Cycling, transmission of Covid-19 is a worthless study
Recently, an article on the topic should not walk, run or bike near others during the Covid-19 season has caused public confusion, causing many people to worry.
In early April, an article posted on the Medium blog platform suggested that there was a risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus from biking or exercising.
“Why can’t you walk, run or cycle near others during the Covid-19 season?”, A blog post by entrepreneur Jurgen Thoelen led the research of a professor at Eindhoven Technical University. , assuming that water droplets from a previous person may hit the pedestrian behind at a distance of 4-5 m. If riding a bicycle, the distance up to 10-20 m.
“In many countries, walking, running or cycling is an acceptable activity during the Covid-19 season. However, you need to pay attention to distance from drops from others when exercising,” the article said. comment.
Mr. Thoelen’s post got a lot of attention and shared. Shortly thereafter, the online community and the research author themselves were quick to point out the flaws of this article.
Haven’t finished research yet hurriedly brought up the media
Mr. Bert Blocken, who carried out the initial research, immediately corrected his purpose. He explained that he had not finished his research and publication, but only talked to a Belgian newspaper on the subject.
What Mr. Blocken, an expert working at Eindhoven Technical University, analyzes purely based on aerodynamic aspects. From the phenomenon of airflow behind a moving object (slipstream), Mr. Blocken simulates the distance that the water droplets from runners, cyclists in front can shoot backwards.
Although the study suggests that people need to ride bikes at least 10 meters apart, the distance is too big for cities, Mr. Blocken said his idea was misinterpreted.
This study advises people not to walk behind others at a distance of 5 m, and to cycle at a distance of 20 m. These are unrealistic numbers in the municipality. Photo: Ansys.
“I have never advised people not to walk, run or exercise, but vice versa. Perhaps people should read more and react less,” Blocken wrote in an email to Vice.
However, the incomplete research that has put information into the media is the opposite of the normal process. Vice said his research has not been published yet so there is nothing to read. Even Mr. Blocken’s motive for sharing information is suspected.
“The crisis is very serious, so we decided to go against the normal process. The publication of the research could not wait for months of the due diligence review process. I have a brief piece of information and will post to LinkedIn, “Mr. Blocken wrote on Twitter. However, the information he posted on LinkedIn was only a translation of the Belgian article.
“It must be said that this is a study of aerodynamics, not virology. The publication of information in technical journals takes a long time to control, and Covid-19 cannot wait for months,” said Blocken. added in an email to Vice. There is no epidemiological value
Given that Mr. Blocken’s “contribution” could be harmful to the community, epidemiologist William Hanage, who works at Harvard’s Center for Infectious Dynamics, said the study was not valid. Mr. Hanage even argued that the defense was an “anti-epidemic” contribution that “boiled blood” to him.
“Research like this has no effect on epidemiologists. The number of cases spread in this form is much less than in other cases,” Hanage explained.
Jogging is one of the most chosen exercise methods to stay healthy during a season. Photo: AP.
“From an epidemiological perspective, the location of the droplet is less important than the number of droplets through this method,” Mr. Hanage added. Neither the Belgian original article nor the Medium article took any account of the number of drops.
In the notes of the text, Mr. Blocken acknowledges that the danger from microscopic droplets remains a subject of debate among researchers. On the Atlantic, interviews with some epidemiologists show that there is no unified conclusions about the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus during exercise such as jogging, cycling.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and local epidemic prevention agencies have recommendations for exercising and exercising to stay healthy. The recommended safe distance from contact with others is 2 m.
Speaking to Vice, Mr. Hanage said that it is still possible to exercise outside, as long as there are appropriate measures.
“I think there is a balance, just avoid the circumstances where the infection rate from the community is high,” Mr. Hanage said.