To avoid spreading the coronavirus, stop talking so much, keep calm


  • Talking out loud can spread the virus to others better than calming down.
  • It is possible that this is the reason why English speakers have a higher rate of infection than Japanese.
  • But this does not mean that we should all be silent.
  • Talking to others are the most important things you can do to maintain your mental health during an epidemic.
  • For more stories visit the Business Insider homepage.

More than half a year into our global viral catastrophe, it has become clear that being within distance of other people is a potentially dangerous activity.

We have seen that singing can transmit coronoviruses into the bodies of others. Shouting in bars can also transfer the virus among a crowd of people.

In short, one of the things that make us human – talking to communicate our feelings and thoughts – can now be considered a deadly threat, loaded with potentially infectious virus particles.

The stronger the communication, the riskier it is. Too much coughing, any kind of screaming, laughing or singing can introduce infectious bits of virus into the air towards others, launching those particles ahead with a calm tone.

Derek Thompson in the Atlantic recently went so far as to recommend that maybe we should just “shut down” when he comes out in public right now.

“It makes sense to encourage a calm, or even whisper”, Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist, told Insider in an email, though she insisted that staying calm will never stop wearing masks, social Getting away from form and avoiding congestion should not be considered an option.

But don’t start bathing your neighbors. According to linguist Deborah Tannan, oral communication is an important way to keep us healthy at different times. We just have to do it safely.

Speech can spread virus particles into the air that remains there for several minutes

Coronavirus teacher

A teacher explains mathematics during a lesson with sixth graders sitting at a socially disordered desk, the second day of class since March in Berlin, Germany, on May 5, 2020 (during the novel coronavirus epidemic) .

Christian Ender / Getty Images


Talking out loud is dangerous because it projects more spit into the air.

When we communicate verbally, we release both large, heavy drops of gun and small aerosols that are small and can remain in the air for a long time. The more forceful the spray, the more likely it is to enter the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Scientists still do not know exactly how large doses of coronovirus may take us to get sick, but it is generally accepted that the more viruses we are exposed to, the greater the risk of infection. There are reasons, and we can become sick.

This means that not all interactions are created equal, not all interactions are created equal. Keep distance from the people you are chatting with and avoid shouting and spitting when you are confident, but not everyone is addicted to it.

As a New Yorker, Tannen says his own speech methods can be particularly dangerous.

Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and author of the book “Shotter Pose, speak louder, speak louder, be more direct, talk about more personal topics, talk more quickly, all of them To do things together, ”my father said.

“I call it a high-engagement style, so that you emphasize your involvement or relationship with other people, compared to the high-thinking style where you show that you’re a good person, where you show that you’re Is a good person. On other people. ”

The amount of exchange we make is not simply determined by quantity and proximity to others. The language we speak also matters. For example, Chinese and English are generally considered more spicy in nature than Japanese.

There have also been some suggestions by researchers, one of which is that there were no possible cases of SARS in Japan during that global outbreak in 2002 and 2003, while more than 70 people were diagnosed with the disease in the US, because the Japanese There is no ‘t in’ p, t, k’s q’s, ch’s and c’s which are similar to what the Chinese and English do.

With the novel coronovirus, the rate of infection in Japan has also been impressively low, raising questions about whether Japanese language and speaking etiquette May play a role in preventing transmission.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine recently observed that people say the English phrase “stay healthy,” with their explosive ‘T’ and ‘Th’ sounds, which they discover The virus can spread well (suspicion in the laboratory would be an unethical method of research.]

They estimated that just one minute of loud talk would produce “nuclei with small droplets containing at least 1,000 virions that remain in the air for more than 8 minutes,” potentially triggering coronovirus infection if They are inhaled by others.

Those researchers said that the atmosphere is also important when we talk, because steady, stale air can turn speech into a “slowly descending cloud”.

Like every other precaution, speaking softly is only one part of an interview system. Around sick people, whether they speak or not, is always risky, especially when the conversation is indoors and they are just getting sick.

Calming large gatherings can be safe, but they are still not risk-free

French Guiana Coronavirus

On July 22, 2020, Olivier Gaudet, a collective member of the “Trop Violence”, speaks to protesters gathered in front of the province of Guyana in Cayenne, French Guiana, as France’s South American region is flooded with COVID-19 cases.

Via Jody Emmet / AFP Getty Image


With many people, there is nothing more dangerous than staying indoors in a poorly-ventilated place.

According to Renee Zhang, professor of atmospheric science and chemistry at Texas A&M, outdoor gatherings, where infinite spaces are safe for virus particles to spread, but the crowd should still try to remain calm.

If football games run this year (at 25% capacity, with masks) at Texas A&M, he thinks that the games cannot be tried to reduce or appease the virus from spreading.

A&M fans said, “It’s getting harder for them to control their emotions, it’s harder for them to stop supporting their team.” “Enjoy the game, but try to be as calm as possible. I think it will help.”

He, for one, will not be in the stand.

“It’s very safe to stay at home,” he said.

Talking is still necessary, especially now

Italy Coronovirus talks

On March 17, 2020, a medical worker wearing a face mask on his mobile phone inside the new coronovirus intensive care unit of Brescia Polymbulanza Hospital Lombardy.

Via Pieto Crucity / AFP Getty Image


Being silent may not completely extinguish the virus, but it can extinguish us.

“Our fundamental way of talking to people is to be human, and to get through the world,” Tanne said.

Talking is also largely a matter of face to face.

“The idea that you shouldn’t talk is ridiculous,” she said. “We have enough to worry about.”

Instead, the 75-year-old found other ways to stay safe and still communicate. When she recently met with a friend of the virus-infested Arizona, she was so cautious about sharing potentially infected air that the pair “sat more than six feet away,” she said.

Then, they would pick up their cell phones for a socially distorted version of face-to-face chat.

“By the time you’re six feet apart, you’re wearing a mask, I don’t think you should worry about how much you talk, or whether you have plosive drink in your language,” she said.

“What people are really looking for is this in-person experience,” Zhang said of professors, students and colleagues, who are opting for some in-person meetings.

He said that a class or office is “probably fine” with some people, and that people shouldn’t be too concerned about keeping their voices too low, or whispering, which would probably keep people from each other anyway May serve to bring closer to.

Silently or loudly, it is going to be a long time before we can safely regroup in large groups.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that we should wait until a safe, effective vaccine “lasts for about a year,” before most of the population gets enough time to get vaccinated, before we go to theaters Start packing again in.

“Instead of going to the theater at night and being together with friends, we’re zooming in with friends and having a lot of diners at home,” Tannen said.

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