They heard from Dr. Natasha Martin, associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UC San Diego. Martin’s simulation models help to explain disease epidemics and to predict the impact of prevention interventions.
Her modeling looked at the rate of infection of COVID-19 in the region, as well as the number of deaths that were potentially prevented by implementing physical distancing.
Martin explained that with social distancing, one infected person would transmit COVID-19 to another, and that person, in turn, would infect a third individual and so on. Without physical distancing, an infected person would have exposed four others and each of those four people would infect four more.
According to Martin, because of physical distancing, a lot fewer San Diegans have been infected with COVID-19 or, more importantly, have died.
Without social distancing, Martin’s model indicated that more than 13,000 San Diegans could have died by now. But because people were required to stay home and keep their distance from others, the lives of about 6,000 to 18,000 San Diegan lives have been saved.