As lockdown restrictions ease across Europe, governments are considering just how much and how widely they should advise citizens to socialise with people outside their own household.
The idea is that everyone interacts within a small group of people to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further. For example, as of 10 May, the Belgian government allows people to form social bubbles of up to four people. These people aren’t allowed to visit anywhere else. However, it’s a fine line between maintaining mental health after several weeks of COVID-19-related lockdowns and keeping transmission rates as low as possible.
A group affair
Block says that for social bubbles to work, everyone must fully cooperate. “If we want to have a social bubble of ten, then all ten people need to stick to it. We need a sense of solidarity; we need to stick together; we all need to work jointly together.”
Some experts have their doubts. “I think we need to look at the data and let science guide us before we start making recommendations about socialization,” Dr Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician and biosecurity fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in the United States, told ‘CNN’. Moreover, William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said “There are multiple reasons to be cautious, from the obvious fact that some people will be more at risk, for example, the elderly, and should not participate, to the fact that some people may be more at risk of already being infected themselves, people working in health care for instance.”