Read the full story at FiveThirtyEight.
If you’re waiting for a break from bad news about COVID, don’t hold your breath — or, actually, do hold your breath.
Experts have understood for months that the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, can be spread by hitching a ride inside large respiratory droplets that are expelled when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. But there’s growing evidence that smaller airborne particles called aerosols can carry and spread the virus, too.
The methods for preventing spread from respiratory droplets are familiar: social distancing, frequent hand-washing and wearing a mask. But the methods for stopping aerosols, which are lightweight and may be able to hang in the air for hours, are less obvious and often rely on technology. But can something like an air filter really stop a seemingly unstoppable pandemic?