Researchers from Aalto University, Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and the University of Helsinki have published a terrifying simulation of how coronavirus particles spread from a single cough in the air and disperse across several aisles at a supermarket.
"Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus. These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity", Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen said.
Jussi Sane, the Chief Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, said the model exemplifies why people who are sick must abide by the public health orders to stay at home.
"Based on the modeling of the consortium, it is not yet possible to directly issue new recommendations. However, these results are an important part of the whole, and they should be compared with the data from real-life epidemic studies," Sane adds.
The model could suggest that supermarkets are breeding grounds for the virus as people rush to these indoor facilities to panic hoard food. It also makes sense why outbreaks on cruise ships are rapid.
Last month, a new report outlined how the virus could stay in the air for at least 30 minutes and travel up to 14 feet.
There's growing evidence that people need to start wearing face masks. The only problem: 3M N95s are sold out across the world.
Last week, the US government reversed its previous position on masks, issuing new guidance that people in public places need to wear them. President Trump has yet to require masks, but some local governments have issued stricter rules.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said all shoppers entering grocery stores in the Washington Metropolitan Area must wear masks, indicating that stores will enforce the new measure.
The shocking simulation of how a COVID-19 carrier's cough creates an aerosol cloud of the virus would suggest that mask-wearing will be the new normal for people across the world until a vaccine is seen.