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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #421
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I don’t know if they would work for your purposes or budget but perhaps:

    Norsk Interlocking Floor Mat Tiles
    We do have those, but the issue becomes cleaning. Pull them all apart and wiping them down is labor intensive and costly. We have to use special wipes, too. We have discovered that they have reduced the size of the wipes and the quantity per package, which is another issue. Exactly who will be doing all of this cleaning is not entirely clear. I suspect much of it will be me, as I am transitioning my class to a new teacher shortly.

    If it ends up being me, we need another workspace in the school so that it can be started in the middle of the day, not after the students leave.

    I am awaiting information about next year for my own children's school. They could be going virtual. They have pitched a lot of ideas.
    Solfe

  2. #422
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    My cousin from Portland called yesterday. He'd had an inconclusive Covid test; taken because a neighbor had it. The second test was negative. Whew. I already lost one cousin to the disease.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #423
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    It looks like the abbreviated Major League Baseball season has gotten off to a rocky start.
    After only one weekend, several teams have postponed/canceled their next game (or more) because the Florida Marlins had 14 people test positive for the virus.

    Meanwhile the entire Marlins team is stuck in Philadelphia, awaiting test results.
    If any of the Phillies (whom the Marlins played over the weekend) test positive, it could mean it is not possible to play the game safely.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  4. #424
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I think the difference between what you expect is different from what teachers expect. You are entering an area that is supposed to be clean and stay clean while we are just trying to read a book or eat lunch.
    I don't think I was expecting anything, really. Just pointing out that visors are not intrinsically bad or good--they do a job that can be lifesaving, but they also have some noteable disadvantages. I've never worn one in my life.
    But I presume the status quo ante isn't an option for you. I've given up trying to guess which services in the USA are subject to government regulation, and which involve individual organizations trying to limit their legal liability, but it seems to me that you work in a setting that will be subject to significant regulation and/or affords lawyers a target-rich environment. So if you get an outbreak of Covid among students and/or staff, I'm guessing an external investigation of some kind will follow, comparing the mitigation strategies used by your organization to some standard. Is that not the case?

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #425
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    US Covid-19 deaths, according to Worldometer, now exceed 150,000. Wow.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #426
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I don't think I was expecting anything, really. Just pointing out that visors are not intrinsically bad or good--they do a job that can be lifesaving, but they also have some noteable disadvantages. I've never worn one in my life.
    But I presume the status quo ante isn't an option for you. I've given up trying to guess which services in the USA are subject to government regulation, and which involve individual organizations trying to limit their legal liability, but it seems to me that you work in a setting that will be subject to significant regulation and/or affords lawyers a target-rich environment. So if you get an outbreak of Covid among students and/or staff, I'm guessing an external investigation of some kind will follow, comparing the mitigation strategies used by your organization to some standard. Is that not the case?

    Grant Hutchison
    If there was a incident at the school, yes, we would have a serious investigation from State agencies. As of right now, I have a list of criteria that I have to conform with, and this isn't on it. However, as we speak, my management team is looking at issues brought on by facemasks because I mentioned it. Being spit on bothers me somewhat, but having a student in distress bothers me more. Whether that distress is a behavioral response or an illness which removes their supports, it is concerning and I have no particular path forward.

    Based on our conversation here, there is now a team of behavioral technicians attempting to create a plan where my concerns are minimized or completely eliminated. I personally see what we were doing would be a problem but can't get myself over the hurdle of being spat at or upsetting my students. The behavioral staff now needs to present a solution. I trust them to do that, even if it sounds nutty to me at first. They come up with wonderful things for our students.

    I do not possess that talent, so I am waiting them. Not knowing in the stressful part.

    Edit: To be honest, every single time I speak to you, I have one more point of data to work from which is all pointing in the direction that my point of view as of now, based on the past is not valid. I just lack the capacity to present a solution. But in reporting "my issue" someone is actually coming up with a plan. It's not me doing that bit of work.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Jul-28 at 03:32 PM.
    Solfe

  7. #427
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    A funny moment from this COVID situation. I am getting ready for a virtual meeting with my class online. I noticed that my "pre-show routine" involves putting on cologne and deodorant. For some reason, I don't feel ready to teach without that.
    Solfe

  8. #428
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    A funny moment from this COVID situation. I am getting ready for a virtual meeting with my class online. I noticed that my "pre-show routine" involves putting on cologne and deodorant. For some reason, I don't feel ready to teach without that.
    Maybe it's so the students won't have to perform "distance learning"?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #429
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    I violated social distancing by lending someone a bicycle tire pump because he was walking his bike in the 115°F afternoon. That left him bicycling in the heat but that's what I was doing and it was only mildly annoying. I wasn't wearing a mask because I like to be able to breathe while bicycling and he didn't have one either.

  10. #430
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    Learn To Love Your Facemask (And Stay Alive)

    Over 300 covid-19 at a summer camp in Georgia that unwisely decided to open, and to operate without face masks for the kids. :

    Sigh.

    Do not base your decisions on what you want to be true. Base your decisions on the best evidence available.

  11. #431
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Over 300 covid-19 at a summer camp in Georgia that unwisely decided to open, and to operate without face masks for the kids. :
    Yes, but I would have ended with “unwisely decided to open.” At fifteen people (!) to a cabin and lots of shared activities, this was social crowding, not distancing. Camp staff, apparently wearing masks at least some of the time, had the highest infection rate. The key difference was that staff arrived at camp four days earlier. Masks might help on the margin when social distancing and hand washing are generally being practiced, but I’d be astonished if they would help under those conditions. Maybe if they had worn environmental suits like those in the Andromeda Strain . . .

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  12. #432
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    Oops! Well, That Didn't Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, but I would have ended with “unwisely decided to open.” At fifteen people (!) to a cabin and lots of shared activities, this was social crowding, not distancing. Camp staff, apparently wearing masks at least some of the time, had the highest infection rate. The key difference was that staff arrived at camp four days earlier. Masks might help on the margin when social distancing and hand washing are generally being practiced, but I’d be astonished if they would help under those conditions. Maybe if they had worn environmental suits like those in the Andromeda Strain . . .

    Agreed. So far our attempts in the U.S. to release mitigation measures have resulted in multiple (and unnecessary) contagions. We are still in the grip of a visciously contagious virus and it needs to be contained. Experimenting by releasing mitigation restrictions and seeing how many people die is not the was to do it. I hate these restrictions but we have nothing better at present. Beaches, gatherings, schools, sports, all need to wait for no new cases and deaths at zero.
    And pray thyat we don't kill the economy.

  13. #433
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    What we're seeing as east Asian countries come out of lockdown is informative, I think. These are places where public mask wearing was common before the pandemic, and it's now almost universal. But as they ease restrictions on movement and contact, they're having to deal with transmission spikes. Hong Kong is in the process of walking back some of its relaxation of social distancing, China has imposed repeat lockdowns, and so on. With regard to mandatory face covering in nations in which it is not customary, Israel imposed a legal requirement for everyone to wear a mask in public back in April, and then moved fairly quickly into allowing public gatherings; they're now fighting a spike much worse than their first experience with the disease.
    So it seems evident that, in the real world, face coverings are not a passport to normal social and economic activity. If countries with widespread mask use, moderately low disease prevalence, and good test-and-trace systems in place are still having to fight significant outbreaks by reintroducing social distancing measures, then we really need to pay attention to that, I think.

    This is why I worry about how much discussion (in some places) has recently come to depict face-covering as if it were the One True Grail. It sucks attention away from the other stuff, and it pushes the wrong mental model into people's heads.

    Grant Hutchison

  14. #434
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    In Indiana, we have a new mandatory mask regulation, but some people (let's call them "idiots") are deliberately wearing net masks, or masks with holes cut over the mouths as "protest" for infringing their "freedom".
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    In Indiana, we have a new mandatory mask regulation, but some people (let's call them "idiots") are deliberately wearing net masks, or masks with holes cut over the mouths as "protest" for infringing their "freedom".
    Seems like that would not be classified as a "face covering" for the purpose of droplet reduction, under a well-drafted law.
    But I suspect that sort of behaviour is often a marker for a whole range of other behaviours likely to facilitate transmission to and from the individuals involved, and which are even harder to police effectively.

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #436
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    About a week ago I shopped at a grocery store for the first time since early March (I have been having food delivery until now). Masks were required but I saw two adults and one kid with the mask below their noses. Happily, it wasn’t crowded so I was able to keep my distance. I will wear one but I work on the assumption that masks are useless and treat people more or less the same whether they are wearing one properly or not. Admittedly, wearing one improperly suggests the person isn’t even trying to be careful, but I’m going to keep my distance regardless. And hey, if cloth or paper masks do lower risk somewhat, that’s great, but I won’t assume it.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  17. #437
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    I suppose there's an element of not trying to be careful, but I think most people, in most countries, just have no idea how to wear a mask effectively (and the same is true in South Korea as it is in Scotland, as far as I can see from television reports). There's a real issue of public education that should go along with mask mandates, but very often seems not to, and people end up judging by what they've seen actors doing on television, or what they see other people doing in the street.
    The Norwegian Institute of Public Health did a rapid review recently, which is now outdated but a good example of how these things are done in a public health context:
    If use of facemasks by individuals without respiratory symptoms in the community is recommended
    in specific situations, the community should be given training to ensure correct
    use
    and the risks should be explained, especially the risks of a false sense of security and
    contamination of masks. The training should be tailored to the needs of different groups,
    including people with different levels of fluency in Norwegian and different socio-economic
    circumstances.
    (My bold)
    As far as I know, Norway is still not mandating public mask wearing, for reasons given in the paper. There's a table in the paper that estimates the "number needed to protect" in Norway, at that time, was about 200,000 mask-weeks. So every 200,000 asymptomatic Norwegians who wore a mask in public for one week would (according to one set of modelling assumptions) prevent one case of Covid-19. So there's a whole other debate there--if you can get the prevalence low and have effective test-and-trace in place, at what point do you repeal your laws about face coverings? I realize that for many people right now, in many countries, that seems like a problem they'd be really glad to have. But it's the other side of the same coin, when it comes to trying to judge the effectiveness of face coverings in this pandemic, and I do wish journalists would get a grasp on the relevance of prevalence to every damn public health intervention ever applied since John Snow (allegedly) stole the handle off the Broad Street water pump. Then they might stop characterizing the Nordic countries as "lagging" or "dithering" with regard to face-masks, and ask what it is they're doing, or what geographical advantage they have, to keep their prevalence low without face masks.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Aug-04 at 03:47 PM.

  18. #438
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    A relative of mine claimed to me last weekend that Sweden had cured itself of COVID-19 by doing nothing.

    I don't contradict him, it leads to long arguments. I just keep eating dinner.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  19. #439
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    Yeah, Sweden actually did lots of mitigating things, which journalists seem to ignore. But, like most countries in Europe, they had a terrible problem in their care homes.
    The interesting thing now is that, without changing anything (and indeed while actively discouraging mask use), their figures are steadily improving, despite indications from surveillance serology that they're still well short of population-level herd immunity. That should be telling us something, and I hope we hear from Sweden soon what it is. I guess it will have something to do with the difference between a positive antibody test and actual in-the-wild immunity, something to do with the fact that "herd immunity" is a lot more complicated than just doing a naive sum with R0, and something to do with reducing the early catastrophic transmission in care homes.
    Whatever it is, I think there's stuff going on in Sweden right now that will be of relevance to all of us.

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    In Indiana, we have a new mandatory mask regulation, but some people (let's call them "idiots") are deliberately wearing net masks, or masks with holes cut over the mouths as "protest" for infringing their "freedom".
    Funny timing. The NY Times just ran a story about mask slackers - in 1918.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/u...gtype=Homepage

    The Mask Slackers of 1918
    As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.

    The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.

    More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.

    In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.

  21. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    About a week ago I shopped at a grocery store for the first time since early March (I have been having food delivery until now). Masks were required but I saw two adults and one kid with the mask below their noses. Happily, it wasn’t crowded so I was able to keep my distance. I will wear one but I work on the assumption that masks are useless and treat people more or less the same whether they are wearing one properly or not. Admittedly, wearing one improperly suggests the person isn’t even trying to be careful, but I’m going to keep my distance regardless. And hey, if cloth or paper masks do lower risk somewhat, that’s great, but I won’t assume it.
    I see this more times than I care to admit. So many people have no idea how to wear a mask. And it really gets on my nerves.

    I guess this is another case in point as to what Grant mentioned above. People need training with this sort of thing. For every person who knows how to effectively use a mask, there are more than a few that just don't.
    “Of all the sciences cultivated by mankind, Astronomy is acknowledged to be, and undoubtedly is, the most sublime, the most interesting, and the most useful. For, by knowledge derived from this science, not only the bulk of the Earth is discovered, but our very faculties are enlarged with the grandeur of the ideas it conveys, our minds exalted above their low contracted prejudices.” - James Ferguson

  22. #442
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    I just talked to a person with her mask below her nose at a medical clinic in the local hospital. An employee, not a visitor. I probably should have said something.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  23. #443
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    There Is The Exit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I just talked to a person with her mask below her nose at a medical clinic in the local hospital. An employee, not a visitor. I probably should have said something.
    No doubt. Donna and I showed a long term friend and customer the door to our store last Saturday for refusing to wear his facemask.
    Last edited by John Mendenhall; 2020-Aug-05 at 04:29 AM. Reason: typo

  24. #444
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    The hospital in question is doing a very good job in general, as is my county. There was an item in the local paper a couple of weeks ago about a woman calling 911 to report an assault. It turned out she'd barged into the hospital, refused a temperature check, refused to wear a mask, and been ejected by security. I continue to have difficulty understanding humanity.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #445
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    Limits

    As N. deG. Tyson says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."

  26. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As N. deG. Tyson says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
    Yes, that’s something I never understood about the “individual rights” folks when complaining about something like disease safety rules or, for instance, complaining they aren’t allowed to smoke anywhere they want to. I’m a strong supporter of individual rights and agreements when there is consent between parties, but if someone doesn’t ask me for consent about behavior that can cause me risk or discomfort in a public place, they are infringing on *my* rights. It’s more of a matter of being told they can’t do whatever they want rather than a rights issue, anarchy rather than rules of proper behavior.

    In this case, undoubtedly part of it is that viruses are invisible, that these people have never experienced this before and they fall back on things they are familiar with, so come up with things like the “just another flu” nonsense. It is possible to ignore how serious it is.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  27. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As N. deG. Tyson says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
    So if the fist misses the nose by 0.1 mm, that's OK?

  28. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As N. deG. Tyson says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
    The phrase is a little older than that!

    Yesterday, Simon had his annual well-child visit, and keeping masks on the kids through it was an adventure. I really need to alter them to fit better.
    _____________________________________________
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  29. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As N. deG. Tyson says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
    If someone swings his fist at my nose I don't care about his perceptions of rights! I'll respond accordingly. Same principle with a deadly contagion.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  30. #450
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The phrase is a little older than that!
    Indeed. Quote Investigator gives a very interesting history of the phrase.

    Grant Hutchison

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