Well, obviously not. Websites do not actually occupy physical space, nor do they have the capacity for contracting any virus that attacks the white blood cells - mainly because they don't have any. Websites never have respiratory problems, either. Unless, of course, you view slow loading speed as a kind of respiratory problem.
What I'm driving at, of course, is that while the physical world grapples with the Invisible Enemy, ecommerce websites are thriving. More and more people are using online shops to purchase products. And you suspect that, over time, the 'new normal' will mean that a larger proportion of items - from clothes to food to household appliances - are purchased digitally.
In the physical world, however, what should you be doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19? If you're British, you need to keep yourself two metres away from anybody when you're out. If you're French or Chinese, one metre will do.
Interestingly, Britain's insistence on two metres is actually the strictest, and most European countries are recommending 1.5 metres. The problems is, no one's really sure what is the safest distance. With a lot of encouragement from the business sector, a review is under way and the government could be changing the two metre rule very soon.
Why don't we just keep the two metre rule and be safe?
Whatever medical advice the government gives us has to be carefully weighed against the economy. The biggest murmurs against the two metre rule are coming from the retail and hospitality sector. It will be impossible to do operate a shop in such circumstances and considering the state of the economy now, businesses need all the help they can get.
Why the confusion over the correct distancing?
Research is conflicting, with some studies suggesting that the virus can travel as far as four metres away from infected patients, while other studies concluded that the risk was significantly lower after a distance of one metre from an infected person. This discrepancy stems from four main variables.
The number and size of droplets that escape our nose and mouth when we talk, sneeze and cough varies a lot. A low number of droplets are released from breathing, whilst sneezing produces a lot of droplets which travel very far. The larger droplets fall to the floor quickly, whilst smaller ones remain in the air.
This refers to the number of copies of the virus in the droplets. Virus copies in droplets can vary from a few thousand to hundreds of billions. The viral load can also differ depending on what stage of the illness the infected person is at.
The infectious dose is the number of copies of the virus that your body needs to be exposed to, to develop an infection. Currently we do not know what this number is for COVID-19. However the closer you are, the more likely it is you will get an infectious dose.
The environment we are in plays a major role in what happens to respiratory droplets. We know that outside droplets can quickly evaporate, whereas droplets inside an enclosed space with no circulation will move around in various directions.
As you can see there are so many factors at play, and this makes it extremely difficult to judge the safest distance. However considering how problematic it will be for businesses to implement this rule, we can expect to see a change in the near future. The COVID-19 alert level has also just been lowered and so expect more relaxation.
If you would like to keep up to date with all the latest developments in business, the economy and technology, then check back here regularly. Or if you're looking for an affordable business website, get in touch with us at DotGO, and find out what we can do for you.
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