NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Let’s talk about social distancing and COVID-19 prevention.

By now you certainly know about masks: paper, cloth and N95 to trap your infected breathing and you also know about the six foot rule. Stay at least that far apart to prevent an infected person’s cough or sneeze from reaching you.

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That’s based on studies that indicate that virus-laden droplets will fall to the ground in that distance. But will they really? Yes and no, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

Other more recent studies, simulated here by the engineering company Ansys, suggests that most heavily droplets do fall quickly, but under heavier breathing circumstances those droplets stay in the air much longer and farther.

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Even in normal conversations, people expel microscopic droplets called aerosols that can stay suspended in the air. A commentary published in the journal Science says there’s increasing evidence that the six foot rule is likely not enough under many indoor conditions where those aerosols can remain airborne for hours and even follow airflows over distances further than six feet.

This is why Dr. Anthony Fauci has said in a widely circulated video that he will continue to wear a mask. It’s not 100 percent effective, but it will trap the vast majority of larger droplets as well as the tiny aerosols.

And when we say wear a mask, it means to wear it correctly, over your mouth and as snugly as possible over your nose. This approach, which I’ve seen often, is better than nothing, but now we know you’re still breathing out those infected aerosols. Pull it up!

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