To mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it is key to slow down the spreading of the life-threatening coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This spreading mainly occurs through virus-laden droplets expelled at speaking, screaming, shouting, singing, coughing, sneezing, or even breathing. To reduce infections through such respiratory droplets, authorities all over the world have introduced the so-called 2-meter distance rule or 6-foot rule.
However, there is increasing empirical evidence, e.g. through the analysis of super-spreading events, that airborne transmission of the coronavirus over much larger distances plays a major role, with tremendous implications for the risk assessment of coronavirus transmission. It is key to better and fundamentally understand the environmental ambient conditions under which airborne transmission of the coronavirus is likely to occur, in order to be able to control and adapt them.
Here we employ direct numerical simulations of a typical respiratory aerosol in a turbulent jet of the respiratory event [to study these phenomena]