It was nice to have a third day of relative rest. We were fortunate to have another nice walk, some physically distanced visiting with friends, and a FaceTime call with my parents for Mother’s Day. Some pieces of normalcy are helpful in pandemic times.
I still can’t say much about COVID-19. The realities and unknowns are too overwhelming. But I can say a little today because of an article I read this week. The article is written by a biologist specializing in immunology and infectious disease, Dr. Erin Bromage. His teaching skills are evident in the clarity of the post: The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them. I really hope his generalizations are correct, because they offer some paths forward, even without a vaccine or effective treatment.
He makes the following conclusion about the common features of the significant outbreaks: “All these infection events were indoors, with people closely-spaced, with lots of talking, singing, or yelling. The main sources for infection are home, workplace, public transport, social gatherings, and restaurants.” He also identifies key early super-spreading events as meat-packing plants, celebrations (weddings, etc.), and business networking (i.e. conferences). And most outbreaks/hotspots now are occurring in care facilities, meatpacking plants, and prisons.
What does this mean for the future? For starters, better conditions are needed in care facilities, meatpacking plants (and other food production facilities), and prisons. Those issues pre-date the current crisis.
And outdoor exercise is probably OK, so maybe we could even think about opening campgrounds? (Then I see how people are behaving in my state and I think this might not be a good idea.)
But what about schools? How do you avoid being indoors, closely-spaced, and talking? How do you manage the number of people who are exposed to one another (especially without robust contact tracing) in higher education and secondary school settings? The folks trying to improve conditions and figure this out, along with those working to keep people alive in hospitals and keep the rest of us fed, are the peaceful warriors. Let’s support, and not undermine, their efforts.
Here’s another peaceful warrior from the Minifigures Series 20.
LEGO says it’s martial arts “boy,” but I tend to disagree 🙂