We were curious about social distancing. It seems everyone is doing it. But how much is that? We polled more than a thousand people via Twitter and found an 86 percent drop in contact, as defined by the number of times per day you come within 6 feet of another person.
While this is a self-reported poll—and while most people don’t go around with tape measures to calculate the distance between themselves and their fellow humans—it does indeed still provide some good news.
We asked “How many people did you interact with in person (within 6 ft) on a normal day before the coronavirus?” The average answer pre-corona? Thirty people. After the virus? Four people. (Note: The poll was conducted March 27, before Maryland, Virginia, and the District issued stay-at-home orders.) The number of respondents was 1,086.
In fact, there’s reason to believe the drop-off could be even bigger. People’s estimates of their pre-corona social contact—30 people per day—may well be stingy: It’s a number a lot of folks could hit with a single trip on Metro or a couple of rides in their office buildings’ elevators. If so, it’s likely a lot of people have slashed their social contact by more than 86 percent.
One hopes the numbers translate into fewer Covid-19 cases in the DC area and that better late than never saves lives.