As distance decreases, risk increases (but that may not be a linear relationship). Virus particles can be concentrated into droplets or spread out in aerosol clouds. Droplets drop, and clouds spread out, linger, and dissipate.
The virus spreads unless bodily fluids are contained, and the virus is killed or disposed of properly.
As the virus is passed our direction, we don’t want to receive it. To reduce the risk of receiving the virus into our bodies directly from droplets and aerosols we can employ protective devices.
There is a range of risk in the things we do. Total isolation provides zero risk of transmission. The risk of transmission increases as we come out of isolation. That means we are taking a risk when we come close to others or touch things they may have contaminated with a virus (fomites).
Common sense says to be safe, we don’t do things that could hurt ourselves or others. Safe behavior includes distancing, cleaning, and the use of protective devices to mitigate risk.
But what if you become infected with a disease-causing virus without knowing it becauseyoudon’t always develop any noticeable symptoms? Common sense would saythataninfection with a disease-causing virus that does not develop symptoms for you is not a problem … but that’s not the whole story.
Some people are killed when infected with the same virus.
Understanding how a virus spreads and attacks your body will allow common sense to guide you on how to minimize your risk of infection.