Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 129: COVID-19 Having Trouble Keeping Up Yet?

 

You may recall just last week sometime (it’s hard to identify specific days now that we have been free wheeling our schedules for over two months) that the CDC issued guidance suggesting that the virus was not that easy to catch from surfaces. Well, now they have apparently issued a “clarification.” So it is pretty much what they were saying before, except that there are lots of variabilities in the likelihood a particular surface is actively contaminated by the time you touch it. Pretty much what we always knew.

Surfaces that facilitate contact contamination is what is referred to as “fomites.” Active virus can adhere to the fingers after contact with fomites and be transferred to the nose, the mouth, the eyes. Some surfaces, such as copper, seem to not permit active virus to survive long. Other surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, counters, paper, and plastic) permit viruses to survive for varying lengths of time. Of course, the time a virus survives is affected not only by the surface material but by temperature and sunlight (specifically UV rays). I recall very early on looking for studies about the length of survival for this particular virus as it informs one of how compulsive one needs to be about cleaning surfaces. I recall a video by a physician in Florida who demonstrated at great length his protocol for bringing groceries into his home — having a sterile side of the counter and a presumed contaminated side, gloving and disinfecting, etc. I remember thinking at the time “if this is what it takes to avoid getting sick, I am well and truly screwed.”

Suffice it to say that contamination control at Casa Rodin has not been compulsive. To the extent I tried to set up a disciplined routine I invariably messed some step up and likely contaminated whatever I was working with. There clearly is a reason for an immune system. So my precautions have been more general and clearly I am playing the odds.

Of course, guidance on contact transfer of the virus is not the only aspect of the epidemic to have changed over the course of the past three months: don’t wear a mask, wear a mask; everyone’s going to die, lots of people get infected but few get ill; the virus is stable, the virus is mutating and weakening, etc. It’s hard to keep up. And after awhile there is a certain virus fatigue.

Are you having trouble keeping up? Are you getting to the point where it doesn’t seem to matter anymore? Are you at the point of “it’s life, let’s just get on with it and deal?”

[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    The mixed messages are legion, especially regarding the wearing of masks.

    • #1
    • May 28, 2020, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Rodin: Are you at the point of “it’s life, let’s just get on with it and deal”?

    Yep. The heck with all of it. I’ll wash my hands and sometimes wear a mask. Period.

    • #2
    • May 28, 2020, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  3. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “Are you having trouble keeping up? Are you getting to the point where it doesn’t seem to matter anymore? Are you at the point of “it’s life, let’s just get on with it and deal”?”

    YES!

    At this point I am not even sure that I trust anyone about anything regarding this virus. I do think this is an epic example of the shriveling gonads of our modern culture. “PEOPLE WILL DIE” is a truism no matter what happens with the Wuhan Chinese Virus. I am at risk because of my age. It is my responsibility to take the necessary precautions to protect myself and my wife (although any man who tries telling his wife how to behave properly may as well just jump in a vat of virus and die quickly), it is not helping anything by keeping young, healthy Americans from working and playing. It is certainly detrimental to children’s growth keeping them locked in and away from school for all this time. Even though I live in an area where I am free to go where I want, I see some of these little tyrant governors and am amazed that the citizenry has not yet revolted. Where are all the lawyers when you need them? These nonlegislated edicts cannot be legal, especially for unlimited amounts of time. 

    When we have “civil libertarians” like Alan Dershowitz claiming once a vaccine is invented people can be forced to take it by the government, just makes me shake my head. And the politicization of treatments is exasperating. What happened to “warp speed” when it comes to testing of Hydroxychloroquine, for example? Could it be that this drug is just too cheap and easy?

    Enough already!

    • #3
    • May 28, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor

    cdor (View Comment):
    to protect myself and my wife (although any man who tries telling his wife how to behave properly may as well just jump in a vat of virus and die quickly),

    Oh, @cdor, thank you for making me laugh. Of course, I assume that your wife is a perfectly lovely woman!

    • #4
    • May 28, 2020, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Ralphie Member

    I also am tired out by 24/7 virus. I quit looking at the stats daily, they’ve been so massaged, and a lot of them come with astericks (after reviewing records), that I think the reaction has far outweighed the risks. The all or nothing approach seems to be dumb in light of other risks faced daily without a lot of thought.

    We have tried to be reasonable, no masks, washing hands, cleaning like normal. If it is so contagious that you can walk outside and it catches you, everyone will be exposed, no masking outside of a hazmet suit will do. And I think being too clean is not a good idea either. 

    • #5
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    cdor (View Comment):
    When we have “civil libertarians” like Alan Dershowitz claiming once a vaccine is invented people can be forced to take it by the government, just makes me shake my head.

    In fairness to Dershowitz he was merely advising everyone that the Supreme Court had settled the legal question through various decisions, not expressing a personal preference. That if the public wanted a different outcome they would need to use the political, not the legal, process.

    • #6
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. MarciN Member

    When my first baby came along, when we started bottled apple juice, I asked my pediatrician about sterilizing the bottles. He laughed. “We don’t tell parents to do that anymore. As soon as you take them out of the boiling water bath, where do you put them?” :-) They won’t stay sterile for long.

    I’ve been thinking of that conversation ever since this virus came about.

    That said, cleaning always makes sense. In a business book I read a while ago, the author told the story of a hotel chain that surveyed its guests, most of whom were traveling for business purposes, to ask what was the most important feature to them about their hotel room. The choices included things like the in-room coffee maker, room service, breakfast buffet, and the phone, Internet, and television. Much to the hotel chain’ s surprise, the respondents’ unanimous choice was cleanliness.

    I think human beings have survived as long as we have because (a) we have a spectacularly amazing immune system and (b) we have good instincts about germs that can harm us. We know to avoid them.

    I think that is what has been bothering me the most about this particular virus. It’s not as if it came into a world that had never seen germs before. We in modern western civilization have spent billions and billions of hours and dollars on cleanliness and disinfection protocols and chemicals. We have developed countless habits and physical barriers to reduce our exposure to germs of all kinds in all types of settings. This virus seemed to blow through all of those defenses.

    I think that’s why Europe and the United States freaked out about it initially.

    • #7
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. OldPhil Coolidge

    When I look at/listen to too many aggravating news sources and/or social media posts, I keep getting angry and then I have to stop looking at/listening to them for a while. My wife: “You reading AGAIN?”

    • #8
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Ralphie Member

    It’s becoming like butter is good for you, don’t eat butter, butter is good, no it isn’t. Coffee is good for you, no it isn’t.

    Aren’t most things in life about moderation? 

    • #9
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:38 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Locke On Member

    I’ve stopped paying so much attention to aggregated Wuflu statistics, and more to local information, not only numbers but the circumstances of infectious clusters. It’s not a matter of playing the averages, but watching out for a black swan with your name on it:

    From a statistical point of view, we now know that Wuflu infections and fatality are a high variance, long tail phenomenon. A very large portion of infections and deaths happen in clusters. We now know some of the individual and social circumstances that increase the likelihood of becoming involved in such a cluster. 

    Indoors is worse than outdoors

    Respiratory infection is worse than physical (‘fomite’) transmission, air circulation matters

    Talking, singing or deep breathing from exercise are worse than normal breathing

    Prolonged contact is worse than even multiple passing encounters

    Asymptomatic/pre- symptomatic transmission may be as important as symptomatic transmission

    Contact with individuals outside your normal social circles is riskier than with your homies – unless they are part of a cluster.

    Cool, moist environments are worse than warm, dry environments

    Some of this stuff is not controllable: If you’re over 80, have co-morbidities or live a nursing home those aren’t changing quickly. Some is controllable with difficulty: If I worked in a meat packing plant, I’d be looking for other work just now. Some is fairly controllable: We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer, and spending more time at the range, not so much at the gym. Hours long gaming sessions spent talking in each others faces and handling game pieces, in a group that includes newcomers – probably done for the duration, along with mass indoor events. Dump the stuff that has little impact: Mail and package quarantine, wearing masks outdoors, drenching with sanitizer after even small contacts.

     

    • #10
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    When we have “civil libertarians” like Alan Dershowitz claiming once a vaccine is invented people can be forced to take it by the government, just makes me shake my head.

    In fairness to Dershowitz he was merely advising everyone that the Supreme Court had settled the legal question through various decisions, not expressing a personal preference. That if the public wanted a different outcome they would need to use the political, not the legal, process.

    Thanks for that @rodin. I saw him on one of the shows when he first came out with that statement and it sure sounded personal. But, heck, I was wrong once before so it can happen.

    • #11
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Since there will not be an end to this and for the duration means the rest of our lives we will have to decide for ourselves. We either have to be isolated from each other (where is my 6 foot pole?) and maintain a 20%-30% unemployment rate or we say enough is enough and go back to living our lives as normal. I would like everybody to go back to normal and what happens happens. However the way my governor (I forget if it’s Governor Half Wit or Governor Nit Wit) is acting we will be under house arrest until we elect him President.

    • #12
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. PHenry Member

    As in all things, we have to individually decide what is ‘enough’. For me, with a family member in multiple high risk demographics, I am trying to be extra careful.

    That means nothing comes in my house that hasn’t been wiped. (Some items that won’t be needed for a few days I leave out in the sun a couple days, seems easier and more complete than wiping, as it is hard to know if wiping with a disinfecting wipe gets everything?) Groceries, boxes, mail, anything that comes in is wiped outside before I bring it in, and my hands are immediately washed after.

    I have no idea if this is effective, or necessary, but it is the best I can come up with to try to keep my house covid free. ( I’m open to suggestions!)

    • #13
    • May 28, 2020, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    As in all things, we have to individually decide what is ‘enough’. For me, with a family member in multiple high risk demographics, I am trying to be extra careful.

    That means nothing comes in my house that hasn’t been wiped. (Some items that won’t be needed for a few days I leave out in the sun a couple days, seems easier and more complete than wiping, as it is hard to know if wiping with a disinfecting wipe gets everything?) Groceries, boxes, mail, anything that comes in is wiped outside before I bring it in, and my hands are immediately washed after.

    I have no idea if this is effective, or necessary, but it is the best I can come up with to try to keep my house covid free. ( I’m open to suggestions!)

    @phenry, you live with someone who is extremely vulnerable. You gotta do what ya gotta do. I did those things at first myself, but I don’t have your situation. My wife and I are lucky. So we have loosened up quite a bit. But I just came back from Costco with a load (as usual) and it has been raining hard for nearly 24 hours. So I cleaned one counter with wipes, brought the supplies in and put them on another counter where we wiped them down and moved them to the clean counter before putting everything away. When you walk through the big stores you see items that you know were picked up one place and left in another because the person decided they didn’t want it. Who knows who that was. But now there seems to be some confusion about how long the virus is viable on surfaces. I just don’t know what to tell you.

    • #14
    • May 28, 2020, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. PHenry Member

    cdor (View Comment):

     

    @phenry, you live with someone who is extremely vulnerable. You gotta do what ya gotta do. I did those things at first myself, but I don’t have your situation. My wife and I are lucky. So we have loosened up quite a bit. But I just came back from Costco with a load (as usual) and it has been raining hard for nearly 24 hours. So I cleaned one counter with wipes, brought the supplies in and put them on another counter where we wiped them down and moved them to the clean counter before putting everything away. When you walk through the big stores you see items that you know were picked up one place and left in another because the person decided they didn’t want it. Who knows who that was. But now there seems to be some confusion about how long the virus is viable on surfaces. I just don’t know what to tell you.

    Yeah, that has been my stress point. Is the can of beans safe, or did someone handle it, or breathe on it, or who knows? You can make yourself crazy wondering what is enough, and I am the only firewall between the outside world and my mother. I’m trying to decide where to loosen up, but can’t really justify it yet. If I fail now, all has been for naught.

    • #15
    • May 28, 2020, at 2:17 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Lockdowns are Precious Inactive
    Lockdowns are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Back to eating flies from a mud pond for me.

    • #16
    • May 28, 2020, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Weeping Member

    For all of you who live with or consistently interact with someone you feel the need to protect – a child, a spouse, a friend, a parent, whoever. It’s not easy to do during the best of times. And now? I imagine it must feel almost impossible. So here’s a cyberhug and some prayers/encouraging thoughts for you. And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. ;)

    • #17
    • May 28, 2020, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  18. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lockdowns Are Precious (View Comment):

    Back to eating flies from a mud pond for me.

    Plunk it!

    • #18
    • May 28, 2020, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. The Reticulator Member

    The virus has morphed from one that attacks the endothelium to one that attacks government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s hard to keep up, but it’s important that we do. We haven’t yet reached peak virus.

    • #19
    • May 28, 2020, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Hammer, The Member

    You’re right about virus fatigue. I’ve given up on it… If we get it, we’ll get it. And so be it.

    Really, though. I remember once having a professor who described how he and his entire family had never once had a cold since adopting a strict vegan diet. I said that’s no way to live. I’ll enjoy the cheese and deal with the cold.

    A clean side of the counter and one presumed infected? Gloving, de-gloving, sanitizing? I’ll trust my immune system and deal with whatever may come, thank you very much.

    • #20
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. Hammer, The Member

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I’ve stopped paying so much attention to aggregated Wuflu statistics, and more to local information, not only numbers but the circumstances of infectious clusters. It’s not a matter of playing the averages, but watching out for a black swan with your name on it:

    From a statistical point of view, we now know that Wuflu infections and fatality are a high variance, long tail phenomenon. A very large portion of infections and deaths happen in clusters. We now know some of the individual and social circumstances that increase the likelihood of becoming involved in such a cluster.

    Indoors is worse than outdoors

    Respiratory infection is worse than physical (‘fomite’) transmission, air circulation matters

    Talking, singing or deep breathing from exercise are worse than normal breathing

    Prolonged contact is worse than even multiple passing encounters

    Asymptomatic/pre- symptomatic transmission may be as important as symptomatic transmission

    Contact with individuals outside your normal social circles is riskier than with your homies – unless they are part of a cluster.

    Cool, moist environments are worse than warm, dry environments

    Some of this stuff is not controllable: If you’re over 80, have co-morbidities or live a nursing home those aren’t changing quickly. Some is controllable with difficulty: If I worked in a meat packing plant, I’d be looking for other work just now. Some is fairly controllable: We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer, and spending more time at the range, not so much at the gym. Hours long gaming sessions spent talking in each others faces and handling game pieces, in a group that includes newcomers – probably done for the duration, along with mass indoor events. Dump the stuff that has little impact: Mail and package quarantine, wearing masks outdoors, drenching with sanitizer after even small contacts.

     

    Many of the things in your “we now know” list are things that, I suspect, we don’t really know.

    • #21
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Locke On Member

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I’ve stopped paying so much attention to aggregated Wuflu statistics, and more to local information, not only numbers but the circumstances of infectious clusters. It’s not a matter of playing the averages, but watching out for a black swan with your name on it:

    From a statistical point of view, we now know that Wuflu infections and fatality are a high variance, long tail phenomenon. A very large portion of infections and deaths happen in clusters. We now know some of the individual and social circumstances that increase the likelihood of becoming involved in such a cluster.

    Indoors is worse than outdoors

    Respiratory infection is worse than physical (‘fomite’) transmission, air circulation matters

    Talking, singing or deep breathing from exercise are worse than normal breathing

    Prolonged contact is worse than even multiple passing encounters

    Asymptomatic/pre- symptomatic transmission may be as important as symptomatic transmission

    Contact with individuals outside your normal social circles is riskier than with your homies – unless they are part of a cluster.

    Cool, moist environments are worse than warm, dry environments

    Some of this stuff is not controllable: If you’re over 80, have co-morbidities or live a nursing home those aren’t changing quickly. Some is controllable with difficulty: If I worked in a meat packing plant, I’d be looking for other work just now. Some is fairly controllable: We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer, and spending more time at the range, not so much at the gym. Hours long gaming sessions spent talking in each others faces and handling game pieces, in a group that includes newcomers – probably done for the duration, along with mass indoor events. Dump the stuff that has little impact: Mail and package quarantine, wearing masks outdoors, drenching with sanitizer after even small contacts.

     

    Many of the things in your “we now know” list are things that, I suspect, we don’t really know.

    How about: I’ve seen enough evidence to act on it? You can’t dither forever, I think that’s been your point.

    • #22
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Hammer, The Member

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I’ve stopped paying so much attention to aggregated Wuflu statistics, and more to local information, not only numbers but the circumstances of infectious clusters. It’s not a matter of playing the averages, but watching out for a black swan with your name on it:

    From a statistical point of view, we now know that Wuflu infections and fatality are a high variance, long tail phenomenon. A very large portion of infections and deaths happen in clusters. We now know some of the individual and social circumstances that increase the likelihood of becoming involved in such a cluster.

    Indoors is worse than outdoors

    Respiratory infection is worse than physical (‘fomite’) transmission, air circulation matters

    Talking, singing or deep breathing from exercise are worse than normal breathing

    Prolonged contact is worse than even multiple passing encounters

    Asymptomatic/pre- symptomatic transmission may be as important as symptomatic transmission

    Contact with individuals outside your normal social circles is riskier than with your homies – unless they are part of a cluster.

    Cool, moist environments are worse than warm, dry environments

    Some of this stuff is not controllable: If you’re over 80, have co-morbidities or live a nursing home those aren’t changing quickly. Some is controllable with difficulty: If I worked in a meat packing plant, I’d be looking for other work just now. Some is fairly controllable: We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer, and spending more time at the range, not so much at the gym. Hours long gaming sessions spent talking in each others faces and handling game pieces, in a group that includes newcomers – probably done for the duration, along with mass indoor events. Dump the stuff that has little impact: Mail and package quarantine, wearing masks outdoors, drenching with sanitizer after even small contacts.

     

    Many of the things in your “we now know” list are things that, I suspect, we don’t really know.

    How about: I’ve seen enough evidence to act on it? You can’t dither forever, I think that’s been your point.

    I wasn’t making any point beyond what I said. Some of the things in your list of things “we now know” I suspect to be inaccurate. That has been the story of this virus, paralleling life in general. We know … Right up until we don’t.

    • #23
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Suspira Member

    Locke On (View Comment):
    We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer

    Ugh. There is nothing fresco about al fresco dining in an Alabama summer. I’ll have to continue having takeout in isolation.

    • #24
    • May 29, 2020, at 4:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):
    We’re going to be dining al fresco with friends for this summer

    Ugh. There is nothing fresco about al fresco dining in an Alabama summer. I’ll have to continue having takeout in isolation.

    Portland is relaxing rules to make sidewalk dining easier. That’s great until the fall rains set it in, in late September. Outside dining is feasible here about four months a year. 

    • #25
    • May 29, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    My wife and I went out to dinner last night at a nice restaurant at the coast which we like to go to.I had to call when I got to the parking lot to get permission to go in. We had to wear masks when we went inside until we got to our table. A lot of tables had been removed, I’d guess more than half. About half the tables were in use while we were there. The menu options were pared considerably. Their hours have have been cut also.

    i don’t see them making money at this rate. Now, one of the stupider things the governor has done is to refuse to reopen the parks. Why go to the coast if the beaches are closed? It was 91 in Portland yesterday, will be 87 today. This town should be packed. Once the parks reopen, it will improve. But the Oregon coast lives and dies by the three month tourist season. There are going to be a lot of dead businesses here.

    • #26
    • May 29, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. OldPhil Coolidge

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    When I look at/listen to too many aggravating news sources and/or social media posts, I keep getting angry and then I have to stop looking at/listening to them for a while. My wife: “You reading AGAIN?”

    Ten Jack Reacher books in the last 4 weeks.

    I’ve gotten to the point now where I’m actually getting picky about the unbelievable things that have to happen for the plot to keep on its path. (“How did they manage to find out about THAT guy?”) It’s fun reading, but I may have to switch to another genre for a while.

    • #27
    • May 29, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes