In the last 11 months running up to November 2020, 53,231,607 people have been infected with coronavirus disease. It is amazing how the novel coronavirus spreads and how long it stays alive. Scientific research has filled in most of the gaps in how the virus spreads.
As a public health expert, here is what I understand: People produce particles of all sizes as they talk and they disperse tiny particles when they are singing or talking loudly.
The big particles are called droplets and the little ones are called aerosols. It is important to note that we release droplets when we speak or cough. The droplets don’t travel far because of how big they are. The little particles called aerosols can travel considerably further and can hang around for hours in the air.
Keeping the coronavirus in control involves more than telling people to stay 6 feet away from each other and wear masks. It also requires Kenyans to operate their homes with care, ensure proper ventilation, and avoid crowded environments, especially where people are talking loudly or doing activities that cause them to breathe heavily like exercising or singing.
In my expert opinion on how your environment affects how coronavirus spreads, we need to do more than wearing masks and social distancing to prevent further spread of Covid-19.
Public Health Prevention Measure to Stop Spread of COVID-19
Coronavirus is an airborne virus, it is hard to say when you can get infected. This is because if an individual affected by the virus laughs or openly talks in the same space you are in, the virus can live in the air for a prolonged duration of time.
Are Our Kids Safe in School?
With the raging debate over the past few months on school reopening, the government gave a directive in October 2020 that the students were in their last year of university, KCSE and KCPE candidates to resume learning. The big question bothering most parents is how safe are their kids in school.
With the current knowledge on the Covid-19 spreads in the air, the more we need to be cautious about the effectiveness of wearing masks and social distancing in classes. This is because aerosols released in the air can travel up to 100 feet. That is a space larger than any classroom.
Public Gatherings Worsened the Spread COVID-19
Regathering of Kenyans in public spells doom for the Covid-19 situation. Political rallies, weddings, funerals, and religious congregations such as churches are likely to fuel an increase in cases and lead to a second wave in the previously controlled pandemic.
This risk worsens when people sing and shout as this releases aerosols in the air, which can linger in the air for a long time. Imagine the impact that has when there are many people seated in an enclosed space, such as a church or other building, breathing in the same air. This has the potential to lead to the spread of Covid-19 over a very short time.
Opening of the Night Clubs Increased the Risk of COVID-19 Spread
Earlier on in the pandemic, Kenyans insisted on the clubs to be reopened, and the lockdown lifted. Come September 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta eased the Covid-19 measures and allowed bars to resume operations.
Since then we have seen a steep rise in the new Covid-19 infections. In the daily national Covid-19 briefings, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe announced that there has been an increase in infection rates, with newly infected cases reaching over 1,000 daily in some instances.
The simple reason is, once you are drunk in a club and your favorite music comes on; you forget about the social distancing and you just want to be close to your dance partner and shout while dancing. This creates a lot of aerosols in the air.
The sad thing is, Coronavirus does not take a break to get drunk and forget that it has people to infect.
People worldwide are suffering from pandemic fatigue, are tired of social distancing, and feel suffocated inside masks. But understanding how coronavirus spreads is important for us to prevent further infections.
65, 804 Kenyans being infected with a virus as of 13.11.2020 is dangerous. The Ministry of Health has educated the public enough on how to stop the spread of the virus.
It is important for everyone to wear masks, observe proper hand hygiene, maintain social distance, ensure proper ventilation, and avoid public gatherings and social groupings, especially as we approach the Christmas festive season.
Let us keep safe and contain the spread of COVID-19.