If you live in the USA you may have recently heard about the Covid 19 virus being an airborne virus. Though no official, other than taped conversations with a reporter and the president, have officially said that it is for certain an Airborne spread virus. But, it obviously is, and for some reason officials are keeping it quiet and downplaying it. Some are beating around the bush and kind of saying it, but not in a way that would make people take it more seriously.
So why is it important the way a virus is transmitted? Because, it makes a difference in how the public can protect itself from getting the virus. You might be thinking if more get it the closer a country can get to Herd Immunity. While that may be true, it would mean a whole lot of people would need to be infected and a whole lot would die to get to a level large enough for Herd Immunity, if that is even possible. There are some thoughts that Natural Herd Immunity may not be possible for Covid 19.
The short video below explains very nicely the difference between Airborne and Droplet transmission, and how dry air vs humid air plays a part in transmission. This is especially important as we head into the Fall and Winter months. I will lay out some basics below and how you can protect yourself especially when others around you may not be interested in protecting themselves or others.
1- Droplet transmission means the particles you sneeze, cough or even speak are large and heavy. They can only travel in the are a few feet before they drop to the ground. If you are not in someone’s personal space you may be safe from droplet size particles. You still have to follow the other guidelines for coughing, sneezing etiquette, handwashing, and disinfecting. Airborne particles are much smaller and lighter, meaning they travel farther easier, and can travel through duct systems such as heating and cooling. This makes them especially dangerous in highly contagious germ situations like Covid 19. Being outside, social distancing, having a good filter system indoors, opening windows and keeping air moving, plus wearing a mask or face covering are all ways to help prevent transmission of Airborne viruses. If you read my posts from last year on breaking the chain of infection, each of these are links in that chain for spreading a virus. If any of them are missed it increases the chance of spreading the virus. You also have to add in good hand washing technique, tissue etiquette, and disinfecting regularly. Be sure and see my post on the difference between disinfecting and cleaning. If people are acting like they have symptoms stay away from them as much as possible, even if they say it is just allergies. I find people are not always honest with themselves, let alone others when they really want to or have to do something. Unfortunately, Covid 19 can be spread by people with no symptoms so you may not even know if they have it.
Why should you care about any of this?
1- If you have CKD, Heart Disease, HTN, Diabetes, or any of the Immune Disorders then getting Covid 19 could be very dangerous for you. People who are Obese are also at higher risk of complications from Covid 19.
2- If you do not have health insurance, or are under insured, and you do catch it you may end up with a very high medical bill if you are one of the unfortunate to get symptoms.
3- You may lose an extended time from work putting a burden on your financial affairs.
4- Studies are showing that even people who get mild symptoms are having post Covid effects even months after they test negative. Viruses are especially dangerous for causing chronic conditions even after the virus has left the body.
5- Worst of all to me, you could give it to someone else and cause them great bodily or financial harm. This could happen even if you follow all of the proper precautions stated above, but at least you would have tried to not give it to anyone. I have not seen my elderly mother in many months, because I work in health care and I am afraid of being an asymptomatic spreader, especially now with everything opening up and testing go away unless you have symptoms.
Be alert, be cautious, love and respect one another, and keep yourself and others safe. Ask questions of businesses, politicians, and others involved in making decisions. There is nothing wrong with knowing what their thinking process is. You are a consumer at their business, and you are a citizen of this country. You have a right to ask questions and be made aware.