More Bad News on Coronavirus

All I need is the air that I breathe. Recent research indicates that the coronavirus can live in air for 3 hours post aerosolization. The Hill reports that, “A study awaiting peer review from scientists at Princeton University, the University of California-Los Angeles and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted online Wednesday indicated that the COVID-19 virus could remain viable in the air up to 3 hours post aerosolization, while remaining alive on plastic and other surfaces for up to three days.” Previous media reports maintained that the Coronavirus required direct human contact in order to be transmitted. To be clear, this research has not been peer reviewed. However, public policy decisions would seem to be impacted if the Coronavirus can survive for hours suspended in air.

Overstaying your welcome. Researchers have evidence that people infected with the Coronavirus will remain infectious longer than previously believed. The Hill reports on a study by The Lancet, a British medical journal, indicating that people suffering from COVID-19 may be able to spread the disease for up to 37 days. If true, this finding calls into question the previously held expert opinion that recommended an isolation period of 14 days after infection.

Cancel culture. Cancellations of anything and almost everything continue to pile up. Examples include Ireland closing its schools and colleges, the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournament being held without fans in the audience, Italy closing almost all shops (other than grocery stores and pharmacies) and the NBA suspending its season starting today.

Implications for Virginia. Virginia’s response to the COVID-19 breakout remains sporadic at best.

Our state government has taken what can essentially be called a “wait and see” approach. Governor Northam has provided updates along with warnings and suggestions about things like regular hand washing. However, systematic cancellations of events have not occurred in Virginia. This is attracting media attention with NBC noting that “Major events are still set for Richmond amid Coronavirus concerns.”. The referenced article notes that the Monument Avenue 10K is still scheduled and expects to attract 25,000 runners. I’m a runner and I regularly participate in large races. However, running cheek to jowl with 25,000 other people at a time when a potentially deadly disease can be transmitted through the air seems like a bad idea.

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15 responses to “More Bad News on Coronavirus

  1. Is not this the time to shut all large gatherings down, no exceptions? Otherwise we risk its rapid spread and risk many more lives, before it runs its course. Is this not simple math, and simple prudence, otherwise known as common sense?

    • It seems that way to me. If 25,000 people wanted to get into thousands of planes and go simultaneously skydiving I wouldn’t care. Some would get fouled and crash to their death. Their lives. Their choice. But 25,000 people huffing and puffing in a road race? Possibly infecting each other and then infecting people who were not racing? No way. Government has a legitimate responsibility to protect the innocent from the reckless and the foolhardy.

      • I was going to do a St Pat’s 4 miler but I think it’s going to be TBill’s 2-miler at the local H.S., assuming the track is not locked up. Assuming I feel like running, which I almost always do, but wow.

      • What about the people on the ground who get hit by these fouled/plummeting skydivers? Aren’t they innocent? 😉

  2. This is MUCH BETTER but it seems to basically be a point of contention over how fast to lock down… and that’s still a judgement call with lots of opinions.

    • Everything of importance is a judgement call. If decisions could be algorithmically made we wouldn’t need governors. The question is whether Northam is showing good judgement or not. Time will tell. But one thing for sure – if this turns into a catastrophe Northam will have buckets of blood on his hands for waiting so long to act.

  3. I and two colleagues were scheduled to go to Dallas next week to speak at an industry conference. With the agreement of our managing partner, we three agreed not to go. At the same time, I have continued to go to the office as much as I normally do and have attended small meetings in and around Fairfax County. My biggest concern is my age and the unknown effect of the same on my immune system.

    In a crisis, I try not to second guess government officials, at least not initially.

    • “In a crisis, I try not to second guess government officials, at least not initially.”

      Which government officials? The governors like Larry Hogan who quickly called states of emergency and cancelled events or governors like Ralph Northam who is following a “wait and see” approach.

      Hard to see how they can both be right.

      • There is a lot of uncertainty in states where it’s not yet clear that there is community infection.

        The responses to clear community infection are draconian and substantially damaging to the economy.

        Hesitation is not timidness.

        It’s really a question of which is the least harm.

        and the anti-govt folks are poised to pounce… and will

        they just gotta figure out which way they want to attack?

      • I don’t know what information, including localized information, Hogan and Northam have before them.

  4. “Cancellations of anything and almost everything continue to pile up. ”

    An hour or so ago the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix was cancelled. This followed the McClaren team withdrawing from the race after one of its crew members tested positive.

    About 10 minutes ago the NHL announced that they have suspended the rest of their season.

    • And now I’ve learned that Formula E (all electric open-wheeled race cars) has suspended racing for two months.

      It’s a good thing I have a lot of books at home…

  5. …and there’s more:

    2020 ACC Basketball tournament cancelled.

    Next two NASCAR races to be held without spectators

    The Indycar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (FL) will be held without spectators.

  6. Sirius XM radio channel 121 has continuous information on coronavirus. I’ve been told it works on any SXM radio and for streaming customers.

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