The Vital Importance of Social Isolation

Statista, a German online analytics portal, has just published the above graphic, demonstrating better than anything else I’ve seen, exactly why we need to keep away from each other. I would urge you to share it with as many people as possible. The full link is It’s pretty simple maths behind it, but that seems to be lost on most people.

The reason we need to make the point is that large sections of the population appear to be unaware of the risk they are posing to others. Yesterday, in the UK, many people appeared to be treating the sunny Sunday as a holiday, pouring into parks and queuing for food at take-away stalls. The picture below shows Victoria Park’s Farmers’ Market in Hackney at lunchtime yesterday – it was subsequently closed, but demonstrates how little people understand about how the virus spreads and their own social responsibility.

This behaviour has been rightly criticised, but we have yet to see whether people have paid attention or understand why their behaviour is being admonished.

The reality of this pandemic is that many people will die prematurely. We have no cure – a vaccine is probably at least 18 months away. We have limited capacity to treat people who develop the complications that ensue from Coronavirus, because we do not have enough ventilators, and won’t for many months. At the point that we exceed the medical resources available, then more people will die. Current projections suggest that without mitigation to limit the number of infections, around 500,000 will die in the UK and 2,200,000 in the US as a result of contracting coronavirus. The best mitigation we currently have, without shutting everything down, is social isolation.

The message is very simple. If you don’t keep away from other people, many more people will die who might otherwise not. That number will almost certainly include people every one of us knows and cares about. Our lives depend on all of us thinking about each other. At the moment, it appears that too many do not. Please read the advice and spread the message rather than the virus. Lives, quite literally, do depend upon it.