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jimmy m
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07 Oct 2020, 12:39 pm

Alex Huffman, associate professor of chemistry in the University of Denver’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics did a Question/Answer session on COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission. He responded to the following question:

Recently, the CDC announced that COVID-19 was spread through aerosols and then quickly backtracked. Now they again say aerosols are at play. Do you have any sense of what’s behind this back and forth?

The quickest summary of my opinion on the CDC decision to retract its updated guidance from Sept. 18, saying that inhalation was “thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” is that the decision was politically motivated by people who aren’t educated in aerosol science. There is also a feeling that data on the dominance of airborne spread must be indisputable before politically unpopular actions can be suggested, but that is not the way physical science works and that kind of evidence could take years or be impossible to gather. I think people want to be empowered with the truth now to help take care of themselves.

Source: Q&A: DU Professor Explains COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission

It is an interesting article to read. One of the items listed in the article is a spreadsheet that link to webinars, scientific journals, media articles and excellent scientists to follow on Twitter. So if you wish to delve deeper into the aerosol spread of coronavirus, this spreadsheet will provide you with excellent material to review.

Resources about the airborne spread of CoVid-19


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09 Oct 2020, 10:22 am

Broadway extends shutdown through May 2021 as Great White Way remains dark

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The show won’t go on along the Great White Way until the middle of 2021 — at the earliest.

Ticket sales for Broadway performances in the city were suspended through May 30, 2021, extending the Theater District shutdown into a second year, the Broadway League announced Friday.


Orthodox Groups, Catholic Diocese Sue Cuomo Over New Religious Restrictions In Virus Hotspots
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A group of Jewish organizations and the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn are separately suing Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop the state from enforcing attendance limits on house of worship in parts of New York that have been designated for new restrictions due to rising coronavirus cases.

The lawsuits mark an expected and ongoing legal battle spearheaded by religious groups who have decried the governor's limits on religious services amid the pandemic. On Tuesday, Cuomo called for zoned shutdowns in four virus hotspot regions, including portions of South Brooklyn and Queens, and two suburban communities in Rockland and Orange counties that are home to significant numbers of Orthodox residents. In "red zones," areas with the highest test positivity, no more than 10 people will be allowed to attend houses of worship.


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09 Oct 2020, 10:42 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr04gHbP5MQ

This man sets it all out very coherently.

He is a senior member of the German governments Corona Virus investigatory committee.
And he was the investigator who exposed Deutchebank and Volkswagens criminal acts.

So, consider what he has to say.
And then share it with people you know so they can listen to it as well and draw their own conclusions.

My conclusion?
(long drawn out wolfwhistle)
This could make Volkswagens global emissions fraud look like chickenfeed.



jimmy m
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10 Oct 2020, 9:02 am

Super Spreader Events

There have been several recent super spreader events that have occurred in recent weeks in the U.S. The most visible one is the one that caused the President and First Lady to become infected with the coronavirus along with several other people [The president and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus, as has White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House senior advisers Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller, and Nicholas Luna, personal assistant to the president. The New York Times reported that three White House employees in the housekeeping department have also tested positive, as have at least two White House press aides who work for McEnany. They are in addition to at least three U.S. senators, Trump’s campaign manager, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has also been hospitalized.]

A couple of events have been highlighted as the cause. These include the Sept. 26 White House event to introduce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Others point to the closed-door debate preparation sessions for Mr. Trump on 26-29 September with a half-dozen aides and advisers, including Bill Stepien, his campaign manager; Kellyanne Conway, a former White House adviser; and Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. All of them have since tested positive for the virus.

Super spreader event are a prime example of the threat posed by Aerosol Transmission.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have very recently acknowledged that the coronavirus can be spread by aerosols.

- Wearing an ordinary cloth face mask or even a surgical mask does not protect a person from becoming infected because the ultra-fine viral particles can easily pass through ordinary face mask. Only an N95 or better face mask can stop the spread of airborne aerosols.

- Social Distancing does not protect a person from becoming infected because these aerosol particles are extremely light and can float in the air and linger for hours and travel vast distances (50 feet), which is a lot more than the 6 foot social distancing requirements. Only proper indoor air ventilation and airborne sanitation can minimize this threat.

- If the virus is spread through the air rather than by touch, then washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizers will not prevent the spread of this infection because the particle are airborne.

Super spreader events are a prime example of the aerosol transmission threat. Unless this threat is properly acknowledged and dealt with, the coronavirus will just keep spreading and many more people will die.


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jimmy m
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10 Oct 2020, 4:06 pm

Why did it take the CDC so long?

Why did it take the CDC so long to acknowledge that the coronavirus was airborne?

Some say the CDC was trying to avoid adding to public fear or anxiety about the coronavirus, but this logic is faulty, Allen says. "This is risk communication 101," he says. "You don't hold back information. You have to be transparent about what's happening to establish trust and allow people to act accordingly to protect themselves and others." Allen, who first wrote about airborne transmission of the coronavirus in February, says he doesn't know what took the CDC so long to acknowledge airborne spread. "We [doctors] were excited a few weeks ago that they acknowledged it, and then they walked it back," he says. "The result is a confused public," Allen says. "The science is what the science is," and people can't make informed decisions without knowing the truth. Allen says he supposes many more people would've taken basic precautions early in the pandemic had public health officials declared the virus airborne.


How will this change the guidance on limiting the spread?

The airborne threat means that the virus will remain in the air much longer and will travel much further


* There's no finite number of minutes or hours known yet. Estimates range from just a few hours up to 12 hours or more. Tulane University, for instance, reported that COVID-19 can remain in the air for up to 16 hours.

* Aerosolized particles are lighter, so they are able to travel further through the air, Hamer continues, noting that some evidence has shown aerosols containing viruses can travel up to 18 feet. One study conducted in China suggests that aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 can spread up to four meters, or about 13 feet. Another report from April estimates the virus can spread up to 10 meters, or about 32 feet.


Source: The coronavirus is airborne -- what that means for you


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jimmy m
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10 Oct 2020, 4:22 pm

Compelling evidence indicates that COVID-19 transmission via small-particle aerosols, not droplets, may be driving the pandemic, a panel of aerosol researchers said on Thursday.

At a virtual press conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research, researchers argued the reason both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC are reluctant to embrace aerosol transmission is in part due to "historical bias," despite outsized evidence of aerosol transmission.

Source: Panel: Aerosols Driving COVID-19 Spread


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jimmy m
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10 Oct 2020, 4:34 pm

Canada still downplays risk of airborne spread of coronavirus despite WHO, CDC guidance

Canada's guidelines on how COVID-19 spreads still do not acknowledge the threat of infection through the air, despite other countries and international health organizations updating their stance on the issue. As researchers around the world race to learn as much as possible about the novel coronavirus, many health agencies have concluded that it can be transmitted via aerosols — or microscopic airborne particles — yet Canada has not followed that lead so far. Besides the WHO and the CDC, countries like Germany and Italy recognize aerosols as a risk. But PHAC told CBC News it is not updating its guidance on airborne transmission — even though it admits aerosol spread has happened.

Dr. Mark Loeb, an infectious disease expert with the department of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, said that while he believes most COVID-19 transmission occurs in short distances, there are circumstances when longer range transmission can occur. One example he pointed to was a nursing home outbreak in Montreal where virus particles were found in the air, and a faulty ventilation system may have been a source of transmission that infected 226 residents and 148 employees.


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jimmy m
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11 Oct 2020, 1:43 pm

Jose-Luis Jimenez is a chemistry professor at the University of Colorado who has studied aerosols for 20 years. He partnered with nine other experts to put together this comprehensive guide about COVID-19 aerosol transmission to compensate for inaction at the WHO and CDC.

FAQs on Protecting Yourself from COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission

“When we saw it was useful, we made it public. We update the document all the time,” he said. “We’re effectively having to be a little WHO or CDC. We’re saying the things that they should be saying. This is frustrating, but it’s the situation we find ourselves in. These organizations have been flat-out refusing to consider if aerosol transmission is important, which leaves people unprotected. So we feel it’s our duty to communicate directly with the public.”


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jimmy m
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12 Oct 2020, 7:36 am

Vitamin D

Another bit of research recently published in PLOS ONE adds some support for the use of Vitamin D to prevent the coronavirus transmission.

Abstract:

Until treatment and vaccine for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) becomes widely available, other methods of reducing infection rates should be explored. This study used a retrospective, observational analysis of deidentified tests performed at a national clinical laboratory to determine if circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity rates. Over 190,000 patients from all 50 states with SARS-CoV-2 results performed mid-March through mid-June, 2020 and matching 25(OH)D results from the preceding 12 months were included. Residential zip code data was required to match with US Census data and perform analyses of race/ethnicity proportions and latitude. A total of 191,779 patients were included (median age, 54 years [interquartile range 40.4–64.7]; 68% female. The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 9.3% (95% C.I. 9.2–9.5%) and the mean seasonally adjusted 25(OH)D was 31.7 (SD 11.7). The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was higher in the 39,190 patients with “deficient” 25(OH)D values (<20 ng/mL) (12.5%, 95% C.I. 12.2–12.8%) than in the 27,870 patients with “adequate” values (30–34 ng/mL) (8.1%, 95% C.I. 7.8–8.4%) and the 12,321 patients with values ≥55 ng/mL (5.9%, 95% C.I. 5.5–6.4%). The association between 25(OH)D levels and SARS-CoV-2 positivity was best fitted by the weighted second-order polynomial regression, which indicated strong correlation in the total population (R2 = 0.96) and in analyses stratified by all studied demographic factors. The association between lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates and higher circulating 25(OH)D levels remained significant in a multivariable logistic model adjusting for all included demographic factors (adjusted odds ratio 0.984 per ng/mL increment, 95% C.I. 0.983–0.986; p<0.001). SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels [Vitamin D], a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges. Our findings provide impetus to explore the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.

Source: SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels


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jimmy m
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12 Oct 2020, 4:26 pm

'I think it was thought the minute we get people together in schools, there would be these huge outbreaks — and that hasn’t come to pass,' Brown University economics Professor Emily Oster said. Elementary and high schools do not appear to be COVID-19 super-spreaders, new data suggests — a finding that threatens to turn some pandemic theories on their head. Statistics involving 200,000 schoolkids from 47 states in the last two weeks of September yielded an overall coronavirus infection rate of just .13 percent among students and .24 percent for staffers, according to Brown University economics Professor Emily Oster and her team of number-crunchers.

The figures translate into what would be roughly 1.3 infections for a school with 1,000 kids in the two-week period, and 2.2 positive tests for every 1,000 staffers in the same time frame. “I think it was thought the minute we get people together in schools, there would be these huge outbreaks — and that hasn’t come to pass,’’ Oster told The New York Post on Sunday.

Source: Schools aren’t COVID-19 super-spreaders, new data suggests


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12 Oct 2020, 6:11 pm

jimmy m wrote:
'I think it was thought the minute we get people together in schools, there would be these huge outbreaks — and that hasn’t come to pass,' Brown University economics Professor Emily Oster said. Elementary and high schools do not appear to be COVID-19 super-spreaders, new data suggests — a finding that threatens to turn some pandemic theories on their head. Statistics involving 200,000 schoolkids from 47 states in the last two weeks of September yielded an overall coronavirus infection rate of just .13 percent among students and .24 percent for staffers, according to Brown University economics Professor Emily Oster and her team of number-crunchers.

The figures translate into what would be roughly 1.3 infections for a school with 1,000 kids in the two-week period, and 2.2 positive tests for every 1,000 staffers in the same time frame. “I think it was thought the minute we get people together in schools, there would be these huge outbreaks — and that hasn’t come to pass,’’ Oster told The New York Post on Sunday.

Source: Schools aren’t COVID-19 super-spreaders, new data suggests

That means mask-wearing and social distancing are being enforced.


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12 Oct 2020, 6:59 pm

Mask-wearing and social distancing being the very FIRST recommendations from the Health Department.
And which I DAILY see people flout.
:roll:


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jimmy m
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12 Oct 2020, 9:55 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
That means mask-wearing and social distancing are being enforced.


In our local elementary/junior high/high schools, the students and teachers are wearing masks and a physical separation between desk is observed. Also the students are divided into small groups. In elementary, the students know who they will sit with during lunch and what seat they will occupy on the school bus as they travel to and from school. It is not contact tracing but rather very similar. If someone does get sick, then their contacts are known from the get-go.

The schools are incorporating safety measures and at least the initial roll-out has been fairly uneventful.


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13 Oct 2020, 2:09 pm

The Criticality of Wearing N95 Face Mask

I came across an article today about how critical N95s were to hospital staff. They were in short supply all during this pandemic and are still in short supply.

The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix

Due to the shortage many medical staff were forced to reuse their mask for months. If you read the article, you will get the impression that wearing N95s is a function of life and death in Covidland. The N95 is that critical for avoiding getting the infection.

Most of the N95s are fabricated overseas. Most in China. Around the turn of the century, engineers at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, better known as 3M, started trying to make a protective respirator that wasn’t so bulky. They realized in the 1960s that the technology used to make pre-made gift bows could also make a mask that was a lightweight, molded cup. And so began the single-use respirator as it exists today. Inside that cup, and more recently, inside the flat-fold versions, is the key component: fibers 1/50th the width of a human hair, blown together in an intricate web that creates an obstacle course for dangerous particles. An electrostatic charge works like a magnet to trap the floating menaces and attach them to the fibers. If an N95 is fitted properly — a metal nose piece folded snugly, no beard in the way — less than 5 percent of even the most difficult-to-catch particles will make it into the lungs.

One of the largest respirator plants in the U.S. is located in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Its N95 manufacturing lines have been running 24 hours a day, seven days a week since January 21. 3M built a new production line in South Dakota and once this line is operational, it will manufacture 95 million N95s per month. But that will still not be enough to keep up with demand.

So where does that leave the common man? Wearing N95s during the pandemic offers a degree of safety beyond measure. But the unavailability of mask means that all they can do is try and make due with cloth mask and surgical mask, that really do not provide sufficient protection.

Two months ago I came across several boxes of N95s at Menards. So I bought a few boxes. The masks were manufactured by a company called "Zhengzhou Ruipu Medical Technology" out of Xinzheng city China. Ruipu Medical Technology has been around for about 20 years and produced a line of KN95s. When I got home I searched the Internet and found they were no longer on the approved list for N95s by the CDC. At the beginning of the pandemic when masks were scarce to nonexistent, they allowed some mask to be accepted under waiver provisions and then later the NIOSH went about testing these and this particular mask did not make the grade so it was removed from the FDA list on May 7, 2020. It received initial waiver as an EU waiver.

Overall the mask filter looked good. It consisted of 4 layer design. It is designed to be reusable. One of the critical features of an N95 is the seal between the mask and the face. N95s use two elastic straps that fit over the head. Some of the signs that a respirator may be a counterfeit is that filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands. The N95 that I purchased from Menards had ear loops. Not a good sign. But the face mask also contained in each packet, pair of ear clips. These ear clip fit on the strap that wraps around each ear strap. So I installed the ear clips and tightened the face mask and it was a good seal. The mask also has a built-in metal nose clip that conforms to the area around the nose to provide a tight seal. This metal nose clip is standard on most N95s.

After wearing the mask intermittently for a couple months, I ran into the following 2 problems. First, the straps around my ears caused my ears to bend over. The other problem which was more serious was that one of the straps came off. The straps were attached using a glue gun and that is a major weak part of the design. So I had my wife sew in a pair of elastic straps to the mask, more in line with the N95s design and that seems to work well.


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13 Oct 2020, 6:40 pm

jimmy m wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
That means mask-wearing and social distancing are being enforced.


In our local elementary/junior high/high schools, the students and teachers are wearing masks and a physical separation between desk is observed. Also the students are divided into small groups. In elementary, the students know who they will sit with during lunch and what seat they will occupy on the school bus as they travel to and from school. It is not contact tracing but rather very similar. If someone does get sick, then their contacts are known from the get-go.

The schools are incorporating safety measures and at least the initial roll-out has been fairly uneventful.

Similar here


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14 Oct 2020, 8:11 am

A recent coronavirus contact tracing study in India of 3 million known exposed contacts provided some interesting results.

1. Transmission was lowest in healthcare settings at 1.2%, rising to 2.6% within the community and 9% in households – consistent with perceived transmission here in the U.S.

So it is much more common that someone brings the coronavirus into a household and infects an entire family than for someone to venture into the outside world and contract the coronavirus.

2. Without protective measures, 10.7% of high-risk individuals were infected, 4.7% of low-risk individuals.

It means that the vulnerable (aged, comorbidities) in the population are easier to infect. Many younger, healthier people will come in contact with the virus and not become infected.

Although there is a lot of effort currently underway to minimize virus transmission in our schools and businesses, I do not think there is much discussion on preventing viral transmission within the home. This seems to be somewhat ignored. And yet this is the major site of transmission - within the home.

Source: Tracking COVID-19


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