We are being attacked by a silent enemy that understands the same principles that strategic property investors use – the power of compounding and leverage.
As investors we realise that capital growth, leverage and time are our friends as our assets grow exponentially - compounding and leverage gives us growth on our growth.
Unfortunately it's much the same for the way COVID-19 is attacking us.
Our enemy is using us (our bodies) for leverage to help spread itself further and faster.
And because it is very contagious, as the following graphic from Visual Capitalist shows, it is using the power of compounding to spread its nasty tentacles.
Their infographic illustrates how a reduction in social exposure can theoretically contain the spread of infection.
|Scenario||5 Day Period||30 Day Period|
|No social distancing practiced||1 person infects 2.5* others||406 people infected as a result|
|50% reduction in social exposure||1 person infects 1.25* others||15 people infected as a result|
|75% reduction in social exposure||1 person infects 0.625* others||2.5 people infected as a result|
*For estimations only. It is not possible to infect only a fraction of another person.
To arrive at the figures reported above, Robert A.J. Signer, Ph.D., and his team made a number of key assumptions.
First, they estimated the basic reproduction number (R0) of COVID-19 to be 2.5, a figure supported by recent research.
This means that, on average, an infected individual will spread the disease to 2.5 other people.
Next, they assumed that an infected individual will unknowingly spread COVID-19 over the median five day incubation period.
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After this period, the individual will begin to develop symptoms, immediately self quarantine, and no longer pose a threat.
Finally, they assumed a direct linear correlation between social interactions and R0.
This means that when an infected person reduces their physical contact with others by 50%, they also spread the disease by an amount 50% less.
With the number of COVID-19 cases still rising, our governments have issued quarantine orders and travel bans.
The maths supports these decisions—reducing our physical contact with others, even when we aren’t experiencing any symptoms, is crucial.
The key takeaway from all of this? Social distancing is a powerful disease control tool, but only if we all participate.
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Source: Visual Capitalist