I bet most people have done this: Do you ever hold your breath when you walk past people on the street, just in case they have COVID? And does it help, or are we just dumb?
Well, someone talked to a few experts about it . . . a clinical virologist in England, and an aerosol expert at the University of Colorado. And the answer is, it probably won't help . . . BUT IT MIGHT.
Your odds of getting sick that way are pretty low, because how long you're around someone is a big factor. But if they're shedding the virus and breathe right at you, it's possible. Even the experts admitted THEY'VE both held their breath before.
In rare situations, they say holding your breath could help. Like if they happen to cough as they walk by, or they're "speaking moistly" on their phone.
Breathing OUT could also help by blowing the particles away from you. And you definitely don't want to take a big breath IN as they walk by.
M.I.T. even weighed in on its medical blog and basically said the same thing. It might help . . . and it won't hurt . . . so you might as well keep doing it.
Just don't do it in situations where you might be around person for a while, like in line at the store. After we hold our breath, we tend to take big breaths in and out, which you don't want to do.
(Photo: Getty Images Sport, Mark Brake)