Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 03, 2020

The Science Says #MaskUp - A Look At Two New Virus Studies

There are a few new studies about the novel coronavirus epidemic that are of interest for everyone.

From Science comes a study with new epidemic data that evaluates a smartphone based system that could alarm those who have come near a person which later developed Covid-19 symptoms. Such a system is used in South Korea.

Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing

The new epidemic data in the study is of interest.

It says that the basic reproduction number R0 or R naught for the novel coronavirus is 2.0. Under normal circumstance a new carrier of the virus is likely to infect two other people. This is a higher value than for the seasonal flu but a bit lower than previously thought.

But what makes the novel coronavirus really different is that it starts to spread before the spreading person has developed symptoms.

The virus starts to replicate in significant numbers (billions per mililiter) on day 2 after the infection. The virus first replicates in the upper throat and the infected person starts to spread it to others simply by breathing, talking or coughing. Only on day 5 the infected person starts to develop first symptoms. The virus migrates into the lower lung and replicates there. The virus load in the upper throat will then start to decline. The immune system intervenes and defeats the virus but also causes additional lung damage which can kill people who have already other preexisting conditions. (Interestingly smokers seem not to develop a cytokine storms during a Covid infection and are thereby less prone to end up in the ICU.) On day 10 only few viruses will be found in the upper throat and the person will generally no longer be infectious.

The typical hospitalization point in China was only on day 9 to 12 after the onset of symptoms. At that point a test by swabs is nearly useless as the infected person will normally no longer have significant numbers of the virus in the upper throat. Reports of "defective tests from China" were likely caused by a lack of knowledge about this phenomenon. The diagnosis in these later cases should be done by a CT scan which will show the lung damage.

We do know since late January that people can transmit the virus even when they have not yet developed symptoms. An open question was how many of new infections happen during this phase.

The new Science study investigated how many infections were created by each of four infection phases or types:

  • pre-symptomatic - new infections come from an infected person who has not yet developed symptoms but will do so later
  • symptomatic - new infections come from an infected person who has already developed symptoms
  • environmental - new infections comes from some environmental contact with the virus
  • asymptomatic - new infections come from a person that will never develop any symptoms.

The study says that R0 for pre-symptomatic infections is 0.9 or 46% of all new infections. Infections from a symptomatic persons happen with an R0 of 0.8 which is equal to 40% of all new infections. Environmental infections have an R0 of 0.2 or 10% of all new infections. Infections from asymptomatic cases have an R0 of 0.1 or 4% of all new infections.

More new infections are created during the three pre-symptomatic days the virus carrier runs around then during the symptomatic one.

Washing ones hands helps but environmental infections happen only in 10% of all new infections. The pre-symptomatic carriers are, without knowing it, the biggest spreader of the disease. Millions of the many billions of viruses that get created in their throat can attach to tiny water droplets or aerosols while a person breathes, speaks or coughs.

Such spreading can be prevented when everyone wears a mask. A different new study shows that masks are very effective. Published in Nature the study is titled:

Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks.

The graphic (here cut off for only corona viruses) shows how masks can keep away your droplets from the people you meet and talk to.


bigger

If the carrier of a virus wears a mask the spreading of viruses due to speaking, coughing or even breathing goes basically down to zero.

But a mask does not only protect the carrier of the viruses. While homemade or even professional surgical mask do not protect the wearer from all particles they do protect one much better from them than when one wears no mask at all.

A person rarely gets infected by just one virus particle. They come in millions attached to tiny droplets. We do not know yet how the dose of the novel coronavirus that infects a person affects the intensity of the disease. But we do know from other viruses that the dose matters. People who catch a higher dose of viruses will usually have a more intense disease. A mask can lower the virus load the wearer may receive.

One can improvise a mask from simple household objects. One can sew a mask like a surgeon does in this video. This is my preferred model which is officially recommended by German fire departments. (The pdf is in German but the pictures tell the story). This is the mask I made by following those instructions.


bigger

It is made of a folded sheet cut from a triangular arm-sling out of an old first-aid kit. A HEPA microfilter (as used in vacuum cleaners) is in between the folded sheet. A piece cut from a clean bag for vacuum cleaners will do as well. Do not use a sheet or insert that is too tight to breathe through. If one does that the air will come in from the sides of the mask and the total protection effect will be less. It can be arduous to breathe through such a mask. If you have breathing problems leave the insert out. The sheets alone are already good protection. There is a piece of wire from a big paper clip fixed inside the middle of the upper seam to fit the mask tightly around the upper nose. The lower part goes under the chin. I shaved my beard to make it a tighter fit. As I had no sewing equipment I used a stapler to fix the seams and the ribbons.

The HEPA filter catches particles down to 0.3 micrometer. Viruses are some 125 nanometer in diameter so they are smaller and could slip through. But the viruses are attached to some droplet that are bigger. HEPA filter are essentially labyrinths of small fiber and the viruses would have to bounce multiple times to get through. Finally the dose also matters.

To clean the mask of potential viruses I put it into the oven for 30 minutes at 70C (158F).

The science says that masks work. Everyone should use one. #MaskUp!

---
Here some additional links which might be of interest.

So far, to the frustration of both the White House and the intelligence community, the agencies have been unable to glean more accurate numbers through their collection efforts.

That's because the Chinese numbers are as correct as they can get.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on April 3, 2020 at 18:24 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

R0 < 1.0 means it has a descending infection rate, i.e. it is not epidemic.

The Chinese are, therefore, correct in not including the assymptomatic in the statistics.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 18:34 utc | 1

No one actually took seriously the idea that masks were ineffective against the virus. The governments poo-pooing masks only said so because they failed to secure enough supply.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 3 2020 18:38 utc | 2

Bernhard, you are doing great work, and saving lives with your solid information.

No better aggregation of factual info anywhere.

Thank you.

This is why people who come to MOA should support MOA. It's a one-man effort of exemplary importance. Donate to keep 'b' going.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 3 2020 18:46 utc | 3

VK - 1
It means that pre-symptomatic are responsible for 0.9 of the 2.0 R0 - so basically 45% of the spread.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 3 2020 18:46 utc | 4

About droplets, it seems wrong to believe than one droplet is enough to make you sick, isn't it? (that is what makes people panicking and accept the lockdown because they are afraid touching the elevator buttons etc).
In February when the first cases were declared in Bethleem (South Korean tourists if I remember correctly) I think the contact story was made with the people who had spent at least 15 mn with the group.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 3 2020 18:49 utc | 5

After saying masks are useless, the above the fold headline in my newspaper this morning was "Trump: Masks Are Good." Another important revelation is the fact that other mammals can get the disease, cats being the most important, IMO. The wife expects one of us 4 household members--effectively two pairs--to get the disease, but then she's a plan for the worst type. I'm much more optimistic, although I've advocated masking-up since January.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 18:49 utc | 6

Thinking God's China's thoughts after them

I love how our CDC is acting like they know everything and we in the U.S. are reinventing the wheel. I can't resist posting part of an article from USA Today dated Jan 30, when they were insisting that masks were a bad idea and the Chinese American community was being ostracized for defying them ...

A USA article dated Jan 30,
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/01/30/coronavirus-face-masks-do-they-work-cdc-doesnt-recommend-them/4618943002/

Mike Mai, 29, a recent transplant from Boston, wore a mask Tuesday as he shopped with his maskless girlfriend at San Gabriel Square, an outdoor shopping center in the San Gabriel Valley, which has a high concentration of Chinese immigrants.

Mai said he wore the mask for “personal protection,” asserting that local public health officials didn’t seem sufficiently concerned about the new virus despite the confirmed cases in California.

"They seem to think it has limited contagious levels, which is not true from what I've read in Chinese news outlets," he said. "Apparently there have been cases where people show no symptoms but then test positive for carrying the virus. It's a concern to me."

Yet another reason why I think China's death toll is actually lower than the U.S. We are implementing most of their solutions but in phased haphazard manner.
We can learn from other countries but we insist on 'showing leadership'.
Our CDC also kept equating mask wearing with the space helmets that our medical personnel use. The Asians just use the low end stuff so we don't spit on each other. Can we learn from anyone else? Nah ... we are too Exceptional for that.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Apr 3 2020 18:51 utc | 7

Well -- that should cut down enormously on all the nonsense comments that one has been having to wade through lately, to get to the occasional good stuff.

Thanks, b!!!

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 3 2020 18:58 utc | 8

thanks b.. it is interesting and helpful about the details on the usefulness of the masks and etc... i suspect if i lived in a populated area i would want to definitely use one..

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2020 19:00 utc | 9

Since none of us is an expert or eminently knowledgeable on this topic, for the sake of sharing information to develop our views here is data that suggests otherwise...

via https://twitter.com/denisrancourt/status/1246070568090288128

Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, Volume 26, Number 6—June 2020
Research Letter : Serial Interval of COVID-19 among Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases
Abstract. We estimate the distribution of serial intervals for 468 confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus disease reported in China as of February 8, 2020. The mean interval was 3.96 days (95% CI 3.53–4.39 days), SD 4.75 days (95% CI 4.46–5.07 days); 12.6% of case reports indicated presymptomatic transmission.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0357_article

Posted by: Dors | Apr 3 2020 19:05 utc | 10

@5 Mina

We do not know the viral dose that will cause infection and we do not know if larger doses cause worse disease. We only have anecdotal evidence as doctors and nurses working with COVID-19 patients seem to have worse disease, though there could be other factors, stress, lack of sleep etc.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 3 2020 19:05 utc | 11

@ Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 3 2020 18:46 utc | 4

How do they know that?

The Science paper is pure modelling. As with every model, it is all about assumptions. The biggest flaw in this specific case is that the figures we have for assymptomatic people is accurate. They obviously aren't, for the simple reason no country not named China has even come close to testing a relevant number of people.

Yes, they correctly used Wuhan as the control group. But Wuhan is not a true control group, as Wuhan is in China, which has a socialist system. The other countries have a capitalist system. China enforced a lockdown on Hubei that scapes the capitalist imagination, so it obviously will follow a different contagion path than the capitalist countries affected.

It is obvious that using Wuhan as the model will generate artificially optmistic projections in the West. China is already behind the world average in deaths per million since the pandemic started.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 19:05 utc | 12

Looking at the link you provide b, I do have a question which I hope someone can answer: in the first part of the article it is claimed that:

"...Immunity can only safely be obtained by vaccination..."

Given the unusual nature of the virus, my question is, how has this been determined as a scientific fact? Have there been cases of a person having experienced the virus and being again exposed to it, not having immunity?

I understand that some have seemingly had repeat encounters with the virus, to their detriment, experiencing what may be termed virus overload, so that habitual cleansing of hands is also beneficial; but on an admittedly hasty reading of the article I didn't see specific references to this claim. I am not saying that masks don't help in containing the virus, but only wondering if in a person who has survived the 'almost overload' encounter there might be an immunity developed which will protect them, given the possibility the virus could become more virulent.

There is still such a lot to learn, and I do wonder if on the explanation given that overload of virus isn't a good thing, perhaps mask wearers could contain the virus too effectively and be more at risk? Might be a silly question, but given that many hospital workers are succumbing I don't think it is an idle question.

I'll be happy to be set straight on any of the above.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 3 2020 19:06 utc | 13

Doctors in France petition government to allow proper and widespread use of hydroxyChloroquine treatment regimen.

Let's not waste any more time!

Translation of snippets from the petition:

Recent Chinese data has suggested the effectiveness of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in the laboratory and in patients. A study published by Chen et al. (Efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19: results of a randomized clinical trial) shows the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19 suffering from moderately severe pneumonia; the few patients who worsened did not receive treatment.

. . .

On March 17, 2020, the Italian drug agency, considering the health emergency, authorized the prescription of hydroxychloroquine by all doctors, including city doctors.

. . .

As of now, the FDA is authorizing all American hospital doctors to prescribe these two drugs, including outside of therapeutic trials. It requests, as in Italy, that all the medical data of the patients treated be collected in order to analyze them.

Portugal has just recommended these treatments for cases of Covid-19 with pneumonia.

. . .

However, the decree in force in France No. 2020/337 of March 26, 2020 only allows the use of hydroxychloroquine after ... oxygen-demanding pneumonia or organ failure.

At this late stage of the disease, this treatment may be ineffective. If the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine is confirmed, the protocol will have to be opened quickly to liberal doctors to avoid saturation of hospitals.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 3 2020 19:11 utc | 14

The real problem may eventually be can we prevent the deaths and destruction caused by the corporate neoliberal virus. I can deal with Covid 19.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 3 2020 19:26 utc | 15

Thankyou b,

again this illustrate brilliantly the NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

in the east we know masking up works, the Chinese doctors knew about the viral migration and problems with latter stage swabbing as you referred to, demonstrated at one point when they included the x-ray/ct clinically diagnosed cases (the step spike on Feb 12), but the west responded with usual skepticism and attacks.

all that knowledge and fore-warning was pissed up the wall with results for all to see.

same thing we're seeing now with various therapies.

yup we are so backwards and untrustworthy that even though a lot of these are published in medical journals they were dismissed out of hand because of the author's last names.

western hubris is killing 10s of thousands in this sh1tshow.

it'll all come out in the wash in time, question is who will write the history books this time.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 19:26 utc | 16

Seeing cracks that NATO may not survive COVID-19.

through sheer lack of humanity, selfishness there is a war on among NATO allies.

Trump Seeks to Block 3M Mask Exports and Grab Masks from Its Overseas Customers

US freezes shipments of protective gear to allies overseas

on the tarmac the US heists critical supplies destined for France Link

Supplies for Canada diverted to U.S. Link
this won't sit well. Should Canada order the 50,000 Canadian nurses who are helping the US Healthcare system to stay home?

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 19:34 utc | 17

@TJ 11,

you are right the evidence is empirical and anecdotal. but that's all we have and that's all we can use until a scientific approach can confirm or otherwise. hopefully in parallel.

when the price is needless deaths and without hard scientific research dismissing strong empirical evidences is plain foolish at best and negligent in my opinion.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 19:35 utc | 18

The USA seems to have taken mask wearing very seriously:

US accused of 'modern piracy' after diversion of masks meant for Europe

It's easy to see the lure those masks have on the Western nations: they are cheap and can be used - once massified - as a science-backed political excuse to send people back to work. Also, the alleged great results in South Korea and Japan (two fellow capitalist nations) serve as an extra political incentive to stimulate widespread use of them by their western counterparts.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 19:40 utc | 19

@19 A.L.

I am all for the Precautionary Principle, hence why I only go out to the supermarket in a proper gas mask with a P3 filter, I don't care if people think it's strange I'm not going to get sick and pass it on to my elderly mother who I am currently looking after.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 3 2020 19:41 utc | 20

@likklemore 18

I'm trying really hard to suppress my inner Schadenfreude as I do have many, many friends and relatives living through this clusterfk around the world...

I know for a fact most of the investment banks in HK are asking their staff to source and buy out as many N95 mask as they can for shipping back to USA. they have little else to do at work right now.

similar moves by Chinese companies abroad back in Jan and Feb was widely smeared in the western press.

but now China is back online and respirator and ventilator factories are running 24/7, KN95 to the rescue.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 19:44 utc | 21

Surgical masks are pretty good at stopping bacteria and larger droplets, but not aerosols (small particles). They also have lower quality fit, just like ordinary masks too.

Surgical masks are very good for blocking you own droplet emissions.

Simply use N99 respitator or FFP 3 respirator (EU standard).
Blocks 99 % of small particles, including virus transporting ones. It is used by medical personnel who handle corona and other viruses.

Use 30 minutes at 70 C in oven with the respirator put in a paper bag over put over something wooden in the oven. This method can be used for up to 20 times with minimal damage to the respirator filtration capacity, according to several studies. Another good method is putting it in commercial steam bag used for sterilisation of baby items for 3 minutes in a microwave oven, metal presence should not be a problem according to the study because the metal gets coated by the steam. This method can be used up to 10 times with minimal loss to the quality of the respirator. It is good for surgical masks too. Also use eye protection and gloves. These simple methods are good and some hospitals started using them.

Another way is 7 to 10 days keeping the mask in dry bag with acces to air, that significantly decreases viral load for most viruses. During this time use another respirator.

For homemade masks these methods should be good too.

Methods that decrease respirator quality are spirt based solutions, bleach based solutions, and longer exposure to steam. UVGI light and Hydrogen peroxide bath are also are relatively good methods for disinfection of masks.

Importantly do not touch the respirator's main surface with your fingers, secure a good fit, and always clean hands before and after handling the respirator.

Combine respirator mask with eye protection, raincoat and gloves. Put the raincoat and any new item you bring into the home for 3 days quarantine in some special room.

Stay away from people at minimum 7 meters, especially from those who don't have masks.

Use ethanol to clean your gloves before and after you visited a store.

For disinfection purposes ethanol is good, it kills 100 % of viruses and bacteria. Ethanol is used by russian Covid 19 disinfection teams in Italy for surface disinfection.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 19:48 utc | 22

B the job you do is fantastic.. thanks.

who can explain why this Italian town next to the epicenter of covid 19 has no <=no infections

Posted by: snake | Apr 3 2020 19:51 utc | 23

@vk @12

The Science paper is pure modelling. As with every model, it is all about assumptions. The biggest flaw in this specific case is that the figures we have for assymptomatic people is accurate. They obviously aren't, for the simple reason no country not named China has even come close to testing a relevant number of people.

That is wrong.

The epidemiological numbers I referred to are from case transmission studies. They are (statistical) facts.

The modeling part of the study is about the effect of a smartphone warning system

Posted by: b | Apr 3 2020 19:53 utc | 24

>>proper gas mask with a P3 filter

Posted by: TJ | Apr 3 2020 19:41 utc | 20

Yes, this is the best method.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 19:55 utc | 25

Surprised by the low Rnaught value.

I've seen studies estimating it at between 4.7 and 6.3 (which would be astronomical and hard to reconcile with transmission curves).

OTOH: If, despite the challenge of asymptomatic transmission, we still wind up with Rnaught,
that would suggest to me that that spiky little creature is actually less sticky, or infectious, than we might have feared.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Apr 3 2020 19:57 utc | 26

@ vk 19
the best quote from that piece:

US states have found themselves competing against each other and the federal government for equipment. The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, said this week that it was like “being on eBay with 50 other states”.

The disunited states of america now looks like the EU.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 3 2020 19:59 utc | 27

Also do not use ethanol to clean respirator masks, it significantly decreases filtration quality.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 19:59 utc | 28

@juliana @13

"...Immunity can only safely be obtained by vaccination..."

Given the unusual nature of the virus, my question is, how has this been determined as a scientific fact? Have there been cases of a person having experienced the virus and being again exposed to it, not having immunity?

As far as we know from several studies immunity is received after day ten of the infection. We do not yet know how long that immunity stays with us. Currently learned estimates by experts says at least 1 year. probably longer.

There have been no cases of reinfection yet (only false positive measurements or RNA debris.)

A good vaccination which we do not have yet may make sure that immunity stays longer than otherwise or forever.

Posted by: b | Apr 3 2020 20:00 utc | 29


@26: erratum: meant to say if, despite asymptomatic transmission, we still wind up with a modest Rnaught of 2, then SARS-COV-2 may be fundamentally less easily transmissible than thought (and we might guess that this R value would be even lower if the virus were not asymptomatically transmissible.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Apr 3 2020 20:00 utc | 30

@b 24

I believe we're approaching peak fear right now.

things will change once effective therapeutics, cheap+fast testing + antibody testing are accepted and start to saturate the world.

all 3 are within reach.

1. I've harped on long enough re early intervention with HCQ.
2. In China voluntary testing at hospitals are 200rmb or 35usd a pop.
3. prick tests are available in quantity already.

vaccines will not come in time.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 20:01 utc | 31

@ Posted by: b | Apr 3 2020 19:53 utc | 24

For the symptomatic infected, yes. What I'm doubting is the non-symptomatic infected.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 20:09 utc | 32

@Passer by

Simply use N99 respitator or FFP 3 respirator (EU standard).
Blocks 99 % of small particles, including virus transporting ones. It is used by medical personnel who handle corona and other viruses.

1. None of such mask are currently available.
2. Even for hospital staff N95 aka FFP2 is sufficient to protect against SARS-CoV-19.
3. It is already very hard to wear and breathe through a N95 mask for a longer time. N99 masks are even worse!
4. The N99 masks have exhalatation valves which let the air from the person who wears it flow out freely. That defeats the current purpose of #MaskUp which is to protect from unknown spreaders.

I have trained for chemical warfare in the military. Wearing a tight mask with a filter (FFP3) system while moving around is physically very tiring after even an hour or so. You don't select a mask that is more difficult to breathe with than actually required.

Posted by: b | Apr 3 2020 20:10 utc | 33

I believe we're approaching peak fear right now

++++++


Only peak CV fear

After that peaks people will start to wake up a little from their quartine fear-induced stupor and some at least will start to notice what's being done economically, some thing which effects all plebs equally.

Then we can expect the imminent arrival of peak fiscal fear

Posted by: Realist | Apr 3 2020 20:11 utc | 34

Some questions;
1. If Ethanol& Iso-propyl alcohol kill virus, why not spray on mask to sterilize?
2. If soap / oil damages virus surface, why not dip the masks in soap solution and dry? Any soap left on the mask will fight the virus and any inhaled soap may be good as well?
3. Along with masks, we need anti-body tests to let known or un-knowlingly recovered population to get back to work with confidence?

Thanks for all the critical thinkers on the blog !

Posted by: Fundas | Apr 3 2020 20:21 utc | 35

Should schools be closed?

There is a fear that schools are a vector in spreading COVID-19 from one family to another. But we know that children, especially young children under 10 are almost alway asymptotic. Wouldn't this mean that kindergartens and primary schools would be unable to sustain an epidemic? So is there any point in closing schools?

There is one danger. If an infection is transmitted form one adult to another then it would be untraceable. If a parent of one child is infected, then all parents of his or her classmates would need to be quarantined.

P.S. - It looks like social distancing measures in Finland have pushed R0 to 1 or slightly under.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 3 2020 20:24 utc | 36

Thanks for confirming that a mask is better than no mask, b, and the DIY instructions.

The fact that Frontline Medical Professionals are being infected, even in China, iirc, is of concern to me. It suggests that FMPs require something more substantial than a fabric face mask if they are to survive 8+ hours per day, X days per week in tainted air. They may need a pressurised full-face mask similar in function to the full-face mask worn by aqualung divers. Apparently the virus can infect via unprotected eyes.

{When I googled 'full face sealed mask pics' the first image was of a clear plastic oval cone with a filter at the pointy end and a fat rubber gasket around the edge of the big end which makes full-perimeter contact with the wearer's face, from forehead to chin}.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2020 20:25 utc | 37

It is a good way to start thinking about it. Still, R_0 is a very crude measure.

Besides being hard to measure even in the aggregate, it will vary also vary from person to person, and geographic region to geographic region.

In a real network of person-to-person contacts, a fraction of people will be much more highly connected than the typical person. They will have a disproportionately high influence on the "speed of the network", and also the apparent aggregate R0.

This is even more true after isolation / shutdown policies begin. For the ideal person staying at home, their R0 simply becomes the number of other people in their household.

I would focus on critical classes of workers, like hospital employees, grocery store clerks. They (and not the office worker staying home) are the population to model.

--

if you want to entertain yourself, for the mathematically inclined...

The model of the curve, I would think, would be a diffusion process. Not quite exponential growth. R0 -- for our subpopulation of interest -- will play the role of the diffusion constant.

If x is the fraction of population affected (0 to 1), then the we can get the most understanding by considering the growth rate in TIME, dx/dt. In the diffusion analogy, it will be something like the error function (bell curve). At first it might look like an exponential function, but as x becomes a significant fraction of 1, the difference will become evident.

Crudely, and without taking into account changes in people's behavior, the dx/dt shape is parametrized by a single time constant (the width of the curve, analogous to standard deviation in statistics, except here it has units of time, i.e. days/weeks).

However, in reality the diffusion constant changes (decreases) significantly as the network (people) adapts to the situation. Most obviously if lockdown policies are adopted. The diffusion constant, and thus the width of that bell curve, is short on the way up and long on the way down.

So anyway, The concept of R_0 is still useful, but I would apply it specifically to the critical highly-connected subpopulations, and consider that the for THEM, the fraction of their subpopulation will saturate. It would be nice to get it to saturate at x < 1. But if the numbers in the general population are too high, that may become impossible.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 3 2020 20:28 utc | 39

@fundas 35

I spray alcohol on my masks for reuse but you have to make sure it's fully wetted, which ends up using a lot of alcohol which could otherwise be used to make hand sanitizer.

2. more I use soapy water to clean my masks but I don't think breathing the excess in helps. so be sure to rinse.

3. agree totally, will also add valuable data points in the fight again FUD.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 20:30 utc | 40

snake | Apr 3 2020 19:51 utc | 23

Re; the Italian towns with less coronavirus. Did you notice the mention that they were in known "Malarial" areas? Which would suggest that the citizens were taking or had taken chloroquinine or a variant as a matter of course before Covid came along. Chloroquinine does have some "staying power", an after effect seems to stay in the body. (ie slightly contraceptive). I don't know for how long.

But it would be interesting information if anyone investigated the connection.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 3 2020 20:36 utc | 41

@Hoarsewhisperer 35

what you're looking for is a PAPR - Powered Air Purifying Respirator.

widely used by spray painters and welders. They aren't cheap.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 20:36 utc | 42

I am sitting here looking at an N-99 mask that I had for welding, and while there IS an exhale valve, it is also filtered through a less restrictive medium/membrane, and does NOT allow unfiltered exhaled air or droplets to get out. This is the same for most N-95s. They have a "valve" of sorts that is really just a less restrictive filtration material.

Posted by: N-99 | Apr 3 2020 20:40 utc | 43

Thanks b, can I send you a needle and thread and some 5mm elastic strip?

I used some sheet and inserts of silk from an old shirt. The elastic made it easy on etc. Microwave after a light spray of water steams the mask well and saves elastic. One could attach plastic clip on links for the elasric and go high tech.

YNMS made a brief mention of Italy doing a blood transfusion from a treated plasma with prompt recovery. No link as usual.

Stay well barflies.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 20:42 utc | 44

In order to sterilize your masks without negatively affecting the static filtration properties you can autoclave (bake) them in your oven at 165C without allowing the mask material to come into contact with metal of oven rack. Use a stoneware or ceramic plate and be sure to use an oven mitt when removing!

This is a good resource, sorry cannot format URL using phone. https://utrf.tennessee.edu/information-faqs-performance-protection-sterilization-of-face-mask-materials/

Posted by: N-99 | Apr 3 2020 20:43 utc | 45

Apologize, I meant 165F in my first post, which corresponds to just over 70C, for 30 minutes.

Posted by: N-99 | Apr 3 2020 20:47 utc | 46

I have read somewhere that about 20% of supposed 'cold' (rhinovirus) and 'influenza' (influenza virus) infections are misdiagnosed types of very mild types of coronavirus infection (not the SARS types). It's possible that people who have already suffered these mild-type coronavirus infections may be, to some extent immune to the new novel coronaviruses. A vaccine of sorts may even already exist?

I wonder if it would be safer much faster and easier to steam-disinfect masks on trivets in pressure cookers?

Posted by: blues | Apr 3 2020 20:47 utc | 47

Posted by: b | Apr 3 2020 20:10 utc | 33

>>1. None of such mask are currently available.

I just got some, that depends on how much one is willing to search for that.

>>2. Even for hospital staff N95 aka FFP2 is sufficient to protect against SARS-CoV-19.

Agree, but i have seen some hospitals requring FFP 3 for Covid patient areas.

>>3. It is already very hard to wear and breathe through a N95 mask for a longer time. N99 masks are even worse!

Well yes, but it is quarantine now - personally i do not spend large amounts outside of home now. Doctors and nurces certainly manage ten hour shifts with one of these.

>>4. The N99 masks have exhalatation valves which let the air from the person who wears it flow out freely. That defeats the current purpose

Not all of them. Who told you that? There are N99 without exhalatation valves.

Still, proper comment, so i will change my recommendation to people to N95 and FFP 2 masks.

======================

Posted by: Fundas | Apr 3 2020 20:21 utc | 35

Some questions;
1. If Ethanol& Iso-propyl alcohol kill virus, why not spray on mask to sterilize?
2. If soap / oil damages virus surface, why not dip the masks in soap solution and dry? Any soap left on the mask will fight the virus and any inhaled soap may be good as well?
3. Along with masks, we need anti-body tests to let known or un-knowlingly recovered population to get back to work with confidence?

Thanks for all the critical thinkers on the blog !

====

Ethanol& Iso-propyl alcohol and soap plus water damages the electrostatic charge of N95 masks that is used to capture small particles according to lots of studies, so DO NOT USE them. You just make the masks useless. Bleach also damages the mask relatively fast.

Use 30 minutes 70 C in oven (in paper bag for the mask), with some wooden base, it should not touch metal. This method is confirmed as good method by recent studies. For at least 20 times. Very durable method.

Or use steam bag 3 minutes in microwave, also confirmed to work well by stduies. For 10 times.

You can use regular steam for 10 minutes too, but no more than 3 4 times. Then mask degrades, according to relevant studies.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation works too, or Hydrogen peroxide bath. With minimal filtration loss to the masks.

Very good information on the issue of reuse and disinfection of N95 respirators here. With all the studies.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_5uL12mWD1y_6FXn3x67ldBO_UHYzVbV1MOqO2ska-A/edit

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 20:50 utc | 48

Stonebird #43

That was mighty interesting.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 20:50 utc | 49

Stonebird 43

7 day half life is the figure I have read.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 3 2020 20:51 utc | 50

What's the difference between "asymptomatic" and "pre-symptomatic"? Does it have to do with how long the virus has been there?

Posted by: Utpal | Apr 3 2020 20:52 utc | 51

I'm not surprised that smokers are less prone to COVID infection. Tobacco smoke is poisonous and irritating to insects and most cold-blooded and warm-blooded creatures. Smokers get fewer colds and flu than non-smokers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2020 20:53 utc | 52

@utpal 53

asymptomatic means they do not show any symptoms, and may not ever, throughout the episode, basically their immune system fought it off and they didn't even know about it. current western testing criteria will not capture these and we'll only know post facto when antibody tests comes into play.

pre symptomatic means cases where they eventually developed symptoms (generally 5-7 days sheet inoculation). it's a backward looking description.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:00 utc | 53

@fundas 35

I spray alcohol on my masks for reuse but you have to make sure it's fully wetted, which ends up using a lot of alcohol which could otherwise be used to make hand sanitizer.

2. more I use soapy water to clean my masks but I don't think breathing the excess in helps. so be sure to rinse.

Well, you don't read much then. Now they are useless. Read before you try something. I also had in mind those methods but spend some tome researching before doing this.


=====================


Autoclave, dry heat, isopropyl alcohol, soap, dry microwave irradiation and bleach

Decontamination using an autoclave, 160°C dry heat, 70% isopropyl alcohol, microwave irradiation, and soap and water caused significant filter degradation to both FFRs and particle penetration levels did not meet the levels that NIOSH would allow for approval. Decontamination with bleach caused slight degradation in filtration performance and created an odor that would not be suitable for use [2, 7].

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/decontamination-reuse-respirators.html

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 21:02 utc | 54

Comment 56 Passer by was reply to

A.L. | Apr 3 2020 20:30 utc | 41

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 21:04 utc | 55

what you're looking for is a PAPR - Powered Air Purifying Respirator.
widely used by spray painters and welders. They aren't cheap.
Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 20:36 utc | 44

They are compared with burying a dead doctor & buying/renting a replacement :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2020 21:04 utc | 56

Half life longer than I thought. One to two months apparently.

Chloroquine has a large apparent volume of distribution due to extensive tissue binding, is eliminated slowly from the body and is detectable in the urine for up to a year after drug administration. The terminal elimination half-life is 45-55 days for chloroquine and 59-67 days for its major plasma metabolite desethylchloroquine.
http://www.antimicrobe.org/drugpopup/chloroquine.htm

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 3 2020 21:05 utc | 57

A key question:

How rare is it that s virus is spreading easily n widely from an asymptomatic carrier? Very rare as in almost unheard of?

Then, how and why would you even look for such spread until there are signs/symptoms? By then, it is already spreading.

And with something like Sars-Covid-19, under the right conditions, it could spread so widely n so fast that epidemic to pandemic takes only a week.

Then OMG. Shut down Fort Deathrich...send in sterilization crews...eliminate any evidence like work-in-progress n typical work sample-collections n progress reports..warnings of silence to staff then scatter staff. All is well n under control. Nothing to see here.

Hey! look at that red herring!. Red, indeed.

Posted by: chu-teh | Apr 3 2020 21:11 utc | 58

@passer by 57

I don't disagree with what you're saying. I'm simply telling what people including myself are doing at a practical level here in hk. masks are an expensive additional expenditure for a lot of people with the bidding and price gouging going on and it'll only get worse.

And it seems to work well enough even with our high density and shops and businesses still being open. right now or problems seems to be covidiots insisting on going to bars, clubs, gyms and karaoke spraying saliva over each other.

it might be strange to you but hardly any people have an oven in the east, it's simply not a thing, baking is not part of the culinary tradition.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:15 utc | 59

Everyone should wear a mask!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN3BWaEH3tY

Posted by: gm | Apr 3 2020 21:18 utc | 60

@Hoarsewhisperer 58

no disagreement from me. but their pricing is certainly out of reach for most of us mere mortals.

and they do get in the way, a lot.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:19 utc | 61

CCD DSU numbers for April 3, 2020

New York is now at 1510 nCOV mortality per 10M pop.
It was 147 on 3/26.

Belgium has just passed 1000 (1003). Netherlands at 881.

Italy at 2415, Spain at 2375.
Italy was 1343 and Spain was 893 on 3/26.

California testing is almost reached Germany levels (9.31 vs. 9.99), but mortality is 54 vs. Germany 157. Overall US is at 211, but excluding New York - is 129 nCOV mortality/10M pop.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 3 2020 21:21 utc | 62

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:15 utc | 61

>>it might be strange to you but hardly any people have an oven in the east, it's simply not a thing

Yesterday i saw a Taiwan study where they used Taiwanese rice cookers, it worked good with minimal degradation for the mask.

You can microwave generated steam. Either in steam bags used to sterilise baby items or above a plastic container with water. For 2,5 - 3 minutes, you have at least 10 uses before the mask becomes more degraded. Also you can use hydrogen peroxide, that method does not degrade the mask filter.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 21:22 utc | 63


@A.L. 55

In Munich they're starting now a test series with 3000 randomized people, checking for antibodies. Could be interesting.

Posted by: mk | Apr 3 2020 21:25 utc | 64

also PAPR does not do exhaust air filtration so unaware carriers will just end up spreading the bug further.

best all around approach is N95 without valve or put a surgical mask over the valved ones. I said this weeks ago.

but really, if every body masks up surgical masks are good enough. leave the good stuff for the people working in high risk areas.

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:27 utc | 65

Hoarsewhisperer @ 54:

Tobacco smokers being less likely to have a severe immune reaction against COVID-19 infection reaching the lower parts of their lungs is not the same thing as smokers being less prone to COVID-19 infections. In the Chinese experience, more men than women died from the disease and one reason among others given for the gender difference was the greater frequency of cigarette smoking among men in China. Tobacco smoking can have various effects on people's lungs that make them prone to colds, flu and other respiratory diseases. The cytokine storm that occurs when a person's immune system reacts to pathogens in the lungs is one effect and probably not the only one.

There are online articles on the connection between tobacco smoking and the frequency of respiratory diseases in individuals.

I would be careful in seizing on something B says that happens to press any warm buttons for any smokers or ex-smokers.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 3 2020 21:29 utc | 66

Tomas Pueyo has a new piece as of April 1 over at Medium. B referred to his earlier pieces on coronavirus here. Recommended - but a lot of people here won't like it.

Coronavirus: Out of Many, One
What Should the US Federal Government and the States Do to Fight the Coronavirus
https://tinyurl.com/vzqs2ab

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2020 21:30 utc | 67

@mk 66

Thanks! will keep an eye out!

Posted by: A.L. | Apr 3 2020 21:31 utc | 68

The World Health Organization released a study on how China responded to COVID-19. Currently, this study is one of the most exhaustive pieces published on how the virus spreads.

The results of their research show that COVID-19 doesn't spread as easily as first thought.

The majority of viral infections come from prolonged exposures in confined spaces with other infected individuals. Person-to-person and surface contact is by far the most common cause. From the WHO report, "When a cluster of several infected people occurred in China, it was most often (78-85%) caused by an infection within the family by droplets and other carriers of infection in close contact with an infected person.

Routes of transmission

COVID-19 is transmitted via droplets and fomites during close unprotected contact between an infector and infectee. Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major driver of transmission based on available evidence; however, it can be envisaged if certain aerosol-generating procedures are conducted in health care facilities.

Household transmission

In China, human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus is largely occurring in
families. The Joint Mission received detailed information from the investigation of clusters and some household transmission studies, which are ongoing in a number of Provinces. Among 344 clusters involving 1308 cases (out of a total 1836 cases reported) in Guangdong Province and Sichuan Province, most clusters (78%-85%) have occurred in families. Household transmission studies are currently underway, but preliminary studies ongoing in Guangdong estimate the secondary attack rate in households ranges from 3-10%.

Full Reprt Here:

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf

Posted by: Allen | Apr 3 2020 21:33 utc | 69

The coefficient from the simulation are selected to match observed infections and they are not "facts" but useful guidelines. The bottom line is that the infection happen in some proportion, a large part from asymptomatic people. There was another study suggesting that many infection do not go beyond mild common cold, with a conjecture that with small initial number of viruses the organism, T-cells in the mouth and throat etc. learn to eliminate viruses in time to prevent severe lung infection. Thus gives value to masks that are not 100% effective.

Surely, the actual infection rate depends on the customs in a particular area. Oriental people are not in habit of kissing, embracing, clasping hands etc., plus they are quick to wear masks. Mediterranean people, which may include Iran, embrace, clasp hands and even kiss (I assume that Muslim would greet only people of the same gender in that way). Masks are not a habit. Crowded subway, buses etc. involve a lot of very close contacts, which may be OK if EVERYONE has a decent mask.

I guess I will mark my mask for each day of the week and rely on the fact that after paper or fabric is completely dry, viruses die (cease to become viable) within hours, so one does not have to rush the drying process by special heating. On the other hand, one could try to gently dry in the cloth drier in a bag for female underwear. We do not damage viruses by heat but by the lack of moisture. Masks seems to be limited.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 3 2020 21:35 utc | 70

@fundas 35 I spray alcohol on my masks for reuse but you have to make sure it's fully wetted, which ends up using a lot of alcohol which could otherwise be used to make hand sanitizer.

I guess one can moisten a paper towel with ethanol and use it as a mask -- do not drive afterwards!

More seriously, a cheap mask has a very delicate fabric (paper?) and making it wet can degrade the structure and decrease filtration properties. The same may happen to (K)N95. I would sterilize them as gently as possible. We know what happens to a "hand wash only" garment when you wash them in hot cycle.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 3 2020 21:43 utc | 71

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 3 2020 21:35 utc | 72

Unfortunately there are some viruses that survive for longer on a dry respirator (up to 6-9 days) so i would recommend 10 days no use and mask staying in the bag.

Heat is very good at killing viruses and bacteria, but less effective at fungi. It certainly kills corona and influenza viruses. 3 minute steam threatment in microwave steam bag kills 99 % of germs, it is used for baby items sterilisation.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 21:45 utc | 72

L.Fletcher Prouty, who wrote Secret Team abt 1972, n was in a position to know, quoted from the Charter creating the CIA. The authorizing document signed by Pres. HSTruman is quoted n lists explicitly the missions of the new CIA, one of which is [my paraphrase of the wording]:

"...and other assignments as may be directed from time to time by the President".

Truman n Eisenhower n Kennedy n Johnson Nixon n Ford n Bush are dead. The CIA is operating programs authorized by those Dead Presidents. Or not! Who can say?

What they are doing under prior Presidential authority, they are under no obligation to inform any succeeding President. It has been at least 75 years of activities, some of which may xtill be operating under authorization to persons no longer alive...Why would such programs stop?...if they can be funded off-the-books?

Any program could be run under pseudo-authority of having been authorized by Dead President X.

If you are looking for explanation how we got here, that might well do!

Just sayin'. It is just from a nightmare the other night.

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 3 2020 21:52 utc | 73

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 3 2020 21:43 utc | 73

Water does not degrade respirator masks as per relevant studies, but soap & water, and alcohol solutions do. Bleach somewhat. Temps above 90 C damage these masks too.

For ordinary masks, these methods (alcohol, soap & water, bleach) can be used though, as they mostly degrade the electrostatic charge of the respirator masks, with the exception of the high > 90 C temperatures that can be problematic for ordinary masks too.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 21:52 utc | 74

COVID births a Ukranian fascist in Canada from Yasha Levine.

Entire blog history opened up for your consideration of the spider Ms Freedland.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 22:01 utc | 75

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | @ 7

Like Winston Churchill said " You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."
We'll get there eventually but will wear out a lot of shovels digging deeper in the process.

Posted by: Tobi | Apr 3 2020 22:08 utc | 76

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2020 21:30 utc | 69

Thanks, that man is a treasure.

Let me just repeat that link:

https://tinyurl.com/vzqs2ab

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 3 2020 22:10 utc | 77

"The study says that R0 for pre-symptomatic infections is 0.9 or 46% of all new infections. Infections from a symptomatic persons happen with an R0 of 0.8 which is equal to 40% of all new infections. Environmental infections have an R0 of 0.2 or 10% of all new infections. Infections from asymptomatic cases have an R0 of 0.1 or 4% of all new infections..."

on what are these figures based? how could the study possibly determine this?...

Posted by: semiconscious | Apr 3 2020 22:11 utc | 78

So antibodies are already available...

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/doctor-portrayed-pandemic-may-have-covid-19-cure

...if your Doc knows a donor right now who has them and can arrange the transfer to his patient.

Any publicly and commercially available product, as above, will have to go thru hurdles.

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 3 2020 22:11 utc | 79

chu-teh #60 and others. YES INDEED.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 22:18 utc | 80

two good home made mask information websites I've been sharing:

https://masks4all.co/

https://masks4all.org/

I'm expecting the USA & all of Europe making wearing some form of mask in public mandatory within a week,

it's a no brainer really,

Posted by: Matt | Apr 3 2020 22:19 utc | 81

Let's not kid ourselves...

Any deliberate release of a hazardous virus will not be done without a mitigating agency available "just in case".

I am confident that SARS-Covid-19 would not have happened without there already being a mitigating plan available for "special" people, very "special".

Recall pre-doses of Cipro from 9-11 days?

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 3 2020 22:27 utc | 82

Bemildred #79

Medicare for all uniformly applied across all states with a focussed research and epidemiological function would be a good first step.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 22:29 utc | 83

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 3 2020 19:48 utc | 22

Excellent advice. This is what I've gleaned as well from some of the articles I've posted here in earlier threads.

This article gives more detailed advice although it seems to require a fair amount of work:

Covid-19 Pandemic: Face Mask Disinfection & Sterilization for Viruses
https://tinyurl.com/qtehozu

These are the reuse recommendations I'll be following, from Dr. Peter Tsai, the inventor of the filtration fabric in the N95 mask:
N95 Re-Use Instructions (Updated as of April 3, 2020)
https://www.sages.org/n-95-re-use-instructions/

I intend to follow the advice of rotating masks - once I have masks. It's likely that four days would be sufficient to dry out any droplets or aerosols and inactivate any virus. However, longer obviously would be better.

I'm going to order some masks from China today, if I can. Also perhaps some impermeable food surface plastic gloves to deal with contact infections.

I'm interested in the estimate that only ten percent of infections come from contact with viruses on surfaces. If that's true - and we can't be sure since this is only one study - than my constant requirement to touch possibly infected surfaces in a hall toilet followed by hand washing may not be dangerous as I feared. While at the same time, my severe self-isolation - I only go out my room every couple days to get supplies - should maximize my chances of avoiding infection.

Now if I could just get the morons in my building to stop standing around in the hallways yelling at each other in pointless arguments. They're going to get us all killed. Virtually everyone in my building is either elderly or immune-compromised. I fear the virus will tear through this building like a wildfire and half the building will be on ventilators or dead by late May.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2020 22:35 utc | 84

There is still confusion between what is a mask & what is a respirator -basically a mask will protect others from your sputum & a respirator protects yourself from others.
I discovered a site N95 vs FFP3 & FFP2 masks – what’s the difference? which explains the different masks & respirators and most importantly what the standards are. eg n95 amerika = KN95 China. As well as explaining the problems of valved devices versus unvalved etc.
It is clear layman style stuff free of dense bullshit, read it if you want to understand this stuff.

Posted by: A User | Apr 3 2020 22:36 utc | 85

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 22:29 utc | 85

Yes. Just in general, one needs to start NOW preserving the personnel, plant, and equipment that make the economy run, if one expects to ramp up quickly once the first wave has passed.

Our infrastructure is in woeful repair, the Post Office is being driven into bankruptcy on purpose by the cretins in Congress, etc, etc. Some of the billionaire class seems to have some notion of this, Bezos seems to have decided to treat his proles better, but I doubt they will step up to the degree required without "encouragement".

The opposition to giving money for free to the proles is ideological, they don't want us thinking of the government as something that serves us, just only for them who already have it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 3 2020 22:36 utc | 86

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2020 22:29 utc | 85

On the other hand, we could shut to defense bidness down and not lose much, since they have no productive function and nobody will be stupid enough to actually attack us here at home. Well Pompeo would, but not us.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 3 2020 22:40 utc | 87

Allen @71--

Thanks for providing that link! The info there's very helpful!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2020 22:44 utc | 88

nyc data is available for the day.

this week's hospitalization rate seems to be about 1000/day (?) based on the growth of the "daily estimated total hospitalized". the graph they provide is not full yet for this week.

with nearly 12000 hospitalized in nyc, expecting about 25% bound for ICU, this will be pretty much the full limit of that. already in some facilities
people are going in hallways. other places still have empty beds (anecdotal report).

WSJ article earlier this week reported covid patients staying to get sent upstate ... this will make it hard to interpret the numbers of hosp. and deaths in the city....

the good news is that the effects of the pre-lockdown growth in cases should in theory be over the hump, and rate of hospitalizatipn level symptoms should be peaking now. it is something of an act of faith to believe that, i admit.

another 5000-20000 makeshift beds in ad hoc facilities should hopefully absorb the rest of those infected before nyc was shut down (and their household members), who may now or very soon need hospital care.

the bad news is that a huge fraction of the health care worker population in nyc has now been exposed, and this population is going to saturate for sure. anyone going to a hospital in the next 3-6 weeks for any reason is likely to join the club.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 3 2020 22:46 utc | 89

With the mask fiasco comes the relief fund fiasco:

Long-term customers shocked as Bank of America restricts coronavirus bailout loans to businesses who’ve borrowed before

The USA is struggling to alocate its resources.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2020 22:53 utc | 90

@ A.L. 21

Germans calls it "Modern Piracy" as they too had their shipment of masks snatched by U.S. thugs. Never let a crisis go to waste or pass up the profiteering.

LINK

US snatches masks from Germany in act of ‘modern piracy’ – Berlin senator

[.]

behind the scenes, American officials were acquiring these masks by more underhand means.

A delivery of 200,000 masks left a 3M factory in China this week and arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, from where they were supposed to be sent to the German capital. The masks never got to Berlin, and police in the city told Der Tagesspiegel that the shipment was instead bound for the US. Berlin's Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel confirmed on Friday that the masks had been “confiscated.”

“We consider this an act of modern piracy. This is not how you deal with transatlantic partners,” Geisel said.
[.]


With NATO friends like these who needs an enemy?
Short-sighted and not soon forgotten.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 3 2020 22:55 utc | 91

re b's comment :"The HEPA filter catches particles down to 0.3 micrometer. Viruses are some 125 nanometer in diameter so they are smaller and could slip through. ".
That isn't strictly correct, there is a solid reason for the 0.3 micrometer limit related to Brownian motion,as I learned after reading a piece from the link I posted above - to wit:

The reason for the focus on 0.3 microns is because it is the “most penetrating particle size” (MPPS). Particles above this size move in ways we might anticipate, and will get trapped in a filter with gaps smaller than the particle size. Particles smaller than 0.3 microns exhibit what’s called brownian motion – which makes them easier to filter. Brownian motion refers to a phenomenon whereby the particle’s mass is small enough that it no longer travels unimpeded through the air. Instead it interacts with the molecules in the air (nitrogen, oxygen, etc), causing it to pinball between them, moving in an erratic pattern.

According to researchers this point between “normal” motion and brownian motion is the hardest particle size for filters to capture.

What we can take away from this, is that high filter efficiency at 0.3 micron size will generally translate to high filter efficiency below this size also.

Posted by: A User | Apr 3 2020 22:56 utc | 92

... Post Office is being driven into bankruptcy on purpose ...

Bring back Postal Banking. It was in USA from abt 1912 to 1960s, LBJohnson killed it.

Yes! Public Banking. Started bec citizens were scared of banks bank even before the Federal Reserve Sys was started 1913. It was widely used and NOONE lost a penny in their US Post Office account during the private bank failures in the Depression.

I was born near end of the Depression. I recalled s/g about "Postal banking" and that it was popular in Europe, but never knew until couple years ago it was in US!...and I worked for the USPS! It had long been nearly dormant when I grew up, but accounts quietly survived until LBJ officially ended it abt 1966.

Bring back US Postal Banking. There are already USPS in every town in US and within rural walking distance nearly everywhere. The private banks are the desperate enemies of USPostalServiceBankink.

Bring back US Postal Banking!

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 3 2020 23:04 utc | 93

Oops, looks like the site decided to drop my last comment...

OK, let's try again...

Re Passer By's posts on mask disinfection... This agrees with what I've found out based on the articles I posted links to in earlier threads.

I just found this site which is new and dedicated to the subject: https://www.n95decon.org/ Mostly, however, their documents are oriented toward medical professional procedures.

I intend to buy some masks from China today, if I can, and do the rotation method as recommended by the inventor of the N95 filter, as described here:
N95 Re-Use Strategies (Updated April 3, 2020)
https://www.sages.org/n-95-re-use-instructions/

By the way, b mentioned having to shave his beard to get a good it. Prepper "Black Scout Survival" on Youtube, who was a member of a haz-mat team for ten years as well as a Special Forces soldier, referred to a practice he and his teammates used: apply Vaseline before donning the mask. Apparently this improves the seal. Never having done it, I have no idea if that really works. But those with beards might want to try it in the absence of any good reason not to.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2020 23:06 utc | 94

This one ties so neatly for what may be the lucky break for Japan, might as well have a bow. 1) Japan is habituated to wearing of face masks. 2) It has been reticent about testing. 3) It has the highest number per population of CT scan equipment.

Posted by: YY | Apr 3 2020 23:20 utc | 95

Richard Steven Hack 69

That was an interesting article. Not knowing who Tomas Pueyo is, I don't know if I should believe everything he wrote, but if what he said is true, then he made a pretty good case.

The part that I really liked was the 80-95% bipartisan agreement with taking drastic measures to counter the virus. Maybe most of america is willing to take this seriously. I live in Madison, WI. Things aren't too bad in our state, but I do see a lot of people that don't seem to take the social distancing (sd) seriously.

Lot's of stores open, claiming they are essential, when they are really not (Bike shops-transportation, book stores-I don't know what their reasoning is, etc.), so it is hard to say if the sd will have the desired effect.

Posted by: David F | Apr 3 2020 23:32 utc | 96

They always come around, just never quick enough:

WASHINGTON — Uninsured Americans will be able to seek coronavirus treatment for free, with the federal government agreeing to cover hospitals’ expenses, President Trump announced Friday.

The provision will be covered by a $100 billion fund for healthcare providers that was part of a historic enormous $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress last month.

Government will pay for uninsured Americans’ coronavirus treatment: Trump

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 3 2020 23:35 utc | 97

re sterilization of N95 etc

As far as covid19 is concerned, the virus is labile at 56C

So, a steam bath above water at 70C is enough to sterilize it from that particular virus.

Hanging the mask above hot water for half an hour should do the trick. Other pathogens
may require a higher temperature.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 3 2020 23:45 utc | 98

chu teh @96:

"and NOONE lost a penny in their US Post Office account during the private bank failures in the Depression."

Precisely why it had to be killed, and why neither party will think of reviving it.

Posted by: corvo | Apr 3 2020 23:45 utc | 99

Posted by: David F | Apr 3 2020 23:32 utc | 100

I'd recommend reading Pueyo's earlier articles which make even better cases. Pueyo was advocating a national strategy, rather than leaving it up to the states to decide. Some experts agree with that:

Trump administration's lack of a unified coronavirus strategy will cost lives, say a dozen experts
https://tinyurl.com/vsbleh4

Meanwhile, One in Six NYPD Officers Is Reportedly Out Sick: https://tinyurl.com/tvs9bjv Of course there is no guarantee they are *really* sick or just refusing to work due to the risk.

Given the risk that exposed cops pose to the public as well as the risk the public poses to cops:
LAPD Officers Now Required to Cover Faces in Public
https://tinyurl.com/rrrtpup

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2020 23:47 utc | 100

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