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By Diana Diamond

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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Can we do anything about the coronavirus?

Uploaded: Jul 21, 2020
Say goodbye to asking your neighbors over for a drink or a BBQ – such activities have suddenly been disallowed by Santa Clara County because of the rising coronavirus rate in the state, and California has issued a new COVID-19 health order that allows restaurant outdoor dining only with those who live with you.

A wise move by the state and county? Or is it a mean governmental ban on socializing with our friends and family, after being semi-quarantined for more than four months?

During our stay-at-home period, I’ve been very conscientious about avoiding contact with others, mostly because I know I have less immunity to the virus than when I was 30 or 40, and because this is a ghastly, painful disease that I just don’t want to suffer through. I wear masks when I am near others, and we haven’t had a single person socially come in our home or backyard.

Yes, every once in awhile (like Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays), I either go stir crazy or figuratively climb the walls.

Some of my friends have entertained in their back yards, telling me they “make all the food, everyone wears masks, and we socially distance ourselves when together.” I think they were just trying to make themselves feel virtuous.

This past Saturday, for the first time in four months, my husband and I went over to a friend’s house whose wife recently died. He was starving for company, too. We had a delightful, fun time and intended to observe all the rules.

We came with our masks on, did not walk through his house, and sat on the patio with a pleasant breeze blowing. He served us wine.

I haven’t yet figured out how to drink red wine through my mask. I couldn’t quite get the liquid into my mouth. So off the mask came. Back on after the first sip, then off, then on, then a hell with this response on my part.

He served take-out pizza and a salad. Although we were sitting eight feel apart, we all had to pull our chairs to the table to eat off plates. Our social distance collapsed to two feet.

By the end of dinner and starting on my second glass of wine, my mask stayed around my neck. Then we talked about food, travel and the election and the virus for more than an hour.

When I came home, I realized that I certainly didn’t properly distance myself all evening long.

That’s why I support the county’s ban, which may expand to other counties, because as well intentioned as we may be, social distancing is near impossible when you eat or drink with another person. So a statewide ban may help this horrible virus to go away faster than is now happening. And I don’t want more people dying.

The federal government certainly has not helped in clarifying any rules about how best to avoid contaminating others – only wash your hands, wash your hands. But there’s not a national wear-a-mask requirement or even consistent rules how many people can be together at the same time.

County responses are completely uncoordinated. Last week I could eat indoors in a Menlo Park resident, but only outdoors in Palo Alto. I could get my hair cut in some nearby cities, but not Palo Alto until last Monday, and then by Wednesday hair salons were closed again. On Tuesday of this week the rule was I could get a haircut or pedicure outside.

As we all know this virus knows no city, county or even country boundaries, so just because a pedicure is available in one city doesn’t mean that salon is protected from the virus while a mile away a salon is not.

Bars should be closed, because people drink and talk at bars, sit next to each other, and there’s no way we can protect ourselves from one another.

One of my grandsons had the coronavirus he picked up at a newly opened bar in college town – luckily a very mild case. A junior, as he was getting better he said, “Now I can go to a bar because I have immunity from that virus.” I replied, “For two weeks the doctors say.”

I also think the virus continues to spread because many think if they feel okay, then they don’t have to worry, without ever realizing they can be carriers -- silently spreading the virus among us. That’s why we have to wear masks, to protect ourselves, but,more important, to protect all those around us. NBC reported Tuesday that doctors think 51 percent of the new virus victims are the result of being expose to people who didn’t know they transmitted the disease.

Americans, I think, tend to take things less seriously than people in Europe. America has soaring death rates – more than any other country, but we don’t seem really alarmed. One 25-year-old on Memorial Day said, “I just want to party all weekend and see my friends and go to bars because I am tired of this coronavirus. With that attitude, the virus will continue to spread.

We have no real solution yet to ridding this country of the virus, except by a yet-undiscovered vaccine. But polls so far show that only 50 percent of the population said they would get a vaccine. The only temporary solution is wearing a mask. So wear a mask. Don’t harm others. If we get California under control, maybe we can be a model for other states to do likewise.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   29 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Why are we failing to stop the COVID 19 pandemic:
1 - Lack of Personal Responsibility
We took a long walk this morning - 60% of the pedestrians were not wearing masks and 100% of the runners (who pose a much greater threat to others because of their high volume and rate of expiration) were not wearing masks.

2 - Lack of Leadership
When was the last time you heard any local official (except Anna Eshoo!) speak out, speak loudly and speak clearly about what we all have to do to stop this virus?

3 - Lack of Strong, Clear, Consistent Messaging
Where are the TV ads, newspaper ads, banners and signs exhorting all of us to do what we need to do to stop this killer?

4 - Lack of Testing and Contact Tracing
California has the second largest number of cases in the US and ranks 14th in the rate of testing.

In many ways this virus is an IQ/EQ/economic status test and Darwin will prevail.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Diana Diamond, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Diana Diamond is a registered user.

Peter --

Great points. they all suggest we should all ask more of our local officials to have consistent messaging throughout the area, and adopt requirements for wearing masks outdoors when in public places. An get our health system to figure out a way to get more testing, and even more important, get more labs to allow the results come back to the tests faster than five to seven days.

Diana


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Yes, there is. We can manage with this risk as we do with all other life risks, which in combination completely dwarf the risks due to covid.

We can stop panicking and pretending we can control the virus. We can stop pretending that we have the ability to conquer all forces of nature with our godlike medical and electronic techologies.

We can start repairing the damage done by the catastrophic chaotic lockdowns while protecting our most vulnerable subpopulations.

But, our desperation to feel that we have control will drive every more capricious policymaking that just results in more destruction.

Our only hope appears the growing swell of civil disobedience.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Russ, a resident of Rengstorff Park,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Stanford et al should enroll everyone under 30. Google et al should hire everyone 30-50. For those everyone else, food delivered to their house. (oops, I forgot the housing) :)


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Natural Selection, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Like the 1918 Spanish Flu, the Covid-19/2 pandemic will most likely and eventually go away on its own providing...folks practice safe distancing & wear face masks whenever possible to prevent it's spread.

The vaccine for the Spanish Flu did not enter into the picture until the 1940s so waiting for a tried & true antidote to be developed by wintertime is pipe dreaming at best.

The 1918 & 1919 MLB seasons were not cancelled during this timeframe and life pretty much went on as usual though many people died worldwide. They still gathered in groups regardless of the pandemic as Woodrow Wilson like POTUS45 attempted to conceal it's seriousness for in reality, most politicians are essentially professional liars.

We can attribute these deaths from the 1918 pandemic to either natural selection (Darwinism) or God's will...take your pick.

From the standpoint of Darwin, once the weaker organisms have died off, it leaves only the stronger, more immune survivors...akin to the use of antibiotics VS bacteria as there are now many strains of bacteria resilient to antibiotics.

To the faith-driven, Covid-19 can be perceived as Old Testament style punishment for our various indescretions & godlessness.

So in essence, some will live & some will die...that is the story of life.

So whether Fauci or POTUS45 believer, it is up to the individual to decide which precautions to take.

As for partying Millennials, they are young and when one is young, mortality is a remote thought.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We can stop panicking and pretending we can control the virus"

New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Norway have done it - so why can't we?

Web Link


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Other countries are way behind us on mask wearing, yet they are allowed to have bubble groups and go back to work in their offices.

As you say, people are starving for company, particularly those who live alone. Four months of isolation is more than many people's mental health can stand. We are social beings. We are not designed to live in solitary confinement. Even the most loving of couples need a break from each other and an occasional interaction with another person.

[Portion removed; please link to credible sources.]

And yet we are being told not to socialize outside our households! Really!! No wonder people are not following the rules, they are not helpful. Bubble groups between neighbors who are all obeying the quarantine are not likely to cause the big problems. The ones in bars, the ones who are blatantly ignoring all the social distancing rules, they are the ones who are prolonging the misery for the rest of us.

We cannot all completely isolate ourselves indefinitely! The vaccines even if they are about at the end of the year at the earliest are not likely to give immunity to all, even the flu shot doesn't do that.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Natural Selection, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

> "New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Norway have done it - so why can't we?"

^ A smaller population...the United States, People's Republic of China and India have far larger populations. As a result, it is more difficult to contain Covid-19/2 outbreaks which is why SIP
mandates, the wearing of face masks and the CLOSURE of non-essential businesses is important.

Again take your pick...expedited economic recovery or practical containment of a public health
threat.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Peter and Diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

And once again someone needs to point out to Peter that if you are exercising and are maintaining the 6 foot distance you do not need to wear a mask.
Talk about a one trick pony..

As for Diana- she clearly had the opportunity to keep a 6 foot distance and wear a mask, but could not due to some wine and pizza!!! Not something I would write about in a public forum.,


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Peter and Diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm

As to peters second point about why countries have done it. Part of the reason is that those countries were able to Institute nationwide actions. We are 50 states and the federal government is limited as to what they can order states to do (that said, thee is no excuse for the poor and irresponsible actions of Trump with regard to the virus. We would not be in this bad a situation if he had exhibited some leadership)
Also with large states like California, ndividual counties determine what is done.

So comparing Norway to,us is apples and oranges


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Natural Selection, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:36 pm

>"As you say, people are starving for company, particularly those who live alone."

^ Best to get over it as EVERYONE gets lonely from time to time.

>"Four months of isolation is more than many people's mental health can stand. We are social beings."

^ Not everyone as it if often the extroverts & plastic people who contribute to the pervasive shallowness of our existence.

On the other hand, QUALITY interaction is OK...as opposed to hanging out in a bar & drinking with a bunch of shallow aquaintances who barely know you.

Perhaps this is a good time to determine who your actual friends are or to establish new parameters defining real friendship.

Talk is cheap and so is small talk.


 +   44 people like this
Posted by Let's Get Real, a resident of another community,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 5:50 pm

"We have no real solution yet to ridding this country of the virus, except by a yet-undiscovered vaccine."

We have been over this territory before.

It is unwise to put your faith in a not-yet-discovered vaccine.

It is highly unlikely that it will be 100% effective. No virus vaccine is.

I'll remind again that the flu vaccine is about 40% effective on average. The flu virus mutates rapidly which is why we need a new shot every year. Last year's vaccine no longer works.

The two HPV vaccines cover about 5-6 strains of the 170+ total strains of HPV. Pharmaceutical companies focused on those strains because they are the ones that cause the most instances of cervical cancer and female sterility. But there are other strains that can do so.

HSV, HIV, Hep-C? No vaccines exist.

Stop with the bubble "I'll never get COVID-19 once I get the shot" dreamworld. It might be enough to smooth things out for a while but no one should assume that it will squelch the SARS-CoV-2 virus forever.

Heck, there's a greater chance that the virus will mutate into something more benign and become less lethal in the same way that SARS-CoV-1 did. Humans most certainly didn't beat SARS-CoV-1. It mutated by itself into something less lethal and not from anything that humans did.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Let's Get Real, a resident of another community,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Note that this doesn't mean that pharmaceutical companies should stop all efforts into discovering a vaccine. They should continue in the interest of less excess mortality.

The main point here is that it is completely irresponsible for a publishing journalist to suggest that a vaccine will solve this.

Hell, public health officials and the scientists working on the vaccine don't expect it.

Also, forget about using the term "new normal" for a while. While the term can be applied to many other countries, it's not valid for the USA where public health guidelines vacillate daily between re-opening and re-closing since Americans are too undisciplined to follow basic pandemic guidelines.

There is no normal anymore. What one can do today might be cancelled tomorrow and reappear next week.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by JEANNE VALLCO JEANNE, a resident of another community,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 6:28 pm

All of this is driven by the rising number of coronavirus cases. What if that number isn't true? Or what if it's only rising because more testing is being required?

Even if the numbers are entirely accurate, everything still depends on testing. What if the testing is inaccurate? Or as has been reported in the UK, what if the tests themselves are contaminated and thus potentially giving the virus to test subjects?

Source: Web Link

We are letting our whole way of life die based on assumptions we are taking on blind faith.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"And once again someone needs to point out to Peter that if you are exercising and are maintaining the 6 foot distance you do not need to wear a mask."


Not according to the experts:

"And whether you wear a mask or not, pay attention to the position of people around you. Dr. Benjamin D. Levine, a professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, is advising the U.S. track and field team on how to train safely. He urges focusing on what he calls the four Ds: “double the distance" from six to 12 feet and “don't draft," meaning “don't run or cycle directly behind someone so you are continually running into and breathing their expired air."


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Yes, Peter, another “expert".

However SCC rules state

Q: When do I need to wear a mask?

A: The order issued by the California Department of Public Health outlines nearly a dozen situations in which cloth face coverings are required, including when a person is in an indoor public place or line waiting to enter, riding public transportation, and working at many offices and other places.

The order also requires people to wear masks when they are outdoors in public spaces if they are within 6 feet of others who are not members of their household.

Web Link

Sorry, peter, you do not get to make up the rules that suit you. It is also unfortunate that you do not understand why runners may not wear masks. It is not always bout you.

If yiu feel unsafe being outdoors, perhaps you should exercise on the grounds of your mansion and spend the rest of the day indoors.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Let's Get Real, a resident of another community,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm

People, there's a difference between what's legally mandated and what's considered "best practice."

The UT track & field scenario is an example of "best practice." At least here in Santa Clara County, the current public health guidance gives exception to face coverings when they impede safe breathing during exercise.

The UT recommendation is highly specific for US track & field athletes who are presumably getting tested frequently. While it might be best practice as well for people who are jogging on the Bay Trail, it's essentially unenforceable.

Don't confuse what's a legal requirement and what's best practice. Or if you really want to muddle everything up, make sure you are very clear to state when something is one or the other.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Healthy Boundaries, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 10:57 pm

Diana,
We have a deck with a table, and a portable card table that we set up about 12 feet away. We have had friends over several times, all outside. We all wore masks, and had nothing to eat the first several times, and we careful to set at least 6 feet away, even after one friend had a negative test. We do this only one family at a time.

We finally ate together by ordering food separately for each family. We ate on the deck table, and they ate on the card table. At 12 or so feet away, it seemed safe to remove masks for eating. We put them on again afterwards. We didn't have to handle anyone's dishes since everyone took away their own takeout containers. All we had to do was wipe off the table with soap and put it away later.

It was just so nice to spend time together, and we found we were still close enough not to have to yell.

My advice is to set ground rules before you go. For example, thinking ahead about table space would have helped you maintain boundaries. Save the alcohol for when you don't have to exercise judgment on a constant basis to ensure you maintain good hygiene at all times.

The moral of the story is that it helps to set boundaries so everyone knows where everyone else stands. Imagine if things hadn't gone well and you got sick because of letting your guard down. You can in fact see your friends without the same thing happening again.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by chris, a resident of University South,
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:59 pm

chris is a registered user.

Peter and Diana,

Your main point seems to be that the US is destined to be a failure because Americans think of themselves as exceptional and not bound by "laws" that are followed by other developed countries around the world.

The reason that tests are in short supply is because Americans are getting sick at a rate much higher than other countries. The growth in testing is not keeping up with the growth in cases because of irresponsible behavior.

Or course, China had the solution for irresponsible behavior and had fewer cases and deaths than other developed countries. If the capitalist, democratic US can't mobilize to defeat the virus, we may be on our way to a more authoritarian state.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:03 am

It's called the NOVEL coronavirus. There is so much the "experts" still don't know about it. There is little evidence that masks work, and even less information about WHICH types of masks work, so half of the masks that we're wearing might not even be sufficient to stop transmission.

Overall I sense a titanic disinformation campaign surrounding COVID-19 and a true disservice by the media of highlighting the threat of the virus towards people who already have health conditions -- as if its a threat to EVERYONE.

So we're all walking on eggshells, the virtue signaling has become the norm, there is an invisible pathogen in the air and we don't even know where it is and where it exists. We're just imagining it, because the powers in our society have convinced us it's there and it's a constant threat, and it's worth isolating ourselves and going insane in the grips of claustrophobia and decimating our economy so we can all be "safe".

With this level of total conviction, what will the propaganda be able to convince next, is a real threat? Without any tangible day-to-day evidence that the threat is real?

I wear a mask and I feel ridiculous doing it. My intuition tells me that its pointless -- I have zero symptoms, I am not going around sneezing on everything -- but I wear it anyway for the "appearance" of being a cooperative citizen. Still feels ridiculous.

The overarching narrative has less to do with FACTS and more to do with FEAR.

I may be wrong about the necessity of these extreme measures like neverending lockdowns as if we can "defeat" the virus... but color me a SKEPTIC.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:50 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The reason that tests are in short supply is because Americans are getting sick at a rate much higher than other countries."

Correct. And that is because the US alone amongst developed nations failed to contain this virus when we had the chance in the Feb-March window.

Now we get to play disaster control.

When you make a big mess then you have to have the tools to pick up a big mess.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

To "Peter and Diana" - you seem concerned only with what is legally required rather than what is recommended by experts and what is a best practice in protecting other people from your selfish behavior.

Run all you want but double the distance and stay 12 ft away from other people whose lives you may be endangering.


Public spaces belong to all of us and you do not have the moral right to endanger others by your potentially risky behavior.

You can be a VERY PROUD RUNNER but also be a responsible fellow citizen.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:27 am

Peter- what experts. You provide a comment from a doctor without any links to actual,studies regarding the issue you are harping about.
What about your selfish behavior- walking along and expecting runners to cover their faces, despite the recommendations not to, for you. And do you know what the chances are of you getting infected while walking with a mask on and being passed by a runner without a mask???
So in conclusion any behavior that the great Peter carpenter does not agree with makes you selfish and endangering others.
Typical of the world revolves around peter mentality


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A very thoughtful, balanced article:
Web Link

"And whether you wear a mask or not, pay attention to the position of people around you. Dr. Benjamin D. Levine, a professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, is advising the U.S. track and field team on how to train safely. He urges focusing on what he calls the four Ds: “double the distance" from six to 12 feet and “don't draft," meaning “don't run or cycle directly behind someone so you are continually running into and breathing their expired air."

So, if you care about your fellow human beings please run all you want but double the distance if you are not wearing a mask. Not a law but basic respect for the safety of others.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"And do you know what the chances are of you getting infected while walking with a mask on and being passed by a runner without a mask??"

We currently have a 6-8% positive rate and about 40% of those are asymptomatic . So about 3% of the local population may be asymptomatic and those have been shown to be most likely to infect others.

As a Vietnam veteran with leukemia caused by my exposure to Agent Orange I have a compromised immune system and I would appreciate your thoughtful concern for my and other vulnerable people as you utilize our common public spaces.

And there is no need to engage in ad hominem attacks.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:41 am

Peter- spare me the lectures.
First of all I asked you what are the chances of getting infected in such a scenario. Second the rate in SCC of positive cases is below 3%, I believe. So 3% of the local population can not be asymptomatic.

Based on what you say, you fall into the category of people that should be sheltering in place as much as possible.
And just out of curiosity what do you do to avoid people when outdoors?
And you should try to understand why people runningbetc cannot or do not wear masks. (portion removed)


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:45 am

Peter

From the article you linked to:


“how could a runner or biker infect me?
It would most likely occur while you were stopped talking to them, said Julian Tang, a virologist and a professor at the University of Leicester in England. He thinks the risk of infection from quickly passing someone is low, because the “massive air volume will dilute any exhaled virus and the wind may carry it away."
In general, researchers agree that air circulation outdoors seems to strongly inhibit transmission of the coronavirus. In a study of more than 7,300 coronavirus cases in China, just one was connected to outdoor transmission."


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am NOT asking you as a runner to wear a mask.

I am asking you as a fellow citizen to please stay at least 12 ft away from the rest of us when you run without a mask.

It is simply courtesy and concern for others - and it cost you NOTHING.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Peter and dians, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

Peter

From your initial comment

-" Lack of Personal Responsibility
We took a long walk this morning - 60% of the pedestrians were not wearing masks and 100% of the runners (who pose a much greater threat to others because of their high volume and rate of expiration) were not wearing masks"

So why are you complaining about runners not wearing masks, , if your say you are not asking runners to wear a mask +


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:37 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please note all of my comments:

Run all you want but double the distance and stay 12 ft away from other people whose lives you may be endangering.

(portion removed)


So, if you care about your fellow human beings please run all you want but double the distance if you are not wearing a mask. Not a law but basic respect for the safety of others.

I am NOT asking you as a runner to wear a mask.

I am asking you as a fellow citizen to please stay at least 12 ft away from the rest of us when you run without a mask.

It is simply courtesy and concern for others - and it cost you NOTHING.



 +   4 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Peter.

From the link YOU POSTED

Peter

From the article you linked to:


“how could a runner or biker infect me?
It would most likely occur while you were stopped talking to them, said Julian Tang, a virologist and a professor at the University of Leicester in England. He thinks the risk of infection from quickly passing someone is low, because the “massive air volume will dilute any exhaled virus and the wind may carry it away."
In general, researchers agree that air circulation outdoors seems to strongly inhibit transmission of the coronavirus. In a study of more than 7,300 coronavirus cases in China, just one was connected to outdoor transmission."

So please stop lecturing everyone, when the claim that a runner may infect you by being less than 12 feet away is disproven by an article you posted to this forum.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Thank you for the dialogue.

I trust that in your future runs, without a mask and with your higher respiration rate and respiration volumes than less active individuals, you will voluntarily keep a greater distance from others than the 6 feet recommended for people not engaged in such exertions and waring masks.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Walker, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:40 pm

I don't run, or bike, but I do walk. I walk long distances at times both in neighborhoods and in nature.

Whether I wear a mask or not is not the point. I stay away at least 6' from anyone and everyone I pass. Whether they are walking, running, or riding a bike, it makes sense to me that both parties should move out the way of each other. At times I walk onto a driveway, cross the street, wait behind a tree, or face into the Bay or the marsh to keep my face away from anyone passing me.

It takes two to tango and it takes two to get out of the way of each other. Don't assume it is the other person's action to keep you safe. It is up to all of us to get out of each other's way, not to breathe on each other and to keep the germs at bay. I don't have a problem with others who pass me in either direction because it is up to me as much as it is up to them.

I give a wave and move out the way. Can't we all do that?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:21 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

Great article. I think your description of how compliance becomes a slippery slope when you are with others. Exactly why my family is alone I guess.

I have read a number of experts who suggest that if everyone were to mask up and stay at a distance for some weeks, new infections would go away pretty quickly. It is certainly worth trying.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by David, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 22, 2020 at 6:57 pm

The county always said you shouldn't socialize with other families and that unrelated should not eat together. This is nothing new in Santa Clara County.

However, if you think about it, the excuse of needing a table is not a very good one as to why people need to be 2 feet apart while visiting. Just use 2 tables.
It's not very hard really.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It takes two to tango and it takes two to get out of the way of each other. "

Well stated. This works in almost every instance. However, how do I distance myself with someone who comes up from behind me and passes me within a couple of feet and who is not wearing a mask?


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Posted by PJ, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:18 pm

"social distancing is near impossible when you eat or drink with another person."

I think this is the correct observation. I do visit maybe once a week with a friend. We sit and talk outside, observe the distance. No issues. Trying to share food and conversation might be too complicated.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Peter and diana, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

And there goes peter again beating a dead horse.

From a link that peter himself provided:

“ How could a runner or biker infect me?
It would most likely occur while you were stopped talking to them, said Julian Tang, a virologist and a professor at the University of Leicester in England. He thinks the risk of infection from quickly passing someone is low, because the “massive air volume will dilute any exhaled virus and the wind may carry it away."
In general, researchers agree that air circulation outdoors seems to strongly inhibit transmission of the coronavirus. In a study of more than 7,300 coronavirus cases in China, just one was connected to outdoor transmission."

Maybe people need to part like the Red Sea when peter comes marching along.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by PJ, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Just to comment on the sub-debate about "passing" outside, unmasked, within 6 feet. The short answer is, if you really are bothered by this, hold your breath and look away. That's your best response in that encounter.

It's clear that each of these things reduces exposure risk by an order of magnitude.

1.) outside vs inside
2.) distance > (6') vs distance < (6') **
3.) mask vs no mask
4.) *short* duration vs long duration.

Note that the last one is often forgotten. (I omit hand washing.)

I frequently hike the many trails in our wonderful OSP's. I use a neck gaiter that is easy to raise when I foresee a rare encounter. Some trails are quite narrow, and I inevitably pass some not masked. The passing is outdoors and takes less than three seconds. Frankly, I don't worry about it. I have been tested twice. Both negative.

I appreciate Peter's sensitivity to theoretical risks, and in at least one of the sports cases cited, reference is made to cyclists or runners drafting near or downwind of others possibly *for extended periods of time*. This is very different than a brief, passing outside encounter, where at least one party is masked, and neither are hyperventilating.

OTOH, I will not visit my barber. Inside, bad circulation, within 6', long period of time. I don't trust the mask(s) to fix it. And, yes I'm beginning to look like a wild man, but that's what hats are for.



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Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 26, 2020 at 1:32 am

The fact that disturbs me that I have heard from multiple authoritative sources is about CoronaViruses, and how they are the family of viruses that the Common Cold belongs to.

It is a expression we have all heard probably many time that there is no cure for the Common Cold, and many experts are saying there may not be a cure/vaccine for Covid-19. We could be hearing something from the many medical experts in the Health Care and Biotech industries to qualify this conundrum.

The fact that we are not hearing more informed people and authorities coming out and talking about this situation is one reason I think there are so many people with paranoid ( or not ) feelings of conspiracy that lean one way or the other.

We see the President making every effort to hide information from the most authoritative sources, and for what reason? Some might say he is acting to reduce panic, but I think his bizarre secrecy and weird off-the-well ideas dispel that idea. It is not right that not only is this situation being weaponized politically, it is also being leveraged internationally and economically.

What happened to this is a world-wide emergency, let's get the problem fixed and the job done.

My postulate for why this is not happening is that as many have said the CoronaVirus has pulled back the rug on all the many systems in our government and economy that don't work and that virtually put people with less money, power, status or whatever in the crosshairs of death ... face it, this is like playing Russian Roulette with people's lives. That is what those who want to open everything up are OK with, and those on the wrong side of that gamble and civilized others are seeing how grossly unacceptable that is.

The lesson of Covid-19 is that for any society to be civilized, as we so pompously boast about in our Constitution, people must come before money, and that is a concept, like real democracy or direct democracy, the power elites of this country will fight tooth and nail not to accept or allow to take root. So we hide our immorality as a nation in the most disturbing ways that are ever more obvious and causing real political stress.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 26, 2020 at 1:56 am


I have an question I wish a virologist or someone conversant with the realities of this
pandemic and disease could answer.

Let's go back in time ... farther than 1918 and the Spanish flu, to the North American
Smallpox epidemic of 1775"1782 ....

With the disease of smallpox one way of mitigating the disease for a lot of people
( I've read about since I was not there ) was that they took some liquid from smallpox
blisters of an infected person with the disease and would put it on the head of a pin
and scratch someone who had not had the disease. Most of the time a person infected
in this way would get a minimal version of smallpox and then develop immune to the
disease.

This would seem to indicate that the severity of a viral disease is at least a function of:

1. The viral load that the infected person gets. In the case of Covid-19 dentists and
ophthalmologists who work face to face with patients are particularly susceptible to
getting a heavy dose of Covid-19 and they have a very high death rate. The Chinese
doctor who died blowing the whistle on Covid-19 in Wuhan was an ophthalmologist.

2. The location of the infection. Covid-19 seems to be designed to destroy the
lungs of human beings. The rule is do not touch your face because if it gets in
your nose or airway it will make its way to your lungs where it will do the maximum
damage.

So, my question is, what would happen if a very tiny amount of viral particles were
to be scratched onto the skin of a Covid-19-negative person on their skin - not on
their face or near their nose, mouth or lungs?

Is it possible that a local scratch infection could be minimized and give the body a
chance to build anti-body immunity to the virus before any exposure to the lungs,
or any other human tissues that might be susceptible to the virus.

This seems simplistic, so I wonder if there is an obvious reason why they have not
done this or experimented with it, and what the results might have been? Is there
anyone who can speak this this question?


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Posted by Brit, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:00 am

Your point about smallpox is interesting. I remember my history class in school being taught that Edward Jenner noticed that the milkmaids who had been milking cows had clear unpoxed skin from smallpox. He then inoculated people with the cowpox pus as the first inoculation against smallpox. This was according to my history classes, a big improvement in the health of people.

I think this was taught as an important part of history as health issues was a serious problem as the industrial revolution started to take place.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Brit, If a simple solution would work ... I would like to think our Super-Governmental-Financial-Technological-Healthcare-Complex would at least consider it as much as they would the multi-billions of dollars long-term proprietary technological solutions.

If the virus mutates as much as we are being led to believe, then a local solution taking local virus mutations and using that to immunized ... or whatever it is called, I think there was a different name for it in Jenner's day ... it would be cheaper, faster and far more adaptable.

The Chinese have a practice called "variation" written up in Wikipedia:

The practice of variolation (also known as inoculation) first came out of East Asia.[103] First writings documenting variolation in China appear around 1500. Scabs from smallpox victims who had the disease in its mild form would be selected, and the powder was kept close to body temperature by means of keeping it close to the chest, killing the majority of the virus and resulting in a more mild case of smallpox.[104] Scabs were generally used when a month old, but could be used more quickly in hot weather (15"20 days), and slower in winter (50 days). The process was carried out by taking eight smallpox scabs and crushing them in a mortar with two grains of Uvularia grandiflora in a mortar.[30]


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 26, 2020 at 4:49 pm

>> The Chinese have a practice called "variation" written up in Wikipedia:

My computer's 'auto-corrupt' function was working hard to change "variolation" to "variation" above.

Early in history, it was observed that those who had contracted smallpox once were never struck by the disease again. Thought to have been discovered by accident, it became known that those who contracted smallpox through a break in the skin in which smallpox matter was inserted received a less severe reaction than those who contracted it naturally. This realization led to the practice of purposely infecting people with matter from smallpox scabs in order to protect them later from a more severe reaction. This practice, known today as variolation, was first practiced in China in the 10th century.[30] Methods of carrying out the procedure varied depending upon location. Variolation was the sole method of protection against smallpox other than quarantine until Jenner's discovery of the inoculating abilities of cowpox against the smallpox virus in 1796. Efforts to protect populations against smallpox by way of vaccination followed for centuries after Jenner's discovery


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Posted by Natural Selection, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 27, 2020 at 8:32 am

So if Native Americans with a hypothetical cut on their hand
had come in contact with a smallpox infected blanket that the U.S. Calvary had provided (to systemically & intentionally wipe them out), this genocide could have been prevented to a larger extent?

Are you suggesting that a weakened Covid-19 viral sample be applied directly to broken skin?

If so...may you be the first in line
to experience the experiment as part of a testing group while keeping in mind that if it works,
you will not receive any credit for the discovery AND if you die,
all that will be forthcoming is a trip to Alta Mesa (if that is your family's preferred arrangement).


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 28, 2020 at 6:02 am

Natural Selection, do you have anything factual or useful to add or just criticize without purpose? I was asking questions given some things I have read about. If you have no additional facts or answers I wonder what it is you want?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Natural Selection, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 28, 2020 at 8:32 am

@ CPA...

No offense intended & apologies if you perceived my comment as a 'dig'.

Innoculation for various diseases & infections (both bacterial & viral) have been around for a long time now so the concept is not a scientific breakthrough.

I was initially reading your post as a rendition of Cliff Claven's "It's a little known fact" & all things considered, if simply scratching the skin surface with Covid-19 creates immunity then great.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 28, 2020 at 9:37 am

> Cliff Claven

Cliff Claven!!! Ouch, that smarts!

Having read about these smallpox cures, I was trying to
"Cliff Claven it out there for people who didn't know, if
you want to put it like that ... pejoratively, ... but
more than that I was hoping that someone brilliant or at
least educated in the biotech might be able to explain
why or why not Covid-19 would be amenable to such a
solution.

From the flippancy of your reply, ( bringing in contaminated
blankets to inflame and distract the racial/political
neural networks of readers and telling me I should be the
first subject ) , it seemed like you did not read or care
much about what I wrote, before you went off. I wonder why
you would have that reaction?

And this sounds rather thin unless you absolutely pay
minimal attention to the connotation of your language.

> No offense intended & apologies if you perceived my
> comment as a 'dig'.

So, I take it you don't know anything about the scientific
details of this process and where it might be applicable?
No one who does would likely talk like that.

My thought was since the most authoritative scientists I
have heard from say an effective coronavirus vaccine is
far from a given - since as I mentioned there are no
vaccines for the common cold - another coronavirus, or
any other coronavirus known. Also, any vaccine could
have a very short effective life they experts I have
read said because it reproduces erratically with lots of
errors leading to mutations.

Putting one together with the other of this particular
coronavirus, if there was a simple low-tech direct
method of combating local mutated strains it would be
a giant win if something safe could be worked out.

So, asking of this is practical or being considered and
why or why not would be of interest as more than just an
opportunity for more pointless bickering on social media.

I am assuming there is a reason, and I've love to educated
on why this is not a possibility, but perhaps it is not
as profitable as as a multi-billion dollar biotech
global pharmaceutical.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Steven Goldstein, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Aug 21, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

So far we have not done anything proactive at the current time to prevent spread, we are doing tombstone science, counting the sick and the dead. We have not marshaled a nationwide strategy of any kind to address the problem.

The best thing we cab do on our own is continue limiting our interactions to the minimum. I hate doing it myself, I am feeling the distress of not being able to have a social life too. We are social animals, and this situation is cutting us off from this behavior.

WHEN we finally REALLY deal with this problem SERIOUSLY, we can look forward to at least showing a level of progress and eventual normalization. But it is not in our short term future yet.


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