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  #401  
Old 03-29-2020, 01:54 AM
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This isn't about "well, then don't follow it". Not on this site. We're supposed to be truth-seekers here, regardless of where the chips fall or what propaganda value it may or may not have to give this advice or that. Facts, evidence, logical arguments. The "straight dope".
...the facts are I don't know what qualifications you have in microbiology, infectious diseases, and I don't know how many years you've been studying infectious microbes. I do know that Siouxsie Wiles is an expert in all of these, and if her advice is to "limit conversations to a couple of minutes if you are going to insist on having a conversation" I'm going to assume she has more facts, evidence and logic behind what she has suggested than what you probably do in voicing your skepticism. I think now more than ever we need to be listening to the scientists. I don't have all the answers. In a time of crisis I'm gonna defer to them. I don't really have much of a choice. Its become a matter of life and death.

And that's the straight dope.
  #402  
Old 03-29-2020, 02:07 AM
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I actually did do a college internship in a medical microbiology/immunology lab at the University of Minnesota, but that was a long time ago. I'm an educated laymen, trying to look at a variety of sources and evaluate them. That's kind of the MO of this board.

And no, it's not right to always just bow to the official advice. I called it weeks ago that the party line that masks don't help laypeople was bullshit, and the cracks in that edifice have subsequently grown so prevalent that it's about to crumble down completely. If they had had a sufficient supply such that there were plenty for health care workers and everyone else, I feel sure that they would have from the beginning been urging everyone to wear them whenever out in public, rather than peddling this other propaganda.
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  #403  
Old 03-29-2020, 02:17 AM
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And no, it's not right to always just bow to the official advice.
...if I have the choice of adopting the advice of an anonymous person on the internet or someone (that isn't speaking in official capacity) with relevant qualifications then I'm not going to take the advice of the anonymous person no matter how many times the anonymous person claims to have "gotten things right." As you say we are truthseekers here. Facts, evidence, logical arguments.
  #404  
Old 03-29-2020, 02:49 AM
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I would say it should depend, a lot, on the nature of the different kinds of advice you are hearing. If the U.S. Surgeon General (and CDC, and maybe WHO?) say "no, don't buy masks--only medical personnel benefit from them and we need to save all the PPE" but the layman on the Internet points out the logical problem with it as well as the clear motivated reasoning, you're going to dismiss the layman even though what he is advising you to do is actually the opposite of something like "go have a backyard party" in terms of caution? Really?

Speaking of which, this article came out yesterday interviewing a Chinese scientist who said this has been a big mistake made in the West, and that's not all he thinks we're failing to learn from Asian countries:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020...cientist-says#

Quote:
Q: What mistakes are other countries making?

A: The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.

Q: What about other control measures? China has made aggressive use of thermometers at the entrances to stores, buildings, and public transportation stations, for instance.

A: Yes. Anywhere you go inside in China, there are thermometers. You have to try to take people’s temperatures as often as you can to make sure that whoever has a high fever stays out.
And a really important outstanding question is how stable this virus is in the environment. Because it’s an enveloped virus, people think it’s fragile and particularly sensitive to surface temperature or humidity. But from both U.S. results and Chinese studies, it looks like it’s very resistant to destruction on some surfaces. It may be able to survive in many environments. We need to have science-based answers here.

Q: People who tested positive in Wuhan but only had mild disease were sent into isolation in large facilities and were not allowed to have visits from family. Is this something other countries should consider?

A: Infected people must be isolated. That should happen everywhere. You can only control COVID-19 if you can remove the source of the infection.
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  #405  
Old 03-29-2020, 03:03 AM
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I would say it should depend, a lot, on the nature of the different kinds of advice you are hearing. If the U.S. Surgeon General (and CDC, and maybe WHO?) say "no, don't buy masks--only medical personnel benefit from them and we need to save all the PPE" but the layman on the Internet points out the logical problem with it as well as the clear motivated reasoning, you're going to dismiss the layman even though what he is advising you to do is actually the opposite of something like "go have a backyard party" in terms of caution? Really?
...the advice we are talking about here is "you shouldn't really be talking to anyone outside of your bubble at all. That defeats the purpose of the lockdown. But if you must talk to someone then get no closer than 2 metres and keep it under a couple of minutes."

If the laymen suggests that "How is it that a brief chat won't infect anyone but a long one will", then I'm going to take the advice of the expert and not the laymen who is "just asking questions" and hasn't actually offered any advice.

Quote:
Speaking of which, this article came out yesterday interviewing a Chinese scientist who said this has been a big mistake made in the West, and that's not all he thinks we're failing to learn from Asian countries:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020...cientist-says#
I think its been pointed out over and over again the failures to learn from Asian countries over this. And the failure of the US Administration has been criminal. But you don't think we should be talking about that either, so lets just pretend that isn't happening.
  #406  
Old 03-29-2020, 09:46 AM
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How is it that a brief chat won't infect anyone but a long one will? Even in terms of playing the probabilities, it would make more sense to me if the advice were to restrict the number of people you chat with rather than talking about the length of time you chat with them.
Since I don't see an answer from anyone else, I'll venture a WAG:

During the time you're chatting with someone, there's the possibility that one of you will unexpectedly sneeze, or cough, or just expel some droplets of moisture particularly forcefully while speaking, far enough to reach the other person. This is something that probably won't happen, but the longer you're chatting, the greater the probability.

But like I said, this is just a WAG. I'd rather see either this answer or a different one from someone who really knows what they're talking about.
  #407  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:13 AM
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It's my understanding that it's also true that viral load matters. One virus is almost certainly not going to infect you. Your immune system can handle that. You get infected because your immune system is too overwhelmed with virus to stop them all. This is why healthcare workers are in so much danger: they are exposed to a much higher viral load. So I can see that a brief conversation with 10 people, 2 of whom are infected, might lead to a much lower viral load than 1 infected person for a longer period of time.

That said, I also think that inverse square law applies. If 2 meters has been determined to be "safe enough", then 3 meters is going to be substantially safer--and 4 meters dramatically safer. Now, a conversation at 4 meters is not comfortable--you'd have to raise your voice--but it is possible. If 2 meters for a few minutes is "probably safe", it really seems to me that 3-4 meters (all outdoors, of course) for 10 minutes almost has to be. However, arguments about compliance and normalizing socialization still apply.
  #408  
Old 03-29-2020, 11:06 AM
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My Wife and I don't go out that much. She may go see her girlfriends a couple of times a month. Or we will go out for dinner once or twice a month. I'm going to have to take care of my 90 year old mother in Denver. I do her grocery shopping. I do that a few times a month. And her doctor visits as well. But I do that anyway.

We have been playing a lot of chess for the last couple of years, and are now playing cards as well. Need some more good two person card games. GOOGLE is your friend.

We are also now working from home. Separate offices. It's over satellite internet, so the latency sucks, but it works. I'm going to have to keep an eye on our data allowance.

My Wife takes our dogs snowshoeing pretty much every day. Our house backs up to National Forest, they leave right from home. No driving involved.

The local distillery has a "Buy one, get one at half price" So I stocked up on that. I've become a Bourbon man (that's a bit of a surprise). So that has changed.

I hate, hate what is happening, but for my wife and I it's working out well. No traffic (our grocery store is in a resort area, and it's not busy at all, when usually it would be a mad house. It's great). Don't get me wrong, I feel for the people that this is truly fucking over.

We did cancel a trip to Key West, but that's not a big deal really.

Aside from working from home, it's kinda business as usual. I've been fighting for the ability to work from home for years. TPTB had been sitting on their thumbs until this happened.

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"Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards."
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  #409  
Old 03-29-2020, 03:13 PM
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How about this article by Atul Gawande about keeping coronavirus from infecting health care workers?

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Originally Posted by Atul Gawande
What happens when someone unexpectedly tests positive—say, a hospital co-worker or a patient in a primary-care office or an emergency room? In Hong Kong and Singapore, they don’t shut the place down or put everyone under home quarantine. They do their best to trace every contact and then quarantine only those who had close contact with the infected person. In Hong Kong, “close contact” means fifteen minutes at a distance of less than six feet and without the use of a surgical mask; in Singapore, thirty minutes. If the exposure is shorter than the prescribed limit but within six feet for more than two minutes, workers can stay on the job if they wear a surgical mask and have twice-daily temperature checks. People who have had brief, incidental contact are just asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.

The fact that these measures have succeeded in flattening the covid-19 curve carries some hopeful implications.
He says later in the article that Singapore has not had a single recorded health-care-related transmission of the coronavirus.
  #410  
Old 03-29-2020, 04:05 PM
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This guy has some good advice. NSFW for language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0-2XxgHIXk
  #411  
Old 03-29-2020, 07:44 PM
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I know better than to express any personal opinion in a thread like this but I think that perhaps passing on Marc Lipsitch's expert opinion might be of interest to a few.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Lipsitch
if you can sit outside and talk to your neighbor across the fence, that is social distancing.
FWIW and offered without comment.
  #412  
Old 03-29-2020, 08:32 PM
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I know better than to express any personal opinion in a thread like this but I think that perhaps passing on Marc Lipsitch's expert opinion might be of interest to a few.
FWIW and offered without comment.
Here's another expert opinion.

Sorry, hanging out while 6 feet apart isn’t coronavirus social distancing, expert says


Quote:
The pictures have popped up on social media since social distancing became a necessity to battle to spread of the coronavirus.

Groups of neighborhood dads or moms spread out in a circle, drinking beer or wine in the street. A gaggle of teenagers sitting atop their parked cars, hanging out apart from each other. A pair of fishermen standing more than six feet apart in a shallow river.

Those precautions are all in the name of preventing the spread of the respiratory virus within New Jersey and the United States. But to practice true social distancing, those gatherings shouldn’t happen at all, according to one health expert.

Dr. Maria Ciminelli, the president of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and director of the CentraState Family Medicine Residency Program, said guidelines for people to remain six feet apart are meant only for those essential trips outside the home. Any extended, unnecessary contact with people, even six feet apart, violates the spirit of the precautions.
Edit: From Reddit thread here.

Last edited by Heffalump and Roo; 03-29-2020 at 08:35 PM. Reason: added link to reddit thread
  #413  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:00 PM
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President of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians isn't an expert.
  #414  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:19 PM
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I know better than to express any personal opinion in a thread like this but I think that perhaps passing on Marc Lipsitch's expert opinion might be of interest to a few.
FWIW and offered without comment.
I
On the other hand, Marc Lipsitch was on that list of experts that massively underestimated the infection level at this point, no?
  #415  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:31 PM
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Ah but we don’t know which of the estimates his was!

  #416  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:43 AM
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Christ on a cracker, people! It’s just common sense.

There’s nothing magical about 6 feet. It’s obvious that the longer you spend in proximity to someone else, the more likely you’ll catch or infect. The more people you add to the group, the more likely it is that infection will be transmitted. 6 feet does not create an impermeable barrier.

It’s also obvious that wearing a mask will help reduce transmission. How could it not?

Quibble about distance/time ratios and microns and expert opinions all you want, but you know perfectly well what you should be doing.
  #417  
Old 03-30-2020, 04:56 AM
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At level 4 we can only purchase food from the supermarkets: everything else (as in practically every other shop and business that isn't operating from home) is closed. You can go for a walk in your local neighbourhood, but no further.
We don't even get to do walks - including dog walking. Only necessary grocery and pharmacy shopping excursions allowed.

Not going to matter once this hits the uber-dense, 50-people-to-a-toilet-and-tap one-room-shack shantytowns, though.
  #418  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:07 AM
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Christ on a cracker, people! It’s just common sense.

There’s nothing magical about 6 feet. It’s obvious that the longer you spend in proximity to someone else, the more likely you’ll catch or infect. The more people you add to the group, the more likely it is that infection will be transmitted. 6 feet does not create an impermeable barrier.

.
Does any distance? It's "obvious" to me, through I don't know if it's true, that there is some about of open air that is as impenetrable as a glass window. There's so amount of space that water droplets cannot cross in sufficient quantity to be a risk. The original question wasn't if that distancewas 6 feet, but if it was 10. The answer seems to be "no one knows, but it's not entirely implausible, so probably you should err on the side of caution".

Do you think there's any distance where it's safe? Do you think through a window is safe?
  #419  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:41 AM
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Comparing distance to a glass window is really a straw man argument.

Distance in air is all about droplets. There is evidence that droplet transmission is a real problem with Covid-19. Stand distance x from something emitting droplets, what is your chance of inhaling a droplet? Then what is the chance of inhaling enough drops that you get a critical dose of virus to start an infection? It is really as simple as that. The longer you stand there the higher your chance of infection. One minute versus one hour - your risk may be 60 times higher.
Droplet density will decrease with the square of the distance (very roughly) and any wind will effectively increase or decrease the effective distance. Even a light breeze may collapse the effective distance dramatically.
After a time the droplet will dry or fall onto a surface. Dry will eventually kill the virus.
5 feet versus 10 feet is 4 times the area. So as a very rough approximation, 4 minutes at 10 feet is as bad as one minute at 5 feet. Obviously there is a distance at which the rate droplets dry out or have dissipated that starts to make the density of dangerous droplets fall faster than just the distance to the potentially infectious person. But what that is is hard to know. It probably depends upon a range of local factors, including temperature and humidity.

Imagine you were some distance from a smoker. Once you breathe in a critical number of smoke particles, you are infected. How does that change visualisation of the risks?

But overall, spending an hour ten feet from an infected person is driving your risk up dramatically.

Last edited by Francis Vaughan; 03-30-2020 at 06:42 AM.
  #420  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:54 AM
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I've conceded that. But what about 15 feet? 20? What about 5 minutes instead of 60? I don't think any of it is "obvious" at all. I think it's worth discussing.

I was walking around the block 3 days ago and a neighbor I used to work with was outside. He said hello and we stood 15 feet apart and talked for at most 5 minutes. I don't think it's obvious whether or not that was safe. I really don't know.
  #421  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:57 AM
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It's obvious that being in a plastic bubble with only sterilized items and sterilized filtered air entering in is the safest. Your closed windows house still allows air in from the outside ... it is theoretically possible for an aerosol or even a fomite to waft in along with outside air.

It is also obvious that the risk for something that is primarily droplet transmission (in which droplets fall quickly under gravity and do not follow airflow) drops off exponentially by 1 to 2 meters and that theoretical aerosol transmission risks are smaller when there is a larger volume of air for the aerosol to be diluted within, such as all of the outside. Volumes (and thus risk reduction) increase exponentially with radius.

Zero risk is simply not possible but the risk drops off rapidly and dramatically with greater distance and greater air volume.

It is also obvious that social contact has benefits, ones that have real impacts on health and impact on morbidity and mortality, as well as quality of life of course. And some social contact from a distance when there is none has the biggest impact.

The discussion is at what distance or environment of the distance does the risk drop off to so very very small that the benefit of the contact outweighs it? Clearly some level of small is small enough measured against some benefit. And some is not so small compared to the benefit accrued.
  #422  
Old 03-30-2020, 07:04 AM
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Sadly I think the answer is that there are so many variables that we really don't know. WHich is why I suggested the idea of visualising a smoker. Doesn't help with firm numbers, but does at least give one a starting point.

To some extent these risks are not about individual risk. They play out in the statistical mechanics of the pandemic. If your model says "short contact, no more than 10 feet" and you are happy that the majority of the populace are doing this, you can make more useful predictions about the trajectory of infections. So, rather than worry about precise personal risk assessment, you can view this as playing your part in the community wide statistical model. There will always be random fluctuations. Some people who do stupid things will get lucky, others will find a sudden breeze at just the wrong moment brings with it an unfortunate outcome. Overall it balances, which is what is needed to plan and attack the pandemic.
  #423  
Old 03-30-2020, 07:06 AM
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I've conceded that. But what about 15 feet? 20? What about 5 minutes instead of 60? I don't think any of it is "obvious" at all. I think it's worth discussing.

I was walking around the block 3 days ago and a neighbor I used to work with was outside. He said hello and we stood 15 feet apart and talked for at most 5 minutes. I don't think it's obvious whether or not that was safe. I really don't know.
Probably nothing at all to worry about.

Had you been in a large living room, 15 feet would probably still have been safe but less so.

I look at the virus as an invading army of guerilla warriors and snipers. They're not absolutely everywhere, but they're out there and you don't know where they are. One wrong move and you could get sniped -and worse, bring the infection back home and snipe others.

The safest place is in the home. Obviously, it's healthy to go outdoors but that's safer if you live in a detached home, less so if you live in an apartment complex. Keep your outings to a minimum. Yes, it's hard.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:38 AM
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I called it weeks ago that the party line that masks don't help laypeople was bullshit, and the cracks in that edifice have subsequently grown so prevalent that it's about to crumble down completely.
The public has been badly misinformed or under-informed, and this is an example. Shit, just Google images of the 1918 pandemic and you'll see people wearing masks, and it's not just nurses. There are images of nurses in Seattle making masks. They had social distancing. They shut down stores and had stay-at-home orders. They did all this and the electron microscope hadn't even been invented yet to actually see what a virus looked like. And yet here we are 102 years later not doing shit.
  #425  
Old 03-30-2020, 07:53 AM
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Early in March, a chorale group in Mt. Vernon, Washington, met to rehearse. They were aware of the growing rules about distancing, and any member with sniffles did not attend. They disinfected with hand sanitizers, sat apart from each other, and nobody shook hands or hugged. They rehearsed for two and a half hours, and then went home.

Three days later, 45 of these 60 people came down with COVID-19, and two have died.

Story.
  #426  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:57 AM
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Early in March, a chorale group in Mt. Vernon, Washington, met to rehearse. They were aware of the growing rules about distancing, and any member with sniffles did not attend. They disinfected with hand sanitizers, sat apart from each other, and nobody shook hands or hugged. They rehearsed for two and a half hours, and then went home.

Three days later, 45 of these 60 people came down with COVID-19, and two have died.

Story.
OK, but what about barber shop quartets?

CMC fnord!
  #427  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:11 AM
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Yeah, we need to nail down exactly how large singing groups can be. Is 5 people ok? 10? How about short little diddies? Long Beatles medleys? This is how we're living for the foreseeable future, people! Don't kid yourselves!
  #428  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:14 AM
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I've conceded that. But what about 15 feet? 20? What about 5 minutes instead of 60? I don't think any of it is "obvious" at all. I think it's worth discussing.
“Discussing” is one thing, but it sounds like you’re looking for solid answers. There are none. Not yet. We don’t know everything about how this virus is transmitted yet, and even if we did, there are countless variables and plain old luck, good or bad.
Quote:
I was walking around the block 3 days ago and a neighbor I used to work with was outside. He said hello and we stood 15 feet apart and talked for at most 5 minutes. I don't think it's obvious whether or not that was safe. I really don't know.
(Emphasis mine)

NOBODY knows. I think you’re just going to have to accept that you don’t know. Accept that there is no such thing as truly “safe.” Just try to use your best judgment in deciding what to do and go on with your life.
  #429  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:38 AM
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Those crazy Swedes ..


BBC News - Lockdown, what lockdown? Sweden's unusual response to coronavirus
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52076293
  #430  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:13 AM
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Sadly I think the answer is that there are so many variables that we really don't know. WHich is why I suggested the idea of visualising a smoker. Doesn't help with firm numbers, but does at least give one a starting point.

To some extent these risks are not about individual risk. They play out in the statistical mechanics of the pandemic. If your model says "short contact, no more than 10 feet" and you are happy that the majority of the populace are doing this, you can make more useful predictions about the trajectory of infections. So, rather than worry about precise personal risk assessment, you can view this as playing your part in the community wide statistical model. There will always be random fluctuations. Some people who do stupid things will get lucky, others will find a sudden breeze at just the wrong moment brings with it an unfortunate outcome. Overall it balances, which is what is needed to plan and attack the pandemic.
Pretty much this, as I understand it. Note that I am not a professional in this field, so I am going by various things I have read - and the fact that my wife did her graduate work in virology and she has been tempering my interpretations.

So, my understanding is this: There are two main paths of respiratory transmission in play, droplets and aerosol. The droplets are the main path, and the concentration of these droplets drops off significantly after a meter, mostly from the droplets falling to the ground. Two meters is designed to put you out on the tail of the droplet distribution curve. These droplets can also get on your hands and surfaces where a person may then transfer them to the face: mouth, eyes, nose.

Aerosols are where the virus stays floating in the air via currents, either within floating microdroplets, or just free-floating virus itself; there is data that indicates the virus can survive a while aerosolized.

This physical distancing helps protect against the droplets, and minimizing the duration of any contact helps with the aerosols. This is would be similar to "smelling the cigarette smoke" when you are downwind from a smoker.

Physical distancing is a risk-minimization protocol, not a prevention protocol. Extended exposure, even at a distance, increases that risk. Somebody usually ends up downwind of the other person.
  #431  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:23 AM
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The lockdown will never end. It's a global police state simply because everyone is allowing it. He who exchanges liberty for security deserves neither.
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  #432  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:24 AM
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I understood flatten the curve to mean we try to keep the hospitals close to capacity so we can cycle this virus through as quickly as possible without over running them. Sections of the country that have not been hit too hard yet I would think should open up a little more and allow more infections. Not easy to calculate because of the delay in getting sick but I think it is important to get this thing over and done with as soon as possible.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:29 AM
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My understanding is that it's to keep well within hospital capacity - not ride the edge. That sounds rather foolhardy.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:30 AM
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The lockdown will never end. It's a global police state simply because everyone is allowing it. He who exchanges liberty for security deserves neither.
Please, tell us how we should be dealing with this pandemic, enthrall us with your acumen.

CMC fnord!
  #435  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:29 AM
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“Discussing” is one thing, but it sounds like you’re looking for solid answers. There are none. Not yet. We don’t know everything about how this virus is transmitted yet, and even if we did, there are countless variables and plain old luck, good or bad.

(Emphasis mine)

NOBODY knows. I think you’re just going to have to accept that you don’t know. Accept that there is no such thing as truly “safe.” Just try to use your best judgment in deciding what to do and go on with your life.
I'm not looking for perfect answers, but I am trying to inform my judgment. I clearly can't just trust the government guidelines--those are far too lax. But I also don't think that I should just rely on what "feels" safe. You talk about "obvious". I don't think much is obvious here at all. For example, the discussion of droplets vs aerosols is a really interesting one, and not one I have seen before quite recently--up until a few days ago, everyone seemed pretty sure that droplets, not aerosols, were the problem, and so the media wasn't making that distinction at all. It turns out it make a huge difference whether or not 2 meters is a meaningful distance.

We have at least 6, maybe 8 more weeks like this. I'd really like to know if it's safe to stand 25 feet away from my mom in open air, just to have a good look at her. I'd like to develop better judgment--and I can't do that if every time someone asks a reasonable question they are accused of looking for loopholes and not caring about other people.
  #436  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:31 AM
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I pulled the data from here and plotted the percent increase in the number of cases by day. If that increase is about 20% each day, we would double approximately every 3 to 4 days. There is a lot of noise going back to early March. There is a peak around March 19th of 50%, but since March 22 the rate has been pretty much monotonically decreasing. On March 22 it was 38.8%. Yesterday it was 16.2%. These numbers are driven to a very large degree by the NYC area right now.

I have a couple of thoughts on this data. First, if we can continue to drive down the increase/day we can keep this from doubling every 3 to 4 days . Second, this appears to be coming regionally, which means it will rip through the NYC area, then maybe California and a couple of other places. That will help. We can perhaps keep moving ventilators around to meet demand in localized areas and we won't need all the ventilators all at once. We might even be able to move patients to areas not slammed at that moment. There is a chance we can keep the medical system from getting overwhelmed. NYC will be a bellweather in a couple of weeks for how that will play out as that is when Cuomo said it will peak there.

This doesn't mean we can let up on the social distancing and other measures we are taking. But it is a good sign to me that we can deal with the emergencies and hot spots in a given region and perhaps respond appropriately, moving resources as needed.
  #437  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:36 AM
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I understood flatten the curve to mean we try to keep the hospitals close to capacity so we can cycle this virus through as quickly as possible without over running them. Sections of the country that have not been hit too hard yet I would think should open up a little more and allow more infections. Not easy to calculate because of the delay in getting sick but I think it is important to get this thing over and done with as soon as possible.
Your understanding of flatten the curve is to INCREASE infection in some areas? To fill up hospitals that haven't yet been filled?
  #438  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by crowmanyclouds View Post
Please, tell us how we should be dealing with this pandemic, enthrall us with your acumen.
That poster apparently thinks there's billions of people in the US.
  #439  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:50 AM
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We have at least 6, maybe 8 more weeks like this. I'd really like to know if it's safe to stand 25 feet away from my mom in open air, just to have a good look at her. I'd like to develop better judgment--and I can't do that if every time someone asks a reasonable question they are accused of looking for loopholes and not caring about other people.
Is getting a good look at your mom from 25' away something you consider essential? My mother and I have managed to live our lives on opposite sides of the country.
  #440  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:55 AM
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Is getting a good look at your mom from 25' away something you consider essential? My mother and I have managed to live our lives on opposite sides of the country.
No, it's something I consider pleasant, and if I can do it with virtually zero risk, I'd like to. If there's a risk, I won't.

I mean, those people who sit outside a window and talk on the phone to their parents--why don't you mock them for doing something "non-essential"?
  #441  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:04 PM
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You will get pretty close to the same pleasantry by talking to her on facetime/skype. We had a whole family gathering on facetime last night including my self isolated 83 y old mother in law. You should try it.

25' is probably safe. I just don't get why you want someone to promise you what's safe. Why won't you accept that the experts aren't perfectly sure?

Last edited by CarnalK; 03-30-2020 at 12:08 PM.
  #442  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:11 PM
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I'm not looking for perfect answers, but I am trying to inform my judgment. I clearly can't just trust the government guidelines--those are far too lax. But I also don't think that I should just rely on what "feels" safe. You talk about "obvious". I don't think much is obvious here at all. For example, the discussion of droplets vs aerosols is a really interesting one, and not one I have seen before quite recently--up until a few days ago, everyone seemed pretty sure that droplets, not aerosols, were the problem, and so the media wasn't making that distinction at all. It turns out it make a huge difference whether or not 2 meters is a meaningful distance.

We have at least 6, maybe 8 more weeks like this. I'd really like to know if it's safe to stand 25 feet away from my mom in open air, just to have a good look at her. I'd like to develop better judgment--and I can't do that if every time someone asks a reasonable question they are accused of looking for loopholes and not caring about other people.
No offense, but it seems like you're looking for perfect answers, or specifications.

There are no specifications for this. There's no such thing as absolutely no risk. What you want to do is to approach this with risk reduction in mind. The fewer times you or other people in your household leave your house, the lower the risk. The more frequently you wash your hands, the more precautions you take, the safer you are. The more you violate these 'rules,' the greater the risk. You're going to have to live with this, and probably for longer than 8 weeks.
  #443  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:14 PM
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I just don't get why you want someone to promise you what's safe. Why won't you accept that the experts aren't perfectly sure?
Where has Manda JO (or anyone else) ever said they were looking for promises?

We all have to make decisions, and we want those decisions to be as informed as possible. (And no more so.)
  #444  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:19 PM
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We have at least 6, maybe 8 more weeks like this. I'd really like to know if it's safe to stand 25 feet away from my mom in open air, just to have a good look at her. I'd like to develop better judgment--and I can't do that if every time someone asks a reasonable question they are accused of looking for loopholes and not caring about other people.
The problem is not only can we not tell you how risky it is to stand 25 feet from your mother, we can't actually decide for you whether that risk is "safe" for you as an individual. Because your acceptable risk level is an individual policy decision. It isn't an objective or uniform thing.

For instance, if we were able to calculate that you or your mother have a 5% probability of being infected on the day you wanted to check on her and that there is a 0.1% probability of one of you infecting the other if you stand 25 feet apart on that particular day given your (or your mother's) viral load, the wind velocity, wind direction, and humidity, would you consider this "safe enough"? Because personally I would take the chance given these odds. But I wouldn't judge someone harshly for not feeling the same way since maybe they are older than me and have more underlying medical issues than I do, so the stakes are greater for them.

But I probably would be wary of taking my chances once my probability of being infected was in the 10% ballpark. Or if my probability of getting infected at a 25 ft distance increased to 1%. I am not using a complicated calculus to justify my wariness at these thresholds. It's just the odds feel scarier to me for some reason. All of it is subjective.

In my line of work, I am always being asked if it's safe to do X. Is it safe to eat the fish in a particular waterbody or is it safe to go swimming in it. It would be professionally inappropriate for me to tell people it's not safe to do these things because everyone uses their own rubic to gauge "safe". All I can tell you is that we've flagged a waterbody as being one of concern and what the health department recommends you should do to mitigate your risk. But I'm not going to be able to give the information you need to do your own risk assessment. Not only do I not have it, but even if I did have it, it would only be information meaningful for a tiny snapshot in time. A tiny snapshot from the past that may not be relevant today. It won't tell you about your risk right now. So you'd be better off just following the health's department recommendations as much as you can. And if you have to deviate from the recommendations, do what you can to mitigate your risk.

Like, maybe in your case you can wear a scarf or something on your face and ask your mother to do the same. Maybe you can take a portable fan with you and position it so that it is perpendicular to your face, so that droplets and aerosols coming out of you are dispersed into the air. Maybe you can spray the air in front of you with a water bottle as you're speaking so that aerosols get weighed down by humidity and don't blow around so much. These may be crazy suggestions and I have no idea if they would do anything. But there are likely things you can do to lower your risk when engaging in a somewhat risky activity. (Like, I tell people if they gotta eat locally caught fish, at least take the skin off. Doing that one thing can make a huge difference.)
  #445  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:20 PM
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Stay upwind, you'll be fine.
  #446  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:20 PM
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Where has Manda JO (or anyone else) ever said they were looking for promises?

We all have to make decisions, and we want those decisions to be as informed as possible. (And no more so.)
Exactly how many times has she asked "I just want to know if 25' is safe"? She is looking for a promise that no one is prepared to give. I have a feeling if someone told her "no, it's not safe" she's got "ok, how about 30 feet?" all loaded up.

Last edited by CarnalK; 03-30-2020 at 12:22 PM.
  #447  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:23 PM
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Early in March, a chorale group in Mt. Vernon, Washington, met to rehearse. They were aware of the growing rules about distancing, and any member with sniffles did not attend. They disinfected with hand sanitizers, sat apart from each other, and nobody shook hands or hugged. They rehearsed for two and a half hours, and then went home.

Three days later, 45 of these 60 people came down with COVID-19, and two have died.

Story.
According to the article, nobody coughed, sneezed, or looked sick. It's worth pointing out that studies seem to show that, contrary to other viruses, the viral load seems rather high when people first contract it, which means that when they are going to shed virus when they are asymptomatic. They might have literally been spreading and shedding within that short span of time.

The article suggests that this virus spread through aerosols, but I'm not really sure why they would reach that conclusion. A chorus is the perfect type of gathering for this virus - no aerosols required. Choir singers would be producing a higher number of air droplets even without coughing or sneezing. Their mouths would be open, and they would be exhaling a greater than usual volume of droplets. By singing, they would be projecting those droplets further than if they had been simply talking. I'm also guessing that their idea of "distance" was fatally inaccurate. By virtue of the fact they were singing, 3-6 feet might not have been enough distance.
  #448  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:29 PM
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Stay upwind, you'll be fine.
Or cut the odds, and have both you and your conversation partner BOTH stand upwind of each other.
  #449  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:29 PM
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I pulled the data from here and plotted the percent increase in the number of cases by day. If that increase is about 20% each day, we would double approximately every 3 to 4 days. There is a lot of noise going back to early March. There is a peak around March 19th of 50%, but since March 22 the rate has been pretty much monotonically decreasing. On March 22 it was 38.8%. Yesterday it was 16.2%. These numbers are driven to a very large degree by the NYC area right now.

I have a couple of thoughts on this data. First, if we can continue to drive down the increase/day we can keep this from doubling every 3 to 4 days . Second, this appears to be coming regionally, which means it will rip through the NYC area, then maybe California and a couple of other places. That will help. We can perhaps keep moving ventilators around to meet demand in localized areas and we won't need all the ventilators all at once. We might even be able to move patients to areas not slammed at that moment. There is a chance we can keep the medical system from getting overwhelmed. NYC will be a bellweather in a couple of weeks for how that will play out as that is when Cuomo said it will peak there.

This doesn't mean we can let up on the social distancing and other measures we are taking. But it is a good sign to me that we can deal with the emergencies and hot spots in a given region and perhaps respond appropriately, moving resources as needed.
I screwed up my data plotting. I calculated the percent of cases by total cases, not increase by day. If you look at the percent increase by day, the numbers are even better and they have been below 10% for 5 of the last 7 days.
  #450  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:43 PM
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You can click on the graphs at your link to show different daily numbers. Deaths and cases are doubling every 3-4 days. Mar 25th 65k cases/1027 deaths vs March 29th 143k cases/2583 deaths.
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