Can you see this picture? What is it’s color? Is it black and blue, or white and gold? This is the mystery of #TheDress.

The viral image #TheDress

You may see one set of colors from the above but your friend might see the other set. This was an internet viral back in February 2015. Within the 1st week of publishing, this image got 10 million retweets because different people saw different colors. This picture was a great example of ongoing scientific investigations about neuroscience and vision science in human color perception.

But I’m not here to talk about the actual color of it (which you can find on the internet). I’m here to talk about the insane viral trend this became.

In a scenario like this, we can divide the general population into 3 major groups as,

  1. People who have not seen #TheDress.
  2. Those who have seen #TheDress and are sharing #TheDress.
  3. People who are not sharing #TheDress.

When this photo originally posted on social media, “People who have not seen #TheDress” were the majority. But it is not a number that is growing. “People who have seen #TheDress and sharing #TheDress” were a minority. But that number increased in a short period. Because each new person who has seen #TheDress starts sharing it. This causes a decrease in the number of “People who have not seen #TheDress”. But after some time people get sick and bored of seeing this photo all over the internet. And they stop sharing it. So the “People who are not sharing #TheDress” starts increasing rapidly putting an end to this viral trend eventually.

The spread of sharing of #TheDress

So how did #TheDress stopped spreading?

Is it because everyone on earth has already seen it? No, the reason is people who have seen the dress can’t find new people to show it.

Does the above situation sound familiar to you? Because this is what happens in an epidemic like COVID-19.

But the good news is, including COVID-19 none of the viral diseases spread at the rate a meme spreads and it requires physical contact. So while it’s difficult to stop a meme such as the #TheDress once it starts spreading, We can fight against infection. The best weapons are Vaccines (some sort of a cure) or Quarantine. According to some scientists, it may take 12 – 18 months to find a successful vaccine for COVID – 19. So we are left with the option of Quarantine.

This is why all the medical professionals, scientists, and governments stress the importance of staying at home. In that way, the infected population won’t find new people to transmit this disease and meanwhile, those infected people will get cured or die. Either way, the population of infected people comes to an end marking the end of this epidemic.

By Ashen Piyadigama


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