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Desert in Dark

Recent advances in assessing the role of respiratory droplets in the spreading of COVID-19

Respiratory droplets play a critical role in the transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus, responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, it is important to understand and analyze the mechanisms of evaporation, precipitation, and transport of these droplets ejected from our oral or nasal cavities during respiratory events such as sneezing, coughing, talking, or breathing. In this talk, we will highlight some key aspects which control the lifetime of these droplets and connect it to a pandemic model in an effort to assess the growth in the infected population. We will also discuss the relative probabilistic contributions from droplets vs aerosol in the transmission of this virus at given ambient climate conditions. We will conclude the presentation with a note on the importance of masks in restricting the transmission of respiratory droplets and show how improperly designed masks can have severely opposite effects.

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