## This Life Situation is archived. The text below may not be up to date.

The R number describes how quickly the disease spreads, or **how many people get infected on average from one COVID-19 positive person.**

If **R is greater than 1**, then the number of newly infected people will continue to increase.

If **R is less than 1**, the number of newly infected people will decrease.

## How to reduce the R number?

The baseline R number for SARS-CoV-2 in a population **without any restrictions is around 3.** Face masks, social distancing and other quarantine-type measures reduce the R number, which is now around 1.2.

Even though R-value is at 1, there are still a lot of infectious people. If anti-epidemic measures are not followed the virus can get out of control very soon.

**The virus spreads at an exponential rate.** Exactly what is described in the story of the origin of chess.

## What can I do to reduce the R number?

Any value higher than 1 means that we are not yet at the peak of the epidemic because the number of active infections is still rising. **Every decimal point counts.**

Respecting the current measures against the spread of the disease and following hygiene rules is the most effective weapon **any of us** have in the fight against any contagious disease.