COVID-19 primarily attacks the respiratory system and spreads easily through the droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. The moist respiratory aerosol contains active viral particles that remain in the air for up to three hours after leaving the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, and lungs. You can easily breathe in the infected aerosols and contract the COVID-19 virus.
10. Can Talking Spread COVID-19?
New research released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America shows that the simple act of talking is enough to rapidly spread the virus from person to person. So how dangerous is talking? If a person is sick with COVID-19 or asymptomatic, talking to the individual puts you at significant risk of contracting the virus via airborne spread. COVID-19 is a novel virus, so humans have no known immunity and will easily become infected. Symptoms usually develop in three to 14 days.
9. How Speaking Spreads COVID-19
Talking in a loud voice sends forth thousands of fluid droplets that contain large quantities of active virus. The droplets remain in stagnant air for up to 14 minutes, and when aerosolized they stay in the air for up to three hours. Clearly, talking causes the virus to become airborne when confined in certain environments, and a prolonged conversation puts you at extreme risk of contracting the virus.
8. The Danger of Asymptomatic Carriers
The World Health Organization estimates that about 80 percent of people who are exposed to COVID-19 become asymptomatic carriers or exhibit only mild symptoms. Studies show that among pregnant women who have undergone testing, up to 87.9 percent are asymptomatic carriers. They exhibit no symptoms and might not even know they are sick. If you have a conversation in remarkably close quarters with an asymptomatic carrier, then you stand a good chance of becoming infected with COVID-19.
7. Ways to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
You might feel like it is hopeless to try to protect yourself from COVID-19 if it is spread via the air you breathe. However, there are effective steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Wearing masks, washing surfaces, disinfecting hands, social distancing and avoiding touching your nose or eyes are effective ways to protect yourself from COVID-19.
6. Wearing a Mask to Prevent COVID-19
Although research shows that COVID-19 is easily transmittable via talking, it is not a foregone conclusion. There are steps you can take to protect yourself. In a study released by medRxiv, it was found that wearing a mask does afford some protection. In one household where a member was diagnosed with the coronavirus, it was revealed that the viral rate of transmission was only 19 percent because everyone wore a mask.Related: COVID-19 15 Ways to Protect Yourself
5. Social Distancing
In addition to wearing a mask, you should also practice social distancing. If you visit a supermarket or other public place, make sure that you maintain distance between yourself and others. Research has shown that a powerful sneeze or cough can aerosolize up to 30 feet away. A combination of extreme social distancing and mask wearing provides the greatest protection.
4. Wash Hands Frequently
Depending on the surface, COVID-19 can live outside the body for days. When a person infected with the coronavirus talks, coughs, or sneezes, respiratory water droplets that contain the virus land on surfaces. If you touch the surface and then rub your nose or eyes, you can easily contract the virus. You should wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after touching surfaces. You can also use a hand disinfectant to help control the spread.
3. Avoid Touching Your Face
COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets. When you touch an infected surface and then rub your eyes or nose, you can easily spread the virus to yourself. If you are wearing a face mask, you should avoid touching or adjusting the mask or you might contaminate the mask material and spread the virus. Always wash your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer before you touch your face.Related: 13 Early Symptoms of COVID-19
2. Wipe Down Surfaces with a Disinfectant
Wiping down any surfaces you touch with a disinfectant wipe or hand sanitizer can help curtail the spread. Shopping carts, credit card machines, counters, door handles, and other areas frequently touched by strangers should all undergo sanitization to prevent the virus from spreading.
1. Practicing Isolation
Stay home or work remotely to stay safe. Avoiding people outside your household is one of the best ways to keep from catching the virus. You can use Skype or Zoom to meet with business associates, friends, and family. Curbside pickup, grocery delivery services, or online ordering are all viable ways to stay safe inside of your home to help slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Mitigation efforts are the best way to slow COVID-19 and stay safe. The virus spreads easily through the air by talking, coughing, laughing, and sneezing. Although the above steps are ways to stay safe, they are not foolproof. Everyone must figure out what works best for their own personal needs during the global pandemic.Related: How Long COVID-19 Symptoms Last