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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @11:52AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @11:52AM (#975408)

    What's your point? Somehow you guys think Trump is the source of all evil. He's just one person. No matter who the President was, there would still be a bunch of people partying on the beach. A bunch of people hosting virus parties so they can get their infections over with and then ignore everything else. What about all the doctors writing fraudulent prescriptions for themselves and their families? Etc... Trump doesn't directly control everything in the country. There's plenty of people screwing up for various reasons. What I see is people in leadership positions tossing the blame around and all finger pointing at Trump, completely ignoring that they're in charge of their organizations/areas and could have easily made their own preparations or changes. Instead of anyone stepping up, it's all throw your hands up and stick your head in your ass (maybe that's why people need so much TP?) because I don't have any personal responsibility because I see the man in charge (of foreign policy and the military, not of law making) as God even though I hate him.

    When you find someone who's an incompetent self-centered corrupt douchebag you ignore him. You guys are doing the opposite and saying you can't do anything because you're spending so much time focused on him. Wake up.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @04:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @04:50PM (#975970)
    There's a lot that he could have done to help, but instead every move he's made has basically made things worse. He removed a pandemic-preparedness office in the National Security Council despite pleas to have it restored, and as a result hamstrung the administration's response to the crisis. He cut funding for the CDC. He is still arguably treating COVID-19 as a partisan political issue rather than a major international crisis. He's given the public mixed messages, with his officials saying one thing and him saying the opposite. This probably has contributed significantly to the climate of apathy over the crisis in the country that results in more idiots partying at the beach than not. People like Anthony Fauci can't just ignore the president and push on with their work, because the president can and has interfered with their work. And he's not just in charge of foreign policy and the military. He's very much in charge of domestic policy too, and his domestic policy so far has been very helpful to SARS-CoV-2.