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Video: Voluntary Self-isolation Slows Down Spread Of COVID-19 Even Before Recommendations
Voluntary self-isolation slows down spread of COVID-19 even before recommendations
Scientists analyzed how much less Americans began to leave their homes after the appearance of the coronavirus, but before the official requirement for social distancing.
Photo: Charlotte Venema / Unsplash
Many people began to leave their homes less often before the relevant official guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 appeared. New research, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests that such voluntary self-isolation kept the disease from spreading.
Scientists used anonymous data on the movement of people in 25 US provinces from January 1 to April 20, 2020 in the United States. This information was provided to them by the mobile operator. They compared how people moved before and after the announcement of the social distancing recommendation.
The authors believe that the voluntary choice of people not to leave their homes unnecessarily began to save lives before government intervention. According to them, the study confirms the effectiveness of social distancing in the prevention of COVID-19.
"If action were not taken at the individual level, and social distancing were delayed until the time of government demands, COVID-19 could circulate unhindered in some provinces, inevitably leading to additional infections and deaths," said Dr. Lauren Gardney. Lauren M Gardner of Johns Hopkins University, co-author of the study.
The study showed that initially social isolation was the result of personal initiative of people. In the 25 provinces included in the study, mobile data showed that people began to move less outside the home 6-29 days earlier than the state recommended it.
In the period from January 24 to April 17, human mobility was 35-63% of the usual patterns. According to calculations, the effect of voluntary self-isolation began to affect 12 days after its start, which coincides with the estimated duration of the incubation period for COVID-19.