C. Ringwalt, in The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2, ed. M. D. Waters, A. Dhawan, T. Marrs, D. Anderson, S. Warren, C. L. Hughes, ... C. L. Hughes, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, pp. 568-579.
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While the devastating effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are now being experienced worldwide, evidence that the virus can be prevented by a variety of precautionary measures is steadily accumulating. In order to flatten the infection curve and to avoid overwhelming local health facilities, various authorities have advised the public to wear face masks, wash their hands, and maintain a physical distance of at least 2 m from others. However, the methodological quality of the studies that have yielded evidence pertinent to these advisories varies considerably. This chapter uses the Haddon matrix to summarize the preventive measures that experts and the literature have suggested. It then examines the evidentiary base for those relatively few strategies that have been subjected to empirical testing. The evidence is particularly supportive of the need to wear masks and practice social distancing.