Covid, virologists change their mind: “The distance meter is not needed”

The Covid changes and the contagion curve rears up. But the distance of a meter still serves to limit the spread of the virus? “The meter distance has always been a fairy tale even when we were dealing with cases related to the original virus. Now, even more“. This is said by Giovanni Di Perri, virologist and head of the Infectious Diseases Department of the Amedeo di Savoia, during an interview with the newspaper La Stampa.”It is useless to stay a meter or a meter and a half away if you are with other people, indoors, without the use of protective devices such as masks“, adds the expert.

Do the ” golden rules ” still apply?

Social distancing. If this is not the anti-contagion mantra par excellence, it is certainly one of the “golden rules” that since the beginning of the epidemic have depopulated among virologists and experts from all over the world. Fior di scenziati have shown that “social distancing” measures reduce viral spread by spreading the infections over a longer period of time so as to avoid the possibility of a massive epidemic peak. Now, however, in the shadow of the new mutations, the famous “meter” of distance – 1.5 to be honest – would be of little use, especially if you are indoors. “It is useless to stay a meter or a meter and a half away if you are with other people, indoors, without the use of protective devices such as masks. – explains Professor Di Perri – If we were in a 60 square meter room with closed windows for eight hours with other people, the risk would be very high regardless of the safety distance. Particularly if we didn’t use protections. Ditto on a tram, at school, in the car, in the office or anywhere indoors. That’s why the mask saves us and saves others from us. The dangers, of course, would be almost eliminated by using the masks“. So, the masks remain the only lifeline. But which ones keep us safe from the virus?

Masks: which to choose?

A few days ago, the Corriere della Sera revealed that a very high percentage of masks currently available on the market, mostly produced in China, they are not up to standard. Laboratory tests have shown that most of the devices on the market are unable to filter even the breath. The fact is that, net of the data collected, the masks remain the only shield against Covid. But which are the most reliable? The virologist Di Perri has no doubts: “We have to use the filter ones. FFP2 and KN95: are able to filter up to 95% of particles below 0.3 microns. A very high filtering capacity. – explains – Surgical ones, on the other hand, protect less, so I do not recommend them. Not to mention those who use those in cotton or other material. That said, the more you protect your airways, the better“.

English variant and vaccines

The curve of the epidemic, after a period of relative calm, has started to rise again. Accomplices the numerous variants in circulation (the English and African above any others), i almost of infection reached 22,845 on Thursday 4 March. Do you need to worry? How can you protect yourself? “With an obsessive attitude. – says the virologist of Savoy – Those who have children regularly swab them and we especially avoid dinners at home with friends. This is where the danger lurks“. But the puzzle of vaccines remains: are they also effective against new mutations? The expert reassures:”Luckily they respond to the English one. We have seen that there is a good response with AstaZeneca and Pfizer. Rather, the South African variant worries a little more. In this case we do not have certain and definitive answers“.


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