Photo: DisobeyArt (Shutterstock) By now, we’ve been keeping 6 feet apart from other people (or at least been instructed to do so) for almost a year. Some people, like myself, aren’t great at estimating distances or other spatial relationships. My solution to that has been to stay far enough away from other people that there’s no way it could be anything less than 6 feet—even if that means being pressed up against a building while people pass until I find what I consider to be a safe opening in foot traffic. (Don’t worry: that’s not the hack.) The actual hack comes from NPR. Here’s what to know. Why does physical distancing require 6 feet? This specific distance was chosen following years of research , some of which dates back to the late 19th century. As Dr. Abraar Karan , a physician at Harvard Medical School, told NPR, it’s the estimated distance that infectious droplets can travel through the air following a sneeze or a cough—or shouting—before they fall to the ground. But keep in mind that “droplets” and “aerosols” are not the same thing. Aerosols are smaller and are released when we exhale—and another way SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted . And these aerosols can travel farther than 6 feet (yet another reason why wearing a mask is so important for both sick and healthy people). How to estimate 6 feet Fortunately, Marc Silver, the editor of NPR’s “Goats and Soda” vertical, has a simple trick that might help: he […]