Protect yourself from the new Variants

How to protect yourself from the new coronavirus strains Video 6 minutes
1-28-21 Two of my favorite experts: Dr. Linsey Marr at Virginia Tech is an expert on airborne transmission. Erin Bromage, PhD is a Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology (specializing in Immunology.

Lots of good tips on how to get better masks. There is a big difference between the quality of the mask being worn and the ability to filter out the aerosols. The goal is Protect yourself from the new Variants.

Full transcript and audio

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How To Judge 6 ft. Physical Distance – What We All Need!!

“Everyone I interviewed for this article has observed that keeping 6 feet from others is definitely a challenge.” Now I don’t feel so bad. The best tips I have ever seen on this Very Important Topic! 4 minute Video

Humans are social animals. We crave getting close together. Overcoming habits you’ve always done since you were a child is very difficult.

Face It! You’re Bad At Judging Physical Distance. Here’s How To Do It Link to article.

Links in this blog

Dr. Fauci: Surges – Don’t Give Up. Vaccine Approval Process. 11-23-20

11-23-20 Video and full transcript 12 minutes, 40 seconds. Judy Woodruff is an excellent interviewer. This interview is long enough to have more than one topic typically included in a news story video, which is very short. Topics include Surges – Don’t Give Up. Vaccine Approval Process

The headline is “Thanksgiving gatherings will put families at risk,” but this topic only lasts for the first four minutes. The recommendations apply to any time you are getting together, for any reason, from a surprise visit from an out of town friend to family events to large crowded events.

Unfortunately, three of our most popular socializing times are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’, all are in the cold winter months when we usually meet indoors.

Youtube video – no transcript or comments

Link to video and full transcript – PBS Newshour. Note: Fauci is an excellent speaker. Seeing him is much better than reading a transcript. I tested this on myself. The transcript is useful if you want to be sure you remember what he said.

A few brief excerpts

“We don’t have to inevitably accept a dire situation, because it is within our power to do something about it.”

“The process of the decision of whether or not a vaccine is safe and effective… is made by an independent group of scientists, vaccinologists, ethicists, statisticians.

Excellent Illustrations of Covid spreading indoors

This analysis has some of the best illustrations I have seen, using a living room, a bar, and a classroom.

One time examples, such as the church choir in Seattle or infections in bars, are useful. But we are a visual species. Illustrations and animations can help understand what is happening.

Spanish paper El Pais ran various simulations using the Covid Airborne Transmission Estimator developed by scientists from the University of Colorado. Excellent Illustrations of Covid spreading indoors.

A few excerpts:
Irrespective of whether safe distances are maintained, if the six people spend four hours together talking loudly, without wearing a face mask in a room with no ventilation, five will become infected, according to the scientific model explained in the methodology.

The infection risk drops to below one when the group uses face masks, shortens the length of the gathering by half, and ventilates the space used.

If two hours are spent in the classroom with an infected teacher and 20 students, without taking any measures to counter the number of aerosols, there is the risk that up to 12 students could become infected.

To watch the Excellent Illustrations of Covid spreading indoors, translated into English, click here.

Good article about the illustrations

New CDC guidance on 15 minutes of intermittent COVID exposure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new guidance clarifying what exactly “close contact” means when it comes to transmission of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The previous guidance suggested that a close contact occurred when a person was within six feet of an infectious individual for 15 consecutive minutes. The New CDC guidance on 15 minutes of COVID exposure acknowledges that even brief contact can lead to transmission.

Specifically, the new guidance suggests that those spending a total of 15 minutes of contact with an infectious person throughout a 24-hour period should be considered in close contact.

Despite the change, most public health professionals have been clear for months that there is nothing magic about six feet. In the same way, there is nothing magic about 15 minutes. These should be used as rough estimates to indicate the types of contact that are relatively higher risk.

October 30, 2020, CDC report, COVID-19 in a Correctional Facility Employee Following Multiple Brief Exposures to Persons with COVID-19 — Vermont, July–August 2020 Click here to read the report Note: the report can be difficult to read but worthwhile. Paragraphs are too long with too much information.

Link to a good PBS article with links

Note: Ryan Malosh, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan, wrote this article. He allows free reprinting of the article.

Continue reading “New CDC guidance on 15 minutes of intermittent COVID exposure”

National Mandatory Face Masks Can Prevent Covid-19 From Spreading

If the virus cannot get inside our lungs, it cannot infect us. The primary method of transmission is by human breathing. It is a respiratory virus. The virus is not alive. It is inert and “driven” to reproduce by spreading among humans. As fewer humans are available to infect, spreading will decline. It “waits” for us to give it an opportunity to spread. National Mandatory Face Masks Keep Covid-19 From Spreading.

Compared with other viruses, not many people
die from Covid, about 0.6%. The flu is about 0.01%. If more people died, we would be much more willing to wear face masks, avoid crowded interiors, etc. We are very lucky that a relatively low percentage of people die with Covid. The death rate for the 1918 Spanish Flu was 6.5%. SARS was 10%.

ANOTHER PRIMARY REASON: FACE MASKS OR SHUTDOWNS. WHICH IS WORSE?

ASSUME EVERYONE IS INFECTED, INCLUDING YOURSELF, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS.
50% have no symptoms and don’t know they are infected.

Face Masks keep the virus from spreading and primarily keep other people safe if you are infected. Face Masks can protect you from infected people coughing and sneezing in your face.

Fall/winter surges is not new. They occurred in the 1919 Spanish Flu and is currently happening in Europe.

We are all waiting for a vaccine or multiple vaccines to become available. We will still need to wear face masks. Vaccines will not be available to everyone until mid- or late 2121. The transmission will decline as more people are vaccinated. The virus will probably always be around, such the flu viruses.  

Not everyone will be protected by a vaccine. We will still need to wear face masks. The measles vaccine is 97% effective with two doses. The flu vaccine is about 50% effective. If 100 people get Covid vaccine shots that are 50% effective, 50 will not be immune. If 50% of 100 people refuse to take the vaccine, 50 people will not be immune. That does not leave many that are resistant to infection.

Continue reading “National Mandatory Face Masks Can Prevent Covid-19 From Spreading”

How to reduce Covid airborne transmission risk

Research shows coronavirus spreads primarily through the air. Recorded 9-22-20 – Video 6 minutes with a full transcript. Excellent video illustrations that shows you how viruses travel in the air in the air. Interview with Dr. Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and her expertise is in the airborne transmission of viruses. I prefer her experiments because she uses human mannequins.

UPDATED 1-26-21. Some of the questions and comments are a bit out of date, but Dr. Marr is an excellent speaker and her experiments and comments are relevant today

How to reduce Covid airborne transmission risk – audio and a full transcript.

Cigarette smoke example

Excerpt: … Cigarette smoke is a great way to think about different specific scenarios, whether you’re indoors (or outdoors). Do you want to be indoors with that smoker? Well, you think about what affects the ventilation in the room. If the room is really well-ventilated and there’s lots of outdoor air coming in, then that smoke will be kind of pushed outside.

Continue reading “How to reduce Covid airborne transmission risk”

Deep Cleaning For Covid Is Not Very Effective

Podcast. 9-28-20. 16 minutes. Research has shown that COVID-19 transmission is largely through airborne droplets and particles expelled during sneezing, coughing, talking, and singing. There’s little evidence that surfaces are making us sick. Deep Cleaning For Covid Is Not Very Effective

Microbiologist Dr. Emanuel Goldman talks with Stephanie Desmon about the science behind COVID transmission research, the strong evidence that infection comes from aerosols and not surfaces, and how excess sanitation in public spaces may be giving us a false sense of security.

Hygiene Theater: The Deep Cleaning Performances That Offer Little Protection from COVID-19 To listen click here Note: play button is below the orange image on the right side.

Link to Dr. Goldman’s Lancet article, “Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites referenced in the podcast. Lots of references. A bit technical, but no too bad. Dr. Goldman did literature research and has many references and links to other articles. Many thanks to him. To read the article click here

My comments: The best explanation I have heard about Covid and surfaces (fomites!!)!

Continue reading “Deep Cleaning For Covid Is Not Very Effective”

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraisers are exposed to the virus when going inside homes, apartments, and other buildings for relatively short periods of time. Understanding appraiser Covid safety risks is important.

Everyone decides their own level of risk. Some rarely leave their homes or only leave to go to the grocery store. Others, such as appraisers, are essential workers who must leave their homes to work.

Appraiser Personal Risks

  • Age – the older the higher the risk
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Who is in your household and their risk factors
  • Your level of personal protection risk – from none to a lot. If you get infected, you could infect your household members. To me, that is the most significant risk.

Safety risks when appraising

Continue reading “Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe”

Physical distancing – 3 ft. vs. 6 ft. vs. 13 ft. vs. ??? – new research

1-18-21 New Fun Video!!

We know now that airborne small particles are emitted whenever we breathe, speak, etc. We don’t have much data about how much, if any, Covid viruses are included in the airborne particles. There are many factors: outside vs. inside, crowded small rooms, etc. We know that measles can travel through the air (distances vary) and particles can remain in the air for several hours or longer.

Studies regularly cited are observational (for example, choir practice in a small room and many were infected) or airflow patterns in research labs. Fluid dynamic studies spraying particles to see how far they go. But there is no information about how far viruses can travel in the air. An air sampling study published in late July in hospitals found that Covid was in the air particles in nearby rooms. In hospitals, Covid travels through the air, but the people are very sick and exhaling a lot of air.

Video image of cloud of airborne particles (21 to 24 feet) emitted by natural human violent emission such as a sneeze, From The BMJ article referenced below.

The WHO’s original three-foot guideline followed some of the earliest research into how diseases spread. In the 1930s, Harvard researcher William F. Wells measured how far large exhaled droplets traveled and arrived at the three-feet figure. Click the Continue reading link below for more information on the new research study and an excellent Risk Table.

Continue reading “Physical distancing – 3 ft. vs. 6 ft. vs. 13 ft. vs. ??? – new research”

SARS-CoV-19, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, is a very efficient virus

Viruses are not alive. Their only reason for existing is to reproduce and spread to as many hosts as possible. All viruses mutate. Some mutations are very successful. All viruses mutate, including SARS-CoV-19. UPDATED 2-11-21

Every time a virus copies itself (replicates) it may mutate. When the virus is spreading widely, the mutations increase. This means more opportunities for the virus to become “better” at infecting us. The U.K. virus is spreading widely in the U.S. and may be mutating to become more hazardous to humans. The “original” virus may also be mutating.

Both the UK and South African viruses are in my county in the Bay Area. Almost everyone has been wearing face masks since April. Stanford University is doing the testing here. They are probably spreading rapidly in many other states, but there is limited testing to detect them.

2-11-21 UPDATE Coronavirus Variants – What They Mean Video, 36 minutes. February 11, 2021. An excellent expert speaker (virologist) you can understand, with practical examples. Includes timed topics so you can find what you want to learn more about. 2-8-21 Video 36 minutes.

1-25-21 UPDATE: Virus Mutations (variants)

Preliminary research suggests the United Kingdom Covid mutation (variant) makes the SARS-CoV-2 virus is over 50% transmissible. Per Dr. Fauci, it may cause more deaths. We don’t know where it is spreading in the U.S. due to a lack of genomic surveillance to identify what was causing people to get infected“original” Covid or a variant.

1-18-21 Excellent podcast What You Need to Know About the Variants 49 minutes, but worth the time. The best variant interview I have ever heard. Understandable and very well done. “So-called” UK and South African variants with virologist Angela Rasmussen and evolutionary biologist Paul Turner.

In the United Kingdom, about 10% of the virus samples from infected persons are genetically sequenced. In the U.S., about 0.3% of virus samples are sequenced. Biden plans on increasing this.

This is a new (novel) type of coronavirus. Humans have no immunity. Every human can be infected. We do not yet know if any of us has “natural” immunity (cannot get infected).

The virus kills a relatively low percentage of people (estimated around 1%), compared with Ebola at 50%. About 6.5% died in the 1908 Spanish flu.

With Covid, more people are left alive to infect. It is easily transmitted through the air (respiratory), much more efficient than requiring close physical contact (Ebola), and mostly kills old people, especially over 80. More younger humans are left alive to infect.

About 50% (estimate has varied over time) of people infected with the virus have no symptoms (asymptomatic) and can spread the virus. This is unusual for a virus and greatly increases its ability to expand into many humans.

Emerging research suggests that people may actually be most contagious during the 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms. It can take between 1-14 days for COVID symptoms to show up. More time for infected people to spread the virus and infect others.

It “waits” for humans to help it expand by leaving their homes, not using face masks or doing physical distancing, crowding inside rooms with lots of unmasked people and poor ventilation, not washing hands, etc.

If you are infected no one knows if you will be immune or for how long. Some viruses, such as in the seasonal flu, regularly mutate, so humans have relativity short immunity time.

On the plus side, it is a “starter” virus, much less deadly than SARS, with a 10% death rate or Ebola at 40%. It is less contagious than measles, which has very tiny droplets, that can remain suspended in the air for up to two hours after someone with measles has left an area.

Covid Airborne Transmission Inside Homes (Podcast)

Note from all the experts: We don’t know much yet about how the virus is transmitted.

Podcast (16 minutes) “Open the Window: Talking about Airborne Transmission”

“Can the novel coronavirus be spread through the air? And if so, what can we do to make sure the air inside our homes and buildings is as clean as possible? Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Joseph Allen, Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, about the science behind airborne transmission.”

A very good, understandable and interesting, discussion by an expert from many angles, focusing on homes. But also discusses schools. Starts with tenement housing many years ago, which often lacked windows, and what was done to provide windows. I see many older apartment buildings, pre-1940, built with small “air vents” in the middle of the building providing ventilation.

On CNN Fact vs. Fiction with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. One of my favorite Covid podcasts. To listen to the Podcast Click here