Most of the world has been in lockdown for a month now… wow, time flies. Anyway, by now, everyone knows about the importance of washing hands, staying at home, and, most importantly, social distancing.

The latter cannot be understated as there are still reports coming in of people not really understanding why it’s vital that people stay away from each other as much as possible during the lockdown. Or at least keep a 2-meter distance between themselves and others.

Since there are still some who just don’t get it, the Ohio State Department of Health has come out with a video explaining just how important and effective social distancing really is when it comes to COVID-19.

Everyone has been talking about the importance of social distancing for a while now, but not quite like this

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

A video posted by the Ohio State Department of Health has recently hit the interwebs explaining just how effective social distancing really is in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

The video features a neatly-placed grid of several hundred rat traps. Each trap has a ping-pong ball hooked up to it and is set to go off upon the slightest touch. The distance between each trap is very minimal—probably a centimeter (0.39 of an inch).

The Ohio Department of Health posted a video wordlessly exemplifying the importance of social distancing

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

Afterwards, a single ping-pong ball is thrown into the cluster of traps, unleashing an unstoppable chain reaction of snapping. Traps and ping-pong balls go flying everywhere, setting off other adjacent traps in the process. It’s pure chaos, for lack of a better word.

We can also take a minute to appreciate how much patience and care was needed to set up such a delicate scene. If someone was to sneeze mid-way, it would mean starting from scratch…

The video featured several hundred ping pong balls on rat traps, set off to create a chaotic chain raction

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

Anywho, the video then transitions into an analogous scene. This time, the rat trap/ping-pong ball combos have much more space between each other—you can put roughly two other traps in the spaces between traps now.

And then there’s the runaway ping-pong ball flung into the sea of traps. It manages to miss every single one along its trajectory, showing just how much of a difference distancing has made. Now, imagine the traps are us, and the wayward ping-pong ball is the virus.

The same was done with the traps being spaced less than an inch and then more than two traps apart

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

The idea for the rat trap and ping pong balls was quite likely inspired by Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode Our Friend the Atom where the concept was used to explain how atoms are split and how they cause an explosive chain reaction.

The video concludes with a caption: “Stop the spread. Social distancing works,” continuing that a little space makes us all safer. This can’t be done without all of us tackling the issue of the spread together by giving each other extra room in public places.

Spacing played a crucial role as the ones spaced further apart were not affected by the ball

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

Since the video’s release on April 9th, it has gone viral, receiving over 530,000 views on YouTube so far. It has also garnered over 380,000 reactions and nearly 700,000 shares on Facebook, 71,000 likes and over 42,000 retweets on Twitter, as well as nearly 130,000 views on Instagram.

A different video with a similar message also went viral earlier last month. Visual artist Juan Delcan has been coming out with adorable match-people videos, one of which explained how maintaining an appropriate distance between people can stop COVID-19 dead in its tracks.

It was likely inspired by a Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode that used this to explain atom splicing

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

The video shows matches lighting up from each other, with one match stepping aside before the flame reaches it and thus stopping the spread of the flame. The short animation has also seen success online, garnering hundreds of thousands of views and reactions across multiple platforms and sources.

So, the next time either you or anyone you know doesn’t abide by the now somewhat ubiquitous rule of keeping away from people in public, remember that neither you, nor anyone else want to be that single ping-pong ball that causes a pandemic. Stay safe and stay distant, people!

While you’re keeping your distance, let us know what you thought of the video. Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below!

Watch the full 30-second ad on what difference social distancing makes

Image credits: Ohio Department of Health

A similar concept was used to convey the same idea last month in a video created by Juan Delcan

Here is how people reacted to the video