COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, but there is still lots of misinformation about how it exactly spreads. This article will take you through everything you need to know about the spread of COVID-19 from reputable scientific sources, including the CDC, WebMD, WHO, and Harvard.   

The principal spread of COVID-19 starts with a person who has the virus and releases droplets containing the virus in their atmosphere.

There are two main ways for COVID-19 to spread: Person-to-Person and Object-to-Person.

Person-to-Person spread:

This spread occurs when someone with the Coronavirus produces droplets containing the virus via sneezing, talking, or coughing and transmits those droplets to others within 6 feet of them. Person-to-Person spread of the Coronavirus can either be direct (within a short period of direct interaction) or delayed airborne transmission.

Direct transmission:

The first way these COVID-19 carrying droplets can be transferred to other people if they land on their mouth or nose instantaneously. 

As soon as a COVID-19 carrying person releases infected droplets by talking or sneezing, everyone within a six feet radius is at risk of catching the virus. These droplets can physically enter the body through the mouth, nose, or eyes by breathing them in.

Delayed airborne transmission:

The Coronavirus can stay active in the air for up to 3 hours, so breathing in the virus particles after 3 hours of someone with COVID-19 sneezing in a specific area can cause Coronavirus. 

Object-to-Person spread:

The previously mentioned COVID-19 carrying droplets can also stay active on surfaces for 2-3 days. Someone carrying the COVID-19 virus might sneeze and infect things in their surroundings, such as tables, handrails, or shopping bags, etc. 

For example, if a carrier of the Coronavirus sneezes on an object such as a doorknob, then the virus can spread to you if you touch the doorknob and then touch your face or nose. 

Object-to-Person spread is especially common in areas like grocery stores where a large number of people interact with the same items every day. That is why it is recommended to wear gloves and sanitize all grocery items once you get home. 

COVID-19 carriers are not always obvious.

It should also be noted that carriers of Coronavirus might not be exhibiting clear symptoms of the virus (asymptomatic), or they just might not know if they have it yet (pre-symptomatic). Therefore, everyone who you are not isolating with should be seen as a possible carrier that you must maintain a six feet distance from to control the spread of COVID-19.