By now, the measures to protect ourselves during the coronavirus pandemic are engrained in our minds.
But with “pandemic fatigue” an increasing concern, public health experts are reminding people of the importance of these measures using an unusual metaphor — cheese.
The “Swiss Cheese Model” uses slices of cheese to visualize how interventions work together. Each intervention — including physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand washing and disinfecting — is depicted as an imperfect barrier to virus transmission by the holes in the cheese.
When multiple effective, but imperfect, interventions are combined like a stack of Swiss cheese slices, some of the holes in the cheese are covered and virus transmission is decreased or even stopped. Some viruses might get through a couple of holes, but the odds are low that holes in every slice would line up and allow the virus to slip through