DANGER: “Super-spreading” people, events, venues and activities.

Avoid them to improve your odds of staying COVID-free (and alive) 

A consensus seems to be emerging among researchers that the bulk of coronavirus infections happen in “clusters” and can be traced to a small number of “super-spreading” people, events, venues and activities.

The obvious conclusion: Avoid them to minimize the chance that you get infected.


Today, let’s drill down on the people who may be super-spreaders…


Super-spreading people

While it’s tough to pin down, the coronavirus transmission rate (R0) is generally pegged between 2 and 3.

English translation: On average, each infected person infects between 2 and 3 others.

But researchers are finding that  the coronavirus is not uniformly contagious, so you can toss out the averages.

Most people who are infected with the coronavirus — 80% or more — never pass it on to anyone else.  They are the contagion’s “dead ends”. Source

Implication: Given a transmission rate between 2 and 3, if 80% aren’t infecting anybody else, that means that the 20% who are super-spreaders are each infecting about a dozen people.

So, just avoid the 20%, right?

That’s not as easy as it might sound.

Sure, it’s easy to spot and avoid somebody who is coughing, sneezing, panting or feverishly sweating. The “symptomatics”.

And the good news: Even if they aren’t quarantines or hospitalized, the the symptomatics are probably trying avoid you.

It’s the people with mild symptoms, or none at all, that are the problem.  The so-called “asymptomatics”.

You can’t easily pick them out of the crowd.

They don’t even know who they are.

The really bad news: There’s some evidence that infected people are most contagious just before they start to exhibit symptoms.


To improve your odds, apply the G.U.P.I Principle: Consider everybody you come in contact with to be Guilty  Until Proven Innocent. That is, assume that they’re infected.

For sure, keep your distance from behavioral menaces: huggers, close-talkers, shouters, singers, sprayers and hand-shaking gadflies.

If they’ve got it, you’ll get it.

And, to be most safe, avoid super-spreading events, venues and activities

We’ll drill down on those in a separate post…

One Response to “DANGER: “Super-spreading” people, events, venues and activities.”

  1. More re: Super-spreader events, venues and activities. | The Homa Files Says:

    […] a prior post we explained why super-spreader people are so difficult to identify … and offered 2 principles: […]

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