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Animations highlighting the importance of opening windows in classrooms to prevent the spread of Corona in schools

The New York Times, in collaboration with experts, has designed animations that simulate the flow of the coronavirus in a typical classroom in a public school in New York City, in various scenarios with increasingly improved ventilation, as the drawings highlight the importance of good ventilation in the classroom.

First, in this example, the windows are closed even with social distancing and the mask being worn. The animation shows how students' breaths are still rotating in the classroom, according to Insider.


The New York Times said that in this case, about 3% of the air each person breathes is inhaled by another person.

Second, the Times modeled what would happen if there was an injured student in the classroom.


If there is no fresh air in the room, the breath of the injured student accumulates in the room, as this drawing shows:

In this case, the concentration of the virus in the air is high, as indicated by the dark red color of the lines in the above drawing.

Joseph Allen, one of the experts who worked in animation, told The Times, although it is not clear how much exposure to the virus is required to infect a person yet, "exposure is a function of focus and time."

As such, it seems logical that the greater the concentration of the virus in the air and the more exposed people who are not infected with the virus, the more likely they will eventually become infected.

Third, if you open a window, this is a different story. The virus continues to spread but does not accumulate as much:


The Times then showed what would happen if the air in the classroom was blown with a fan and a High Efficiency Particulate Filter (HEPA).

The results were better, as shown below, as the fan helped diffuse the particles into the air:

Experts suggest the best combination is having an air purifier in the room as well as a renewal fan.

Having the fan pull the air out of the room, instead of inside, means that the air is absorbed away from the infected person, rather than being directed from the infected person toward an uninfected person.

The Times animation comes as studies increasingly indicate that schools should be safe to resume personal learning, if the right precautions are followed - such as social distancing and wearing masks.

Children don't seem to get sick from COVID-19 like adults. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, fewer than 250 children have died from COVID-19 in the United States, compared to more than 500,000 deaths in total.

Some middle schools reopened in New York City for the first time since the pandemic last Thursday, with 62,000 students from sixth to eighth grades restarting a mix of personal and distance learning, NBC New York reported.

According to the city's strict back-to-school rules, students are expected to sit at desks six feet apart and wear cloth masks in class, The Times reports. The newspaper said the city also requires at least one window to be opened in classrooms.

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