Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Personal Space

Has anyone seem research on disease spread, Covid in particular, related to a country's (or region's) average personal space needs? I have suspected since 2020 that it's a big deal, but haven't seen anything.

1 comment:

Douglas2 said...

I wasn't even aware that anyone had done more than anecdotal work on how personal space needs differ between cultures. But with a quick search I found an article highlighting some:

W.R.T. to COVID transmission, there are pitfalls for the unwary if one wants to use data the studies linked in the above article and see how it correlates. Case rates aren't necessarily measured the same way between countries, or even between different time periods in one country.

I'd also wonder about disaggregating other cultural differences --
• different proportion of stop-consonants in different languages creating different micro-droplet plumes,
• loud vs less-loud conversational volume,
• household-size vs M² home size,
• crowdedness of public-transit,
• ??

I still consider singing at church to be among the riskiest of my activities WRT to COVID. We're pretty spread out with generally at least an empty pew between each household group, but it involves more and deeper inhalation and exhalation than talking, shopping, and desk work, and moves the jaw more affecting mask fit for those who are still masked.