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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 24 2020, @04:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the lock-em-down dept.

Politicians won't admit it yet, but it's time to prepare—physically and psychologically—for a sudden stop to all life outside your home.

[...] Whether you are reading this in your living room in Vancouver, office in London, or on a subway in New York City, you need to think hard, and fast, about two crucial questions: Where, and with whom, do you want to spend the next six to 12 weeks of your life, hunkered down for the epidemic duration? And what can you do to make that place as safe as possible for yourself and those around you?

Your time to answer those questions is very short—a few days, at most. Airports will close, trains will shut down, gasoline supplies may dwindle, and roadblocks may be set up. Nations are closing their borders, and as the numbers of sick rise, towns, suburbs, even entire counties will try to shut the virus out by blocking travel. Wherever you decide to settle down this week is likely to be the place in which you will be stuck for the duration of your epidemic.

To appreciate what lies ahead for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, pay heed to Italy, France, and Germany. The United States, for example, is currently tracking exactly where Italy was about 10 days ago. France and Germany, which track two to five days ahead of the United States, are now revving up measures akin to those taken by Italy, including lockdowns on movement and social activity. In a matter of days, the United States will follow suit.

[...] Once tough location decisions have been made, the household must be readied for a long siege. While panic-buying has led to stockpiles of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, getting through eight months of confinement with others will require a great deal more, both physically and psychologically. This is especially true for households that span generations.

Long-term confinement that includes children undergoing remote schooling and adults trying to work requires designated spaces for each individual, a powerful Internet signal and Wi-Fi router, and a great deal of shared patience. Everybody in the household must understand how the coronavirus is spread, and what steps each should follow to eliminate their personal risk of passing infection to others in the home.

The virus is transmitted by droplets and fomites[*]—it isn't like measles, capable of drifting about in the air for hours. It dehydrates quickly if not inside water, mucus, or fomite droplets. The size of the droplets may be far below what the human eye can see, but they are gravity-sensitive, and will fall from an individual's mouth down, eventually, to the nearest lower surface—table, desk, floor. You do not need to clean upward.

However, a newly published study, backed by the National Institutes of Health, found that the virus survives in "aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel." This means an uncleaned surface can pose a risk to members of the household for a very long time—a doorknob, tabletop, kitchen counter or stainless steel utensil.

[*] Wikipedia entry on fomites:

any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses or fungi), can transfer disease to a new host.

[...] In addition to objects in hospital settings, other common fomites for humans are cups, spoons, pencils, bath faucet handles, toilet flush levers, door knobs, light switches, handrails, elevator buttons, television remote controls, pens, touch screens, common-use phones, keyboards, and computer mice, coffeepot handles, countertops, and any other items that may be frequently touched by different people and infrequently cleaned.

Researchers have discovered that smooth (non-porous) surfaces like door knobs transmit bacteria and viruses better than porous materials like paper money because porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the contagion, making it harder to contract through simple touch. Nonetheless, fomites may include soiled clothes, towels, linens, handkerchiefs, and surgical dressings

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:06PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:06PM (#975243)

    Yeah, you might want to look at that bill a bit. Might start to wonder how making it mandatory to provide sick leave time for stalking victims will do to reduce the impact of a corona virus. All these bills are getting larded down with every idiotic agenda item these politicians can think of.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Wednesday March 25 2020, @03:20AM (2 children)

    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @03:20AM (#975310) Homepage

    Basically the Dems tacked the whole Green New Deal onto the bill, in the obvious hope that a panic vote could get their entire agenda passed at once, and if not, then failing to pass it could be blamed on Trump.

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:35AM (1 child)

      by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:35AM (#975363) Journal

      Airplane emissions regulations
      Fully funding Planned Parenthood
      Extending citizenship to all DACA

      What bothered me most about how the Democrats acted was not that they did this, but that they did this after the Senate Republicans passed the first bill that the Congress Dems sent over without holding it up over issues they felt it had. The first bill said that employers had to pay for sick leave (instead of the Feds like Trump wanted) yet didn't extend aid to those employers so that they could pay the employees (no cash on hand).

      There are other ways to win against Trump than screwing the general population.

      What the democrats should be focusing on, that Trump has already agreed to, but I don't trust the Senate Republicans to include
      Forced equity stake and 20 year limits on stock buybacks for companies who paid CEO bonuses after the Bush/Obama bailouts
      30% equity as a general rule for anyone taking bailouts and general limits on stock buybacks
      Limits on CEO and Board pay for any company that takes a bailout

      Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:48PM

        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:48PM (#975529) Homepage

        Yeah... another reason we need a law limiting all bills to ONE TOPIC.

        Of course might be they included all their boilerplate GND horseshit for the express purpose of ensuring that the bill would not pass, so they could complain again how Trump isn't doing anything.

        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.