Where you sit at the table in a restaurant could have consequences for your health. At least this is what a Japanese study made on restaurants and the coronavirus contamination suggests. Published in Forbes magazine, it shows that it is better to choose one seat over another when dining out.
A riskier spot?
Although bars and restaurants have been heavily penalised economically since the emergence of the virus, these establishments also tend to be blamed for the active circulation of the coronavirus. Japanese researchers decided to find out which spot at the table was potentially the riskiest when it comes to the virus.
According to Fugaku, the world's fastest supercomputer, one spot at the table is not like the rest. Scientists at the University of Kobe modelled the spread of the virus during a meal. In this simulation, which can be seen in the video at the top of the article, the emission of particles when 4 people are at a table without masks can be seen.
How does the virus spread at a table?
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention explains:
When people with Covid-19 cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe they produce respiratory droplets.
So when an infected person talks to the people around him or her, he or she releases droplets contaminated with Covid-19. Whoever is sitting across from the infected person receives up to four times more of these droplets than the person sitting diagonally.
However, it is not those sitting opposite who are most at risk, but the direct neighbour. In fact, when a person is infected and turns his or her head to one side, the neighbour is 5 times more exposed to the contamination than the person opposite the speaker. As you will have understood, the spot to avoid at a table is the one next to the infected person.
Still according to the Fugaku supercomputer, a humid environment slows down the movement of the droplets. Thus, during this pandemic, it is preferable to reserve a table in a restaurant that uses humidifiers.