The fast spread of COVID-19 constitutes a worldwide challenge to the public health, educational, and trade systems, affecting the overall wellbeing of human societies. The high transmission and mortality rates of this virus, and the unavailability of a vaccine or treatment, resulted in the decision of multiple governments to enact measures of social distancing. Thus, it is of general interest to consider the validity of the proposal for keeping a social distancing of at least 2 m from other persons to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The exposure to the bioaerosol can result in the deposition of the pathogen in the respiratory tract of the host causing disease and an immunological response. In the atmospheric context, the work evaluates the effect of aerodynamic diameter (size) of particles in carrying RNA copies of the novel coronavirus. A SARS-CoV-2 carrier person talking, sneezing, or coughing at distance of 2 m can still provide a pathogenic bioaerosol load with submicron particles that remain viable in air for up to 3 hours for exposure of healthy persons near and far from the source in a stagnant environment. The deposited bioaerosol creates contaminated surfaces, which if touched can act as a path to introduce the pathogen by mouth, nose, or eyes and cause disease.
COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; virus, bioaerosol; social distancing; aerodynamic size; infection
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