# 2286: 6-Foot Zone

 6-Foot Zone Title text: Technically now it's a 34-foot zone.

## Explanation

This comic is the 12th comic in a row in a series of comics about the 2020 pandemic of the coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2.

This comic is about social distancing, a common practice to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. It has been suggested to maintain 6 feet (i.e. 1.83 m - in e.g. France and Britain the suggested distance is 2 m) of distance between yourself and other people, to prevent the transmission of respiratory droplets from you to others (or vice versa).

Randall takes this 6 feet of distance, and does calculations of the "area" of distancing, "border", population density, and "real estate value". He finally culminates in determining the number of horses that could also fit in the space.

Randall's border length and approximate area calculations are based on a zone with an outside radius of approximately 6.8 feet or 82 inches (2.07 m), meaning that the person has a radius of approximately 0.8 feet (9.6 in, 0.24 m). That is, 2π(6.8ft) = 42.7 ft and π(6.8ft)2 = 145.3 ft2.

There are two different population densities that can be calculated. The one used by Randall in the comic is the population density of the exclusion zone itself, i.e. just the reciprocal of its area. This is π-1(6.8 ft)-2 = 190,000 mi-2. A different density is the density of a crowd in which everyone obeys the distancing rules. That would result in 0.9069(π-1)(3.8ft)-2 = 560,000 mi-2 population density. When people stand 6ft apart from each other, their exclusion zones are overlapping; instead we can use smaller circles with 3.8 ft radius that are not overlapping. 0.9069 is the packing density of circles in the plane. For comparison, only 21 countries have a population density >1000 mi-2, but there are a few cities with a population density on the same order of magnitude (~100,000 mi-2).

The USFS Equestrian Design Guidebook is (of course) a real thing, and it discusses the dimensions of the design horse

The title text is a pun using the alternate definition of foot by switching the naming from 6-foot zone, where foot is used as a unit of distance, to 34-foot zone, where the number represents the total number of feet inside the circle, including the horses’ feet, assuming the human is endowed with the standard two feet and each horse has the standard four feet apiece.