Does social distancing mean I am in danger?
Obviously COVID-19 has a very dangerous potential to spread rapidly through a population. But this does not necessary mean COVID-19 is currently dangerous to you.
Contagious diseases (e.g. COVID-19) carry two kinds of danger:
- epidemic contagion (rapid spread of disease from person to person)
- individual sickness/death
Rolling down a hill has analogous dangers:
rolling down a hill
|Danger 1||epidemic contagion||uncontrolled acceleration|
|Danger 2||individual sickness/death||crash injury/death|
The danger of uncontrolled acceleration of COVID-19 has been successfully mitigated by social distancing and related measures. This danger is separate from the current level of danger for sickness and death as individuals.
Sometimes brakes are applied when there is danger of acceleration, and not because you're currently in danger of crashing.
See a historical perspective for how past danger levels compare to current levels in selected locations.