While the mask mandates are going down…


It’s worth looking at the actual evidence that we’re in the midst of an airborne pandemic that targets the respiratory system. Here’s an article in The Lancet on ten scientific reasons in support of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. It’s short, but I’ll make it even shorter.

1. superspreading events account for substantial SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
2. long-range transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between people in adjacent rooms but never in each other’s presence has been documented in quarantine hotels.
3. asymptomatic or presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from people who are not coughing or sneezing is likely to account for at least a third, and perhaps up to 59%, of all transmission globally.
4. transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is higher indoors than outdoors.
5. nosocomial infections have been documented in health-care organisations, where there have been strict contact-and-droplet precautions and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to protect against droplet but not aerosol exposure.
6. viable SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the air.
7. SARS-CoV-2 has been identified in air filters and building ducts in hospitals with COVID-19 patients.
8. studies involving infected caged animals that were connected to separately caged uninfected animals via an air duct have shown transmission of SARS-CoV-2 that can be adequately explained only by aerosols.
9. no study to our knowledge has provided strong or consistent evidence to refute the hypothesis of airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
10. there is limited evidence to support other dominant routes of transmission—ie, respiratory droplet or fomite.

Vaccines are great and a solid long-term solution to the pandemic, but why are we talking about removing mask mandates again? Shouldn’t we instead be promoting improved ventilation in public schools, for instance? Are our scientifically illiterate leaders only listening to the scientifically illiterate permanently whiny chickenshit contingent instead of scientists now? We seem to be promoting do-nothing approaches that minimize inconvenience to the most selfish, inconsiderate members of society.

Comments

  1. lotharloo says

    I don’t know how the officials make decisions. Maybe they factor in “regulation exhaustion” or whatever so that they can increase the regulations in critical situations. Here in Denmark they have removed all the regulations, no mask wearing, no testing, schools, daycares, restaurants and all have been open for a while now and omicron burned through basically half the population in the span of a few months while they declared the coronavirus “not a societally critical situation”.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/denmark/

  2. mordred says

    Here in Germany protective measures, include mask mandates, are also rolled back strictly on the dates decided weeks ago, completely ignoring case data. Of course different states have different measures still in place and I need to invest a bit of internet time today to find out what exactly the rules are around here now – it’s a complete mess.

    Since today employers here are no longer forced to allow people to work from home. My employer just send out an email that they will continue to offer the option regardless… and said we really should return to office now! No idea, I’m staying put until my direct superior tells me otherwise.

  3. gijoel says

    Just about every doctor’s office I’ve been to in the last 2 months has had a HEPA air filter.

  4. says

    How long should the 35% or so of people living in the US be allowed to make life miserable for the rest of us by not taking the most critical preventive step and resist all other interventions?

    if trumpists are determined to let covid-19 kill them, they can have at it.

  5. R. L. Foster says

    Last night I rewatched the viral apocalypse movie Contagion on Netflix. It was released in 2011. When I watched it the first time a decade ago I thought that it was a pretty good film for its type. The government and the CDC worked hand-in-glove, the public was kept up-to-date, and misinformation peddlers were ruthlessly dealt with. But after experiencing our own pandemic I see just how wrong the film was. In the movie people were literally killing each other to get their hands on a cure, anyone with any sense wore a mask, and many people went into self-quarantine. In short, they were doing what we thought most people would do when faced with a deadly plague. But the reality was very different, as we all now know. In the film the lethality of the virus was many multiples higher than with Covid, so that’s a plausible explanation for the difference between fictional and the real world reactions of the public. But, I’m skeptical. I think that even if the Covid death toll had been 10 or 20 million the GOP would still have tried to score political points. There would still have been lockdown and mask mandate protests and millions would have avoided the vaccine. That’s one of the problems with writing futuristic fiction, most authors just don’t understand how truly unhinged many people are. Think of the very worst person you know or ever met and then multiply him by 50 million. Then try to write your novel.

  6. Dunc says

    We seem to be promoting do-nothing approaches that minimize inconvenience to the most selfish, inconsiderate members of society.

    Can anybody name a significant societal problem which this statement does not apply to?

  7. robro says

    Dunc @ #6 — In some cases there’s “do-nothing” while in others there’s actively “do-something” to apparently make matters worse.

    whywhywhy @ #7 — Not sure I get your point, but deregulating COVID protections is possibly a do-nothing for the welfare of white men over 50, in addition to everyone who can have heart disease. See this news story in Scientific American online this morning: Even Mild COVID Can Increase the Risk of Heart Problems.

  8. Jazzlet says

    Hey, chicken shit is a useful fertiliser, try slug slime or better still dog shit, no one likes dog shit.

    I have nothing else, these smears of dog shit on your shoe are doing their best to kill us all, not so much from COVID, though that’s bad enough, but from climate change and all of the chaos that will bring.

  9. crimsonsage says

    It’s just raw political theater at this point. The Democrats are looking to get butchered in the midterms and are doing what they always do, tack to the center. Since the right is psychotic Qultists screaming about how masks make you gay and trans they need to split the difference and just pretend that it’s over, in order to attract the rate and elusive “moderate republican.” This is because they are politically and ideologically incapable of actually doing anything that would structurally change society in a way that would enable a real end to the pandemic, which is the only real alternative to doing what they are doing.

  10. unclefrogy says

    Shouldn’t we instead be promoting improved ventilation in public schools, for instance? Are our scientifically illiterate leaders only listening to the scientifically illiterate permanently whiny chickenshit contingent instead of scientists now? We seem to be promoting do-nothing approaches that minimize inconvenience to the most selfish, inconsiderate members of society.

    It has looked like that to me for some time now really got going about the time of the Carter vs Reagan and the southern strategy and the rise of the silent majority

  11. torcuato says

    @1 lotharloo
    I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. Are you implying that what Denmark did was a bad thing? When all restrictions were removed, the “follow the science” crowd was predicting apocalypse. Instead, as your Worldometer link shows, the Covid-19 cases 7-day moving average has decreased from 45,000 to 7000, and deaths are around only 30 per day.

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