Animals practice social distancing to survive- I kid not you

Real Estate Agent with (408) 425-1601 CA bre 1519182

                                                                               Sam Shueh

                                        Realty One Group

                                         Silicon Valley, Ca


As we found out from being close to human in a locked down situation during epidemics, by being close to each other we can get infected. Even our commander who seems to know it all now is wearing a mask and trying not close to get himself ill.


In this article and others I learned animals like lobsters, birds and even primates often practice social distance so not to be infected.


In a scientific study deadly fungus was introduced inside an ant nest. "Within 24 hours those forager ants self-isolated by spending more time away from the colony compared with control-treated foragers. Healthy ants in fungus-infected colonies strongly reduced their social interactions, but the way they did so depended on their roles. Uninfected worker ants, which interact frequently with other workers that might carry disease, kept their distance from the colony when disease was present. This prevents them from inadvertently putting the reproductively elite colony members (the queen and caretakers for the brood) at risk. The nurses also took action, moving the offsprings farther inside the ant nest and away from the fungus infected ant. The strategic social distancing was so effective that all queens and most nurses from the study colonies were still alive".

Lobsters congregate together. They are socially close to one another. However, if one lobster contracts something others are alert. May be the sick waste is toxic detected by other lobsters feelers. The rest seem to avoid being close to the sick one. They will venture outside their hidings even if that loses their security. 


Mandrills, largest monkeys shunning a sick animal to maintaining interactions with only the closest relatives. They are willing to take care of their close kins by grooming only closest relatives.


If distancing to avoid get infected is very much a part of the natural world, practiced by mammals, fishes, insects and birds, why we are also mammals want to be different?  You can drink all the Clorox on the rocks you want.  I wear my mask and stay away from others.



Infection-Avoidance Behaviour in Humans and Other Animals. Valerie A. Curtis in Trends in Immunology, Vol. 35, No. 10, pages 457–464; October 2014.

No Evidence for Avoidance of Visibly Diseased Conspecifics in the Highly Social Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo). Bonnie M. Fairbanks, Dana M. Hawley and Kathleen A. Alexander in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 69, No. 3, pages 371–381; March 2015.

Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Parasite Avoidance. J. C. Buck, S. B. Weinstein and H. S. Young in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 33, No. 8, pages 619–632; August 2018.


Shueh, When Social Distancing is not possible there are ways to avoid getting infected.

Shueh, History of Surgical Masks -Part 1

Shueh, History of Modern Surgical Masks Invented by a Woman 

Sam Shueh Silion Valley Realtor,  SamShuehRealtor at   (408) 425-1601 

Comments (4)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Ahh, but do these creatures all have emotional connections to the ones they normally interact with? Do they get depressed if they are alone? I'm betting there are a lot of reasons humans cannot distance themselves well.

Aug 03, 2020 05:45 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is very interesting, but I don't enjoy living in a world where everyone has to stay distanced from each other to survive.

Aug 03, 2020 07:17 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

One thing we automatically do is when someone emits a lot digested methane we all walk away.

Honestly, that is how lobsters behave.   I carry a tape measure show family members how long 6 ft is to give people some idea we are TOO CLOSE to each other.

Aug 03, 2020 02:34 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I smelled perfume this AM on the street. Although they are  more 10 ft away. If perfume contains virus I guess it is serious.

Aug 03, 2020 02:35 PM