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Pere Renom

“We have given you, O Adam, no visage proper to yourself, nor endowment properly your own, in order that whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you may, with premeditation, select, these same you may have and possess through your own judgement and decision […] We have made you a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer.”
Oration on the Dignity of Man – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Utility of social distancing

published on 17.03.2020

Despite teleworking, social distancing due to the coronavirus epidemic gives us the possibility of having more free time, and we can us it to play board games. Games also serve to explain metaphorically the usefulness of social distancing. The key parameter to assess the infectious capacity of the virus is called R0 (transmission rate or reproduction number). If a person infects another person on average, there is no epidemic because the number of infected does not grow (R0=1). As when we play carom billiards, individuals transmit the disease one by one, and when they are beaten, they overcome it, in the vast majority of cases, and create immunity, therefore, in principle, this chain can no longer be repeated. If this R0 is greater than 1, the number of infected grows and can generates an epidemic. In the case of coronavirus is estimated an R0 of 2-3. If we arrange the pieces of the domino so that one causes two to fall and so on, we will see that the number of pieces struck by the disease grows rapidly and goes from local, to regional, national and global infection, becoming a pandemic. Bingo serves to explain why social distancing is important. Let’s imagine that the drum with its 100 balls represents a village of 100 inhabitants. When we mix it we put all the balls in contact. If we introduce a painted ball, we will see that when turning the drum it soon dirties the rest of the balls, while if after introducing the painted ball we do not mix the drum, most of the balls will not get dirty. Keeping the drum still is the goal of social distancing.

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