Can COVID-19 Really Spread Through Air?

This is the question of the year, or should I say, two years

Everyone knows at least a few people who have been infected or have died due to Covid-19 this past year. The rate at which infections are increasing are quite suspicious and scientists have had to re-evaluate their stance on where the virus is airborne or not. What exactly is airborne though?

Scientists distinguish between respiratory infectious diseases classed as “airborne” — which spread by aerosols suspended in the air — and infections that spread through other routes, including larger “droplets.”Aerosols are tiny liquid particles from the respiratory tract that are generated when someone exhales, talks, or coughs. They float in the air and can contain live viruses.

Some scientists have doubted the aerosol route because Covid-19 does not appear as transmissible as, say, measles. But others point to cases of Covid-19 transmission where airborne spread appears to be the only explanation behind multiple onward infections. This virus has really frustrated and confused humanity to dangerous levels.

Generally, sneezing and coughing produce larger particles of fluid. But evidence shows large quantities of the virus are also expelled in small aerosols emitted when someone is speaking at a normal volume, or breathing. One study published in August 2020 found that a single person in the early stages of covid-19 could emit millions of Covid-19 particles per hour through breathing alone. How freaking scary is that?!

I came across this paper written by six experts from the US, UK and Canada that says that Covid-19 spreads through smaller aerosols that remain suspended in the air. The authors argue that there are insufficient grounds for concluding that the virus is not airborne. This could be big.

In fact, the authors of that paper have called for immediate modification of established Covid-19 safety protocols and have listed some reasons which back their claim. Now if they will be taken seriously or not, that remains to be seen.

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