Scary simulation reveals jogging dangers during coronavirus pandemic

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A frightening new simulation seems to indicate that current social distancing protocols may not be enough to protect joggers from coronavirus -- even if they follow the new rules.

The video, built by simulation technology firm Ansys, shows that droplets can potentially spread more than 6 feet behind you while you are walking, running or cycling.

According to the engineers at the tech company, it may actually be safer to run side-by-side with someone rather than in single file, so that you can avoid coming into direct contact with any droplets.

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Simulattion technology company Ansys shows how far droplets containing COVID-19 may be able to spread when two people are out running together.

Simulattion technology company Ansys shows how far droplets containing COVID-19 may be able to spread when two people are out running together. (Ansys)

Health officials have used the 6-feet measure for social distancing as the protocol because when someone sneezes or coughs, droplets typically travel no more than that distance before gravity pulls them to the ground.

During the side-by-side scenario, the droplets travel behind the runners, for the most part. That's what makes the single-file scenario scarier, according to the company.

"If someone coughs, those droplets are suspended in the air and, if you are 6 feet behind, you are going to run right into them and it doesn't give them enough time to fall to the ground," Marc Horner, the principal engineer for health care at Ansys, told The Daily Mail.

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Horner also suggested that if you don't feel safe running directly behind someone, even with 6 feet of distance, it's smarter to run in a staggered pattern.

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As of Thursday afternoon, the novel coronavirus has infected 1.5 million people worldwide, including more than 451,000 in the United States.