In Conversation w/ Dr. David Davenport, Infectious Disease Expert -- Covid-19 Viral Exposure & Camera Analogy

We spoke with Dr. David Davenport, a specialist in infectious disease and clinical associate professor at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine on Aug 11, 2020 about coronavirus and the impact on our industry.  Back in April we chatted with Dr. Davenport about the new work environment we were going to be facing in photo and video production.

Now that we are facing that work environment and getting back on set, he updated us on what we've learned about COVID-19 since we last spoke and what new best practices we can implement.  You can listen to the Zoom call in its entirety here.  You can also watch short clips from our call answering many of your questions here on the Space for Arts YouTube channel.

Dr. Davenport's useful "camera analogy" for risk assessment in our new normal with coronavirus.

In order to become ill with coronavirus, there is a certain dose or viral load that you need to be exposed to before you can get the disease.

Camera metaphor

Aperture; controls how many photons of light get into your camera. For coronavirus, it's how many infectious particles you are exposed to at any one time.

Analogy: Wearing a mask and being greater than 6 feet away would be similar to a small aperture which lets in less light or infectious particles.

Shutter Speed; Also controls how many photons of light get into your camera or how many infectious particles you are exposed to due to the length of exposure.

Analogy: The greater the length of exposure to the infectious particles, the greater the risk of becoming ill.

ISO; If ISO indicates how sensitive your film is to light, think of it as your genetics.

Analogy: Older people and personas with underlying disease or a certain genetic profile would be susceptible to acquiring the disease with a smaller viral dose, just like a higher ASA film needs a shorter exposure time.

In summary, all three factors control your risk of infection. Just as a photographer controls these 3 factors for the perfect shot, you can try and control your risk of infection by adjusting the aperture and exposure time. Unfortunately, you can't control the ISO or ASA (age, your genetics or underlying disease), but it is important to know what it is for an accurate assessment of your risk -- or -- that perfect shot!