Well, social isolation has taken its toll. I am so bored, I’m back to blogging. I pride myself in being able to explain complex scientific stuff in normal words, but that is not the case today. This is easy shit. I’m a bit of a science nerd, so instead of following the headlines in the media, I’ve gone directly to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Sharing this information with friends and family prompted me to recognize it might be useful for other people. Let me dive right in! Social distancing is for one reason only, a very important reason, we need to decrease the rate of people getting sick so that we have better health outcomes for those who do. So, get on board.
This corona virus is less like the flu virus than was initially feared. In short, the contagion through the air is less of a concern. If someone coughs, they are not as likely to spread Covid19 as someone spreading the flu virus. This is the basis for the 6 foot distancing that was recommended.
Recently, the WHO announced one metre was probably sufficient. I’m not telling you this so that you can safely get up into someone’s face. I just wanted to let you know that five feet, eleven inches is not the danger zone. It is still important to maintain the full six feet. At the very least because it is good manners. There are some pretty frightened people out there who want you as far away as possible.
This virus dries up too quickly to travel very far, except when experimentally shot out of a scientific gadget that produces a “worse case scenario” for the spreading of airborne diseases. Basically, infection requires the virus to get right up and personal with your mucous membranes. All of those wet surfaces on your body that support the transition from skin on the outside to wet organs on the inside. Think lips. Hence, the suggestion to stop touching your face.
The virus also likes to hang out on smooth surfaces like handles, door knobs and railings. It can linger on smooth surfaces for an unknown amount of time (at least unknown to me!). When your skin touches these surfaces, the virus has just boarded public transportation. The skin is a great place to hang out and the virus doesn’t seem to dry out significantly. So, the easiest thing to do is simply wear gloves. That way if you catch yourself picking your nose, you at least had to take your glove off first (I hope :-).
Also, it is possible for a healthy person to spread the virus and never show symptoms. So even if you never get sick yourself, you may be spreading the virus to other people. The act of wearing gloves means that your skin never infects a surface. I am wearing my light fall gloves. I suspect the virus would live longer on the gloves intended for food service or medical use–they are smoother.
One final note. Social distancing is not natural. There are a lot of people who are off-balance because they have not had regular contact with people. If you know any of them, I suggest you give them a call (do not send something in writing, I’m sure they already have lots to read). They might be feeling cabin fever so badly they could resort to blogging. We wouldn’t want that!