Math vs Coronavirus! No trips, no leaving home! And in a month…

Interesting study from the University of Massachusetts which shows us as the only real solution to this pandemic is social distancing! Mathematics proves it!

Social distancing, defined as measures taken to reduce physical contact, is the first line of defense for containing an infectious disease like COVID-19. That’s because these infections spread when people cough, sneeze, or touch surfaces on which the virus resides.

To help us grasp the impact these measures can actually have, today’s infographic illustrates how a reduction in social exposure can theoretically contain the spread of infection.

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Math vs Coronavirus! No trips, no leaving home! And in a month…  – Coronavirus Calculations
The basic reproduction number (R0) is the expected number of cases directly generated by one case. Based on some of the current data, we made the following assumptions:

  1. Under normal conditions R0=2.5 (each infected person is expected to infect 2.5 other people).
  2. Infected people can transmit the disease for a five-day period while they are asymptomatic.
  3. After five days a person will begin experiencing symptoms, quarantine and no longer infect others.
  4. There is a direct linear correlation between social interaction and R0. Therefore, we reduced R0 by 50% (R0=1.25) or 75% (R0=0.625) and repeated the calculation.

Using a summation formula makes it possible to estimate the number of new infections over a 30 day period, across three scenarios.

Scenario after 5 days after 30 days
No social distancing practiced 1 person infects 2.5* others 406 people infected as a result
50% reduction in social exposure 1 person infects 1.25* others 15 people infected as a result
75% reduction in social exposure 1 person infects 0.625* others 2.5 people infected as a result

*For estimations only. It is not possible to infect only a fraction of another person.

So in just 30 days of social distancing up to 75% mathematical studies show us that the R0 factor would drop close to 0! So for the moment, no travel, no leaving home: we will be back in less than 30 days!

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