How various levels of social distancing can decrease the spread of COVID-19

Understanding the math behind social distancing.

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  • Proper social distancing includes staying 6ft (2m) away from other people, avoiding all non-essential gatherings or crowds, and working from home if possible.
  • During the COVID-19 incubation period of 5 days, each infected person can infect 2.5 more people.
  • Using this math, it's easy to determine how many people will go on to be infected after the initial person contracted COVID-19 using various levels of social distancing (0%, 50% and 75% examples are found in this article).
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Edward Snowden warns 'bio-surveillance' may outlast coronavirus

Amid the panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, are we building the surveillance states of tomorrow?

  • Edward Snowden is a former CIA contractor who exposed NSA mass surveillance programs.
  • In a recent interview, Snowden expressed concern over the ways in which governments are using technology to track the spread of the virus.
  • These new tracking measures may someday be repurposed to advance governments' mass surveillance programs, Snowden warned.

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Attempting to track COVID-19 with smart rings for responders

Medical researchers put a ring on it to learn more about the onset of COVID-19.

Oura
  • Smart rings are being tested on San Francisco ER workers to track symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The rings, designed by a company called Oura, detect heart rate, temperature, and respiration.
  • The researchers hope to build a diagnostic algorithm from the collected data.
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    Who should get coronavirus treatments first? Doctors face ethical dilemmas

    Facing a shortage of medical resources, doctors in the U.S. may have to make difficult moral decisions over how to allocate care.

    • The U.S. likely doesn't have enough ICU beds or ventilators to effectively manage an influx of COVID-19 patients.
    • Italy has been dealing with a shortage of medical resources for weeks. Doctors there have been trying to prioritize care based on who's most likely to benefit.
    • Doctors in the U.S. will likely take a similar utilitarian approach, if resources become scarce.

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    This epidemiologist predicted the coronavirus pandemic 14 years ago

    Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant, an American epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, warned about the inevitability of a global pandemic in a now-famous 2006 TED Talk.


    Paul Zimmerman
    / Getty
    • Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant is an American epidemiologist who's worked for the United Nations, Google and the World Health Organization.
    • In addition to warning the public about the threat of pandemics in 2006, Brilliant also served as a consultant for the 2011 film "Contagion".
    • Brilliant says he's "firmly confident" that the steps the U.S. is currently taking will help to flatten the curve, and provide scientists with more time to develop a vaccine or prophylactic.

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