spread of COVID-19 | Coronavirus | kctv5.com

Theory is nice, but that’s about it for practicality. If we’re using common sense, anyway.

Come on, if someone coughs into the air somewhere inside the theater … the particles will circulate throughout the theater (we saw this graphically depicted on film in the movie Outbreak, see: Outbreak (1995) Trending on Netflix). What we need is some sort of self-contained suit when we enter the movie theater to truly, fully protected against infection by an infected moviegoer.

Yeah, i know, not practical to have a containment zone, spray, then climb into a suit breathing only air from a tank, but that would be the only way virtually guaranteed not to catch an airborne virus.

(still have risk of hole in suit)

I’m no expert, but putting two seats between each moviegoer to protect against an airborne virus inside a room is like using a broken condom and hoping you’ll have some added protection.

Fresh air and not being in the proximity of anybody who is infected is the only thing that protects us against being infected. When they quarantined all those people on the cruise ship, those who weren’t sick were almost certainly guaranteed to get sick breathing all the same reconstituted air of other infected passengers.

I like the Wynn Casino idea of thermal scanning of anybody entering the casino. Those with an abnormally high body temperature — a known virus symptom — will be discreetly asked to leave. Now, that is protecting other patrons and a smart use of technology.

When we visit movie theaters, even when there was no virus threat (let’s face it, in flu season that has never been a reality), we typically attend during off busy times (besides opening nights of course). Matinees, day time, when traffic is reduced. This does more to protect us from infection than social distancing.

We’re still going to see movies, regardless the risk, because if we catch the virus, we’re both healthy and don’t have any major illnesses. If I was a little older and had some health issues I’d stay home, stay away from people in gathered locations as much as humanly possible. Wouldn’t go shopping (I’d have it delivered and left outside) then when the delivery person is gone, I’d pick it up. I would go into hermit mode, which would be my advice for anybody old and sick. But then I’d give those people the same advice during any flu season. Stay away from others as much as possible.

People die every day for a wide variety of reasons. This particular virus outbreak is being handled with a degree of panic never seen before. Panic will not help anybody. Calm, reasonable response to the situation will. Take a deep breath, the experts will find a vaccine and in a few months — hopefully — this will all be behind us.

Meanwhile, stay vigilant. That’s great advice no matter what is going on the world around us.