The Dubious Causality of Social Distancing

Social Distancing is being touted as the savior in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus, in the process saving countless lives.

The question: Was the so-called six-foot social distancing rule all it has been cracked up to be?

At first blush it seems reasonable.

Keeping one’s distance from others makes sense that it would reduce the spread of any pathogen including the Coronavirus.

However, the reality isn’t what it appears—and certainly not what proponents of social distancing would have the public believe.

This is not to say social distancing didn’t have some impact; but rather, we need to challenge just how significant a role it played in stopping or even slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Put another way—what was more causal: common sense practiced by the public or the six-foot social distancing edict.

If one did not interact with the general public when they felt ill or just under the weather—did that have a greater impact on mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus or was the six-foot distancing more important?

In truth, if those who felt ill didn’t go out in public—they, in fact, were removing themselves from the general population, therefore, removing the possibility of transmitting the virus.

This becomes an issue of common sense, not social distancing.

Yet, social distancing has been touted as causal, when in fact other factors were far more impactful.

What role did personal hygiene play?

How significant was simply washing one’s hands on mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus?

The transmission of COVID-19 is still somewhat of an unknown.

Was the major transmission mode airborne droplets or surface contact?

If airborne droplets were deemed the primary transmission mode why wasn’t the public warned to wear some form of eye-protection?

More important: If surface contact wasn’t a significant transmission vehicle, why was so much attention paid to wiping down surfaces?

Why was the public warned to avoid touching one’s face and to routinely wash their hands after public outings if surface contact wasn’t a significant transmission mode?

How does surface contact relate to social distancing?

It doesn’t—the two are completely unrelated.

The trouble with the social distancing argument—it was never necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, other factors were far more significant.

Social distancing, however, was necessary and therefore causal in the draconian measures ordered by numerous governors to shutter all so-called non-essential businesses.

In this regard, social distancing was not only causal—it was crucial.

It should be recognized, it was under the guise of social distancing that governors ordered the shuttering of businesses.

Limit the numbers, thereby limiting the number of possible interactions—thus minimizing the spread of the virus.

Sadly, this thinking makes sense, although in a twisted, perverse logic.

The spread of the Coronavirus was always a numbers game, the more contacts the greater the chance of spread. (Read: The 15% Rule)

Still, there was always a larger factor that determined the spread of COVID-19 than measures such as social distancing—that being the virus’ virulence.

Just how active was the Coronavirus?

How easily did it spread from person to person?

More important, how susceptible were we to the COVID-19 virus? 

This is what is lost in the hype over social distancing.

If the virus were truly virulent, any measures taken simply wouldn’t have been effective.

That’s the harsh reality—if COVID-19 was truly a contagion there would have been no way of stopping the virus or even slowing it down.

Social distancing, however, was able to slow down one thing…the U.S. economy.

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