Over the past three months, coronavirus-induced global lockdowns have been implemented worldwide as people across the planet fear going out, even to the market. However, recently, some beachgoers have begun to ignore the implemented precautions because of their love of the water. With summer just around the corner, many experts urge water lovers to stay away as the virus is even more dangerous in the water.
Kim Prather, a leading atmospheric chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, also expressed her concerns about people going to beaches during such a dangerous time. Prather said she wants to yell at every surfer, runner and biker out her window as they freely hang out along the San Diego coast.
“I wouldn’t go in the water if you paid me $1 million right now,” she said.
According to Prather, the beach is one of the most dangerous places these days, as the coronavirus pandemic silently creeps in various places across the world.
Prather expressed her fear that the coronavirus could enter the water and be transferred into the air as other infections do.
In her research, she has found the occurrence of all kinds of particulate and microscopic pathogens in the ocean being sprayed into the air when waves are raging.
She believes that the coronavirus is light enough to be transferred into the air, saying that the virus is enviable and called it the “real silent killer right now.”
“It’s not going to kill you if you miss a few surfing sessions, but it could if you go out there and get in the wrong air,” she said.
Prather stated that coronaviruses are encased by “hydrophobic” lipid, or a fatty membrane. Fat has a tendency to float to the surface of the water and as waves break in the surf zone, “all that stuff – the viruses, the bacteria, pollutants, all the gooey, oily stuff – just launches into the air.”
The ocean is the largest natural source of aerosol particles that affects the formation of clouds over the ocean and cover the largest distance.
“Once things are in the air, they can go pretty darn far. People are shocked whenever I talk about stuff becoming airborne,” she said.
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