The Math Behind Social Distancing

Social distancing has been the first line of defense against COVID-19. We look at the math and science behind social distancing, to show how it works.

Visualization type: Infographic


The Math Behind Social Distancing

As we wait for scientists and healthcare professionals to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, there is another, more readily available tool at our disposal.

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, this infographic illustrates how a reduction in social exposure can theoretically contain the spread of infection.

First published: March 28, 2020 (link)

Source files included: .ai, .eps, .pdf

Data source: Signer Laboratory

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License type

Basic – 2 credits, Enhanced – 3 credits