Well, Possum Hollar is totally eff’ed in the dark, according to the MIT newsletter thingie:
The news: 239 scientists from 32 countries have written an open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that covid-19 can be transmitted through the air. You might think we know that already but most current guidance is around covid-19 being transmitted via droplets expelled from an infected person’s nose or mouth. The thought is that these larger respiratory droplets quickly drop to the floor. That’s the position the WHO has taken a position from early on in the pandemic and that’s why we have been keeping at a distance from one other. However, the signatories of the open letter say that the organization is underestimating the role of airborne transmission, where much smaller droplets (called aerosols) stay suspended in the air.
What’s the evidence? The letter says that multiple studies “have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in air.” An early laboratory study carried out by the National Institute of Health found that the coronavirus can linger in the air for up to four hours in aerosol form.
The implications: If airborne transmission is a route for the spread of the virus, it could lead to changes in the current advice. It would suggest that social distancing may be insufficient, especially indoors. This may place yet more importance on mask-wearing.
So… 4 hours after some unmasked, shouty people have left, one could still inhale the aerosol’ed Trump-virus. Those super-spreader, 2-Minute Hate, Burn-the-Reichstag, MAGA events of Prznint Stupid’s are really going to clobber Possum Hollar. His un-masked convention is a suicide pact, and they will gladly do it for their Dear Leader.
I wonder when comet Hale-Bopp will make its next appearance? Asking for a friend.
Keep your masks on, Scissorheads, avoid crowded places ESPECIALLY if they are indoors, but I think you already know this.
The newsletter has a brief aggregated list of further reading:
If the virus can float around indoors, this is how to protect yourself
+ Masks, ventilation, and avoiding crowded indoor spaces like bars. (NYT $)
+ Five pressing questions that remain about the virus. (Nature)
+ Former WHO director Anthony Costello on where governments have gone wrong in their response to the pandemic. (The Guardian)