Can Nature Towns help reduce your personal pandemic risk?

Nature Towns

The Washington Post recently published a fascinating article called Why outbreaks like Coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve.” Karin and I have looked at it in more depth and hope you will take the time to see the excellent simulations included. They illustrate the rate of transmission of the virus and how social distancing affects that rate.

What I would like for you to consider is the idea of combining two of the four strategies shown in the simulations for slowing virus transmission. Nature Towns offers the ability to quarantine residents but at the scale of 3,000 people (the self-reliant village). Within that community, individuals and families can exercise even greater social distancing. See the section below the photo.

One of the problems we are noticing is how reliant we are on fresh staples such as salad, eggs, veggies, etc. You can stockpile a lot of other foods, but when you have to go to the store for fresh items, you become exposed to the air handler in that building, and thus everyone currently in there with you, and possibly to anyone who has been there in the 3-6 hours prior to your visit (depending on how long it takes the HVAC system to fully circulate the air).

One of our personal measures in this strange time of pandemic is a farmers’ market. Staying outdoors in the fresh air and buying directly from the farmers can be one of the greatest ways to meet your needs for healthy food, keep the local economy afloat, and comply with ‘social distancing’. Check out our local Barton Creek Farmers Market Facebook page for the latest updates.

Nature Towns booth at the local farmers’ market.

Less risk by combining tactics

So, given a longer period of social distancing, what are we to do? Nature Towns will have on-site food production and a defined perimeter, and overall, a much higher level of self-reliance than any other community. In a 320-acre Nature Towns community of 3000 people, there would be 3,600 square feet, or a space of 60′ x 60′, for each person, available in the green infrastructure. No crowding in this outdoor space!

Thus, could we reasonably expect to follow the second simulation, that of a voluntary quarantine from the outside community (which is never perfect or impermeable, as the simulation points out), and combine it with the third scenario, in which just 1 out of every 4 people is moving about?

Personally, I am really intrigued by those graphics and I hope to find the online resources that we can use to model the Nature Towns effect more closely. If you have some free time and can help locate those websites, please let me know.

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