New study claims that six-foot social distancing rule indoors is ineffective in preventing coronavirus transmission – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD

wo researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have argued that the “six-foot rule” of social distancing indoors is devoid of any scientific basis. Professors Martin Bazant and John Bush said that the risk of Wuhan coronavirus exposure indoors is the same regardless of distance – even if people wear masks. This is because respiratory droplets in the air tend to rise, travel and descend somewhere in an enclosed space.

For their study published April 27 in PNAS, Bazant and Bush developed a model to calculate indoor exposure risk. They included a number of factors such as duration of stay inside an enclosed space, use of masks, air filtration and circulation and respiratory activity. The two researchers explained that whether people situate themselves six feet or 60 feet apart, they still face the same risk of contracting the pathogen.

During an interview with CNBC, Bazant argued that “there really isn’t much of a benefit to the six-foot rule, especially when people are wearing masks.” He explained: “The air a person is breathing while wearing a mask tends to rise and [come] down elsewhere in the room. [You’re] more exposed to the average background than you are to a person at a distance.”

New study claims that six-foot social distancing rule indoors is ineffective in preventing coronavirus transmission – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD