If coronavirus is airborne, we'll have to fight it in all new ways
Mounting evidence suggests that coronavirus can linger in the air, which might mean that social distancing alone isn't enough to fight it.
After six months living with coronavirus, we know this is particularly dangerous indoors where crowds of people struggle to keep a distance. There have been significant outbreaks in restaurants, bars, churches, workplaces and cruise ships. Besides being places where people gather for hours on end, they often lack proper ventilation.
“The improvements in indoor air quality from enhanced ventilation will have other benefits besides that of limiting the transmission of respiratory virus aerosols,” says Julian Tang, an associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester and one of the authors of the letter.
The use of germicidal ultraviolet lights could also become common in places where natural sunlight cannot reach. One type of ultraviolet light, called far-UVC, is known to effectively inactivate human coronaviruses and safe to use around people, and UV robots are already being used to disinfect hospitals, airports, hotels and prisons.