Understanding the infectiousness of the double mutant variant becomes all the more important as noncompliance to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is uniformly poor across India. Yet, the surge in cases is seen only in 19 States, and mainly in about a dozen States. In the absence of timely results of such studies, which will help policy […]
I’d thought long and hard about what I wanted to do when Will — and, soon after, his brother, Theo — returned home. The by-the-book Dr. Anthony Fauci approach would have been to have the boys keep on their masks, send them upstairs for a couple of weeks, and open all the windows in the house in the meantime.
But as the pandemic has taught us, there are things we value more than perfect protection from the virus. When it comes to them, we’re willing to puncture our bubbles, because without them, living feels like something less than being fully alive…
I admit that, at least to an outsider, my behavior seems inconsistent. But to me, it makes perfect sense. The risks I’m choosing to take are the ones where the payoff is biggest relative to the risk I perceive. (Yes, even the haircut! I love a good high-and-tight, and my barber is applying the clippers in his open-air home workshop.)
Before you argue with me, I get it. These aren’t the choices you would make. And that’s my point.We all have things we value. And risks we are willing to take for them. Neither of these two categories will be exactly the same for any one of us.
A reader’s comment above stopped me in my tracks. The past nine months have been spent mostly in the house with minimal forays out of the house for essentials like food and beer. I didn’t get a real haircut for months. The insides of a restaurant are now foreign to me. I cancelled my gym membership. So the comment made me think, why did I take the chance to spend time with Tiny Human Petri Dishes? When I stumbled upon the Cohen article I realized I was not alone. Nine months have disappeared and we all struggle with our own individual risk/reward scenarios.
The Grandchildren Bubble is unique. Risk was reduced to zero for six months. After six months all of the adults decided the Covid risk was minimal for several reasons. Two of the four adults (the most cautious and conservative ones) caught the virus. Thankfully both were fairly mild cases on the spectrum of asymptomatic to death and both have fully recovered. So two people have antibodies. The third adult is a front line HCW who deals with Covid each and every time he goes to work. The doctor has gotten tested multiple times all with negative results. One Tiny Human attends preschool and if a child has anything near a small sniffle they have to stay home and cannot rejoin the class until they have a negative Covid test. She recently received a negative test. Tiny Human Too just started crawling and doesn’t get out the house much. Not much to worry about here.
And for readers who have been counting that leaves yours truly. I lived with one of the infected before we knew she was infected. I tested negative the day before she got her test results. One of our neighbors asked if I left the house to live in a hotel. No I didn’t. Living apart while under the same roof was an interesting experience that I hope never to repeat. And despite having Covid in the house I didn’t catch it.
So I spent some time in my only trusted bubble mask less and I end up catching one or two non-Covid-19 coronaviruses. Next time I’m wearing a mask.
Planning a road trip in a pandemic? 11 tips for before you leave, on the road and when you arrive November 26, 2020
Author – Thea van de Mortel Professor, Nursing and Deputy Head (Learning & Teaching), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University
As restrictions ease around the country and the prospect of travel beckons, many of us will be planning road trips for the holiday season.
To ensure your trip is memorable in the best rather than the worst way, here are some things you and your fellow travellers can do to reduce the risk of becoming infected with, or spreading, COVID on your trip.
Before you go
Check for any travel or other COVID-specific restrictions or rules in the areas you will be travelling through or to, before you go. These can change rapidly and may include restrictions on how far you can travel, how many people per square metre are allowed in public spaces, and whether you need border passes or to wear a mask. Each state or territory has its own health department or government COVID website you can check.
Don’t take COVID with you. If anyone in your group has COVID-like symptoms, however mild, it is important to be tested and cleared for COVID before leaving. Common symptoms may include fever or chills, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, and vomiting or diarrhoea.
Pack masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser. The two most likely ways of catching COVID are inhaling viral particles an infected person sheds when they cough, sneeze, laugh, talk or breathe; and ingesting particles by touching contaminated objects and then touching your face or food. Masks (and social distancing) can help reduce the former risk, while avoiding touching your face, frequent hand hygiene and cleaning surfaces can reduce the latter. So pack masks, wipes and hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser should contain at least 60% alcohol.
Pack your own pillows and linen. We know people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, can shed virus onto linen and pillows (and other surfaces), even when asymptomatic. We also know respiratory viruses can penetrate pillow covers and get into the microfibre stuffing. So you might want to consider bringing your own pillows and linen.
On your trip
Use disinfectant wipes to clean high-touch surfaces in your hire car. These would include door and window handles or buttons, light switches, seat adjuster controls, radio controls, the steering wheel, glove box button, gear/drive and handbrake levers, rear-view mirrors and mirror controls.
How about singing in the car? The more vigorous the activity, the greater the opportunity to release droplets and aerosols and the further these will travel. So, laughing and singing will release more of these than talking, and talking will release more than breathing. However, if you are travelling in a family group, or with your housemates, then you have been in close contact with one another at home and the additional risk would be low.
Maintain social distancing at service stations. Leave at least 1.5 metres between you and the next person while paying for fuel, ordering food and when using the bathroom. Make sure you wash or sanitise your hands after touching surfaces such as petrol pumps, door handles, bathroom taps, and before getting back in your car. Filling car up with petrol at service station Wash or sanitise your hands after using the petrol pump. Shutterstock
Pay with cards rather than cash to avoid touching money. Many people can handle bills and coins over a long duration of time, providing many opportunities to transfer disease-causing microbes from one person to the next. Using contactless payment also helps maintain social distancing.
It’s safer to eat outdoors than indoors if stopping for a snack or lunch. That’s because large volumes of air dilute the density of viral particles in the air. Evidence from a study of COVID clusters in Japan suggests the chance of transmitting COVID is more than 18 times higher inside than outside.
When you arrive
Is your hotel or rented accommodation COVID-safe? Ask the accommodation provider what steps they have taken to make the place less conducive to spreading COVID. For example, have they introduced extra cleaning or disinfection?
Use disinfectant wipes in rented accommodation to clean high-touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, cupboard handles, taps and toilet flush buttons. You can also put dishes and cutlery through the dishwasher on a hot cycle. This is because the virus can remain viable (able to cause infection) on surfaces for many days.
Following these simple steps can help to keep your trip memorable in the best possible way. Happy holidays!
by Judith Curry No words. The only thing crazier than the U.S. election is this morning’s hurricane forecast. I have no words re the election. For a diversion, here is my hurricane forecast for Eta. Summary: current: TERRIBLE. forecast: CRAZY Latest from NHC (7 am EST): 145 mph max sustained winds, min pressure 936 mb, […]
In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.
A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression — https://pewrsr.ch/351SVs1
And to think the number of young people living with their parents was based upon data from July. This percentage will go higher since a lot of kids are moving back home from college earlier than expected.
The problem with college during the coronavirus pandemic is not just what’s happening on campuses and in college towns. It’s also that colleges may end up spreading the virus to dozens of other communities. In recent weeks, as students have returned to campus, thousands have become infected. And some colleges have responded by sending students home, including those known to have the virus.
Last week, after hundreds of students came down with the virus, the State University of New York at Oneonta ended in-person classes and sent students home. Colorado College, North Carolina State, James Madison (in Virginia) and Chico State (in California) have taken similar steps. At Illinois State, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, administrators have encouraged some students who have tested positive to leave campus, so they don’t infect other students, and return home.
These decisions to scatter students — rather than quarantine them on campus — have led to widespread criticism. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said on NBC. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.” – Zach Morin, a University of Georgia student, told WXIA, a local television station, “Once it is open and people are there and spreading it, it doesn’t make sense to send it across the nation.” Susan Dynarski, a University of Michigan economist, wrote on Twitter that “unloading students onto home communities” was “deeply unethical.”
There are no easy answers for colleges, because creating on-campus quarantines brings its own challenges. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, one student who tested positive — Brianna Hayes — said that no employee checked on her during her week in isolation. “Feverish and exhausted from the virus, she made four trips up and down staircases to move her bedding and other belongings to her isolation room,” The Times’s Natasha Singer writes, in a story about campus quarantines.
Still, many experts say that the colleges that chose to reopen their campuses despite the risks, often for financial reasons, have a moral responsibility to do better. “Universities are not taking responsibility for the risks they are creating,” Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, said.
Last spring, the meatpacking industry became a vector for spreading the disease, when it quickly reopened and caused hundreds of new infections. This fall, higher education may end up being a similar vector.
David Leonhardt – The New York Times The Morning newsletter email 09.09.20
Today’s post is not intended to offend anyone or to plainly demonstrate how dumb some Texans are. I married a Texan. My two most successful projects are Texans. I lived for over 20 years in Texas. But you can’t make this stuff up:
As public health experts warn that ICUs in the city might soon be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, shops and restaurants remain packed.
Nearly 22 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20
In Galveston county less than an hour away by car:
54 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20
While down at the border:
EMERGENCY ALERT: STARR COUNTY RESIDENTS: Today it is with a heavy heart that we announce that we have had 18 deaths in Starr County due to COVID-19, and we had two (2) severely ill patients flown out of the valley for medical assistance, one was flown to San Antonio and one to Dallas. The local and valley hospitals are at full capacity and have no more beds available.
I urge all of our residents to please shelter-in-place, wear face coverings, practice social distancing and AVOID GATHERINGS.
– Your Judge Eloy Vera
Nearly 66 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20
Meanwhile in Oklahoma County:
No fireworks today. We’ll have a quiet July 4th, burgers on the grill, potatoes, slaw and some beer.
13 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20
I’ve been on several cruises in my life. As an excessive weight challenged individual cruises have always been problematic for me. Too much food. Too much alcohol. The last opportunity to join relatives on a cruise was a few years ago. I declined to participate. I just don’t like cruises.
But I also don’t like witnessing businesses crash and burn. Stunning number.
El Centro Regional Medical Center was so overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients it had to divert some to health care facilities in San Diego, National City and elsewhere. There have been more than 2,025 confirmed cases in Imperial County, which has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state, said Andrea Bowers, special projects coordinator for the county health department.
“We know that our community has family on both sides of the border, so we’re relating the uptick to Mother’s Day weekend,” said Suzanne Martinez, assistant chief nursing officer at the medical center. “That means more risk as people travel back and forth over the border.”
Mothers’ Day weekend.
Hmm…then there’s Memorial Day weekend.
Followed by protests (not a political statement, just an observation of large crowds).