Not Getting It

Not Getting It

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Yesterday we received notification that said, “Bay Area Health Officers Move to Implement the State’s New Regional Stay Home Order, Not Waiting Until Local Hospitals Are Near Crisis to Act. … In Contra Costa County the new Stay at Home order goes into effect on Sunday, December 6th at 10:00 PM. through Monday January 4, 2021 at 6:00 AM.

The County and State have been pretty consistent about advising us to wear a mask and retain a distance of six feet (“social distancing”) from others when we’re outside our homes. Many of us have benefited from this advice, and have gotten a FREE test for Covid-19. Thankfully we’re mostly still in good health (one of our team members lost friends to the virus earlier this month).

The most interesting news comes from South Korea. Author and bright mind Zeynep Tufekci wrote, in Small Data, Big Implications: What we can learn from the latest indoor dining study:

A striking, informative study was just released from South Korea, examining a transmission chain in a restaurant. It is perhaps one of the finest examples of shoe-leather epidemiology I’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s worth a deeper dive.

If you just want the results: one person (Case B) infected two other people (case A and C) from a distance away of 6.5 meters (~21 feet) and 4.8m (~15 feet). Case B and case A overlapped for just five minutes at quite a distance away. These people were well beyond the current 6 feet / 2 meter guidelines of CDC and much further than the current 3 feet / one meter distance advocated by the WHO. And they still transmitted the virus.

That’s the quick and dirty of it. But there’s a lot more detail here, and like many stories, it is best told through a picture…

The whole article is worth reading and considering. The partial message, that masks and good ventilation are really important, is given great context in this illustrative article. The pictures alone are worth understanding.

As a community (the C in CERT), we can beat this. Consider this a training exercise if you wish—it certainly has a sharp edge of reality to it. We need to get serious about the spread, and our role in taking care of ourselves and each other, starting now.

Further reading:

What’s Open in Contra Costa County?

The Pandemic Heroes Who Gave us the Gift of Time and Gift of Information: As safe and effective vaccines make news, let’s remember the heroism of China’s scientists and medical workers by zeynep, Nov 30 2020

What the World Can Learn From Africa’s Covid-19 Response: Where the United States has floundered, many African countries have succeeded by Tiffany Onyejiaka, Dec 3 2020