COVID Confusion

by Kerry Dougherty

Looks like it may be safe to lose the grocery gloves. We can take it easy with the Clorox wipes, too.

No longer must we let Amazon packages marinate on the porch for days. Or scrub milk cartons with bleach in case some super-spreader touched it in the supermarket refrigerator case and left invisible viral bits on its waxed surface.

Yep, in a reversal of its earlier hair-on-fire warnings, the CDC admitted this week that it appears the Covid-19 virus is not easily transmissable from surfaces.

The CDC made another key change to its website, clarifying what sources are not major risks. Under the new heading “The virus does not spread easily in other ways,” the agency explains that touching contaminated objects or surfaces does not appear to be a significant mode of transmission, reported The Washington Post.

Now they tell us, 5,000 Clorox wipes later.

This is the exact opposite of the warnings issued on March 17 when the National Institutes of Health teamed up with Mensa members from the CDC, UCLA and Princeton to scare the bejabbers out of all of us with dire warnings about how the virus could remain infectious on cardboard for 24 hours and for two to three DAYS on plastic or stainless steel.

In other words, nothing was safe. Every single thing we touched might be crawling with death. Made you want to put on a Hazmat suit to walk the dog or get the mail.

Cities promptly closed playgrounds lest children touch contaminated monkey bars, and people were scrubbing their lettuce with Lysol as soon as they came home from the supermarket. Online stores sold out of disinfecting shoe trays that promised to kill the virus on the soles of our flip-flops.

After a tiger in the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the virus some dog lovers put masks on their mutts.

I’m not mocking the ultra-careful among us. The “experts” told us this was some kind of virile virus that was lurking everywhere. Who wanted to take a chance?

These warnings not only led to cautious behavior by us, but to bizarre edicts by state and local potentates, some of whom clearly knew less about science than you and I.

For instance, as recently as last week, Nassau County on Long Island banned doubles tennis and declared that players must bring their own balls and not touch the balls of another player.

The jokes write themselves.

Rules all over the country were nonsensical. In Michigan, which has the worst governor in the country, people were free to paddle canoes, but were forbidden to use motorized boats. In Illinois, people could use their boats but with a two-person restriction – regardless of the size of the vessel. In many places, golf courses were open, but golfers had to ride one to a golf cart. Even if they’d driven to the course together. In New York City, folks can go to Coney Island, but if they venture into the water, the mayor has promised to drag them out.

Here in Virginia Beach, our magnanimous governor agreed to open the beaches in time for Memorial Day weekend, but he banned music from speakers and “group sports” such as volleyball, Frisbee and tossing a football.  Wait. Frisbee is a group sport?

Apparently, the governor believes that merely touching a plastic disc that’s been touched – however briefly – by someone else, will spread the virus.

Don’t question Northam. He belongs to the party of science.

Now that the CDC has done an about-face and declared that it is “not likely” the virus spreads on surfaces will Virginia’s governor rescind his order and allow people to toss a football or Frisbee?

Will he at least allow music on the beach?

Don’t count on it.

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24 responses to “COVID Confusion

  1. But I thought the science was settled!

    • Science is never settled, and be honest, a scientist never told you it was.

      • Ugh, “science” has become used as follows:
        My opinion is “x”, and 100% of valid scientists agree with me. Anyone who does not agree is sub-human idiot, and criminally unethical mass-murderer whom must be condemned and hated and removed from our society”.

      • But there are plenty of people who purport to speak for the scientists who DO believe the science is settled.

        • Journalists?

          • no.. they play them as bloggers…

            I notice so far that not a one of the “science is opinion” types is telling science how the vaccines should be done right.

            Nope – not a peep… crickets…

            Now the anti-vaxxers…that’s a whole nother story…

            It won’t be long though before the whatsupwiththat folks will go read some document about vaccinations and claim there is another lying cabal of left-wing scientists who make up the virus so they could then make a killing on the vaccine.. world wide conspiracy…

            wait for it…. you saw it here first…

        • Jim – here is how “settled science is.”

          “Let’s ratchet down the alarmism. COVID-19 presents a real danger to vulnerable individuals but not an existential threat to society.”

          Growing numbers of sources says that government induced alarmism is a part of the public health care fighters of pandemic playbook. It is often intentionally done.


          Because pandemic fighters need to get the public’s attention, and get the public to do as they say, something that they otherwise would not do. Here Fear is an important ingredient to success. And grossly overestimating deaths works beautifully here in these pandemic cases because the human psyche is easily frightened by invisible killers all around us that we cannot see. This jump-starts our primal fears, especially as we feel helpless when confronted with invisible killers.

          So the kill rate of new pandemics are often made out to be ten to hundreds of times more lethal and dangerous than the pandemics actually become. This has happened over and over in recent past. The Imperial College of London modeller who jump-started this rampage of fear of Coved 19 was notorious for grossly over estimating the lethality of pandemics. And despite that fact his March 16 estimates of 2.2 million deaths in America, without remediation, was believed enough to start a stampede of unwise actions, leading to shutdown of entire economies.

          There is a second reason for these misinformation campaigns. It is most always far safer to greatly overestimate the threat then to underestimate it. Typically, great fault is rarely found when one’s estimate is grossly high because the modeler or predictor has a strong defense for it, that their actions prevented the horrible result predicted. And proving a negative is inherently difficult.

          In contrast, effective criticism most always hits those who under estimate, and are thus proven wrong. When more die than predicted, the predictor opens himself up to the charge that the dead would be alive, had there been good information, and instead died by reason of the lack of good information. Here the modeler has set himself up for blame game. Far better to grossly over estimate, then later claim success for having saved us from mass causalities. Then, too, it is far harder to prove a negative.

      • except for so called ‘climate change’ which has been happening since……well the first day of climate.

    • science is and always was a continuing body of knowledge.

      We LEARN as we go but make no mistake – Science is how we learn, not from non-scientist opinions.

  2. Kerry and Jim may remember the IBM Selectric typewriter, with its interchangeable typeface balls. A memo from management at the Roanoke Times on their maintenance caused weeks of newsroom hilarity…..the ME in question shall not be named.

    The issue is not whether the rules made sense. Our’s is but to obey….get in line! All tyrannies start with and live on by fear. The most fearful become the fierce enforcers.


    which made me wonder, “Who handed a guy on a ventilator the magazine and a paper cup?”

    • Yikes! Hey, the six foot rule has to be broken, too. No shortage of heavy breathing. So what difference do the fluids make? (This is going downhill fast. Friday funnies.)

      • Has to be? Says who?

        There is a joke involving a mathematician, a physicist, an engineer, a naked woman, and Zeno’s Paradox.

        Hey, science is science.

  4. What? No word that the beach at Virginia Beach is actually open today? After all that moaning about Northam

    • Northam first insisted that the beaches stay closed but then backtracked under local pressure. He also said we need to conduct 10,000 tests per day to be safe for reopening. We’re nowhere close to conducting that number of tests but reopening anyway.

      Good to see Northam is flexible. However, anybody with any sense knows that reopening entails risk. The infections could ramp up again and put pressure on the medical system (who remembers “flatten the curve” from way back in March?). If that happens does Northam have a plan or will he just shoot from the hip as he has done with reopening?

      • Everyone is flying by the seat of their pants – with various variations.

        But they all have “plans” and “guidelines” and “rules” with both ears cocked to words coming from epidemiologists like today when the CDC says ” guess what, the virus is not transmitted from surfaces”.

        geezy peezy – all that spraying and disinfecting has been for nothing?

        who’s in charge here?

  5. Is anyone really surprised given how the CDC is being affected by the POTUS – who threatens them if they say something he does not like?

    Or do we think the CDC was actually pressured to issue this new “guidance”?

    Tell you what – when I hear scientists from other countries CONCUR with this new “guidance”, I’m going to take it with a grain of salt.

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