Mingling but not infecting or being infected

A cover illustration from a 1962 edition of an Italian magazine is making the rounds of social media lately. It shows people driving little, glass-encased pod vehicles on a busy street (maybe in New York City). It was apparently illustrator Walter Molino’s vision of how traffic gridlock might be solved in the future. But in the current COVID pandemic circumstances, it can easily be seen as a way for people to mingle and remain safely isolated at the same time. The image is being shopped around as somebody’s idea of the future in 2022, but apparently that’s false. Fact-checker Snopes.com says nowhere in the article is the year 2022 mentioned, and the gist of the story has nothing to do with keeping bugs from jumping from one person to another in a crowded city.

Still…. It looks like something that could come about, in one form or another, as this pandemic drags on. People have to get out and do things. Even if they don’t ‘have to,’ they want to and so they will. One person with the virus in a crowd can infect many others, who then go on to other encounters with people and can start a chain reaction that sees infection numbers shoot up and the thing to get out of control…..again.

So it is not too far-fetched to think of a solution that allows people to get out and mingle, but shuts down the transmission risk. Or at least reduces it to a manageable minimum. Masks are the best we have now, so let’s wear them when appropriate.

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