The short answer is Yes. Its easiest to explain this by giving 3 scenarios
First, you are standing next to someone with the disease and you are in a small room and they cough or sneeze. You have no mask on. There is a high chance you just caught CoronaVirus by inhaling particles that they coughed up. This disease spreads very easily. Its highly unusual how easily it spreads.
Second, lets say you are outside and someone 10 feet away from you coughs or sneezes will you catch it ? Probably not. The particles likely traveled through the air and you likely didn’t breathe it in. It is possible under the right wind blowing in the right direction that you can catch it that way. But it would be unlikely relative to standing indoors within 6 feet of someone.
Third case would be something like you are in a movie theater with high ceilings and good air ventilation. One person in the theater who has the disease and sneezes. If there are 100 people in that theater how many people would be infected ? I would guess at least a couple of people would catch it. Specially the people within 10 feet of the sneezer. This is not a scientifically proven answer, but its my opinion based off the facts I have studied.
After seeing these examples you can realize the following conditions effect how likely you are to catch it from someone who has it.
- 1.How close are you to them and for how long were you exposed to them ?
- 2.How enclosed was the area ? Outdoor is low risk while a car is super high risk, and a room with large ceilings is a medium risk area. There are many other factors aside from the space you are in.
- 3.Ventilation: If the room has open windows that helps a lot. Opening window is something that China trained its people to do and logically that makes sense. The fresh air circulating into the room means there is less room for infected air.