My thanks to Don Charisma for posting the latest Dr John Campbell health video on his blog.
For those who haven’t yet heard of Dr John, he’s a retired UK nurse/teacher/researcher who is analysing the latest data about this virus and explaining it to us. He has a Youtube channel, and this is his latest video:
I strongly recommend watching the entire video because it is full of information relevant to different countries, but here are the bits of particular interest to me.
Confined spaces and aircon
There was some meticulous research done [in China] on the spread of infection in a bus. I don’t know what it is about the air conditioning in the bus, but it basically doubled the radius of infection to 4.5 metres. In simple terms, the virus from an infected passenger travelled much further than previously thought.
Note: the radius of infection is basically how far droplets containing virus will spread in the air before falling to the ground.
Virus survival on surfaces
Another thing that worried me is the information about how long the virus survives on surfaces such as metal, cloth, paper etc. It can survive – on surfaces – at 37C for days. That’s roughly 10C more than previously thought. That means this virus is hardier than we imagined. It also means that every infected person has the potential to infect people he or she is never in physical contact with.
Think about all the shopping trolley handles we touch, how many counters in shops, how many door knobs, tables, chairs… The list is endless, which means we have to be super vigilant, not just to protect ourselves, but to protect those we love. Do NOT soldier on, you could kill someone.
And finally, a word about government intervention. The countries that have been proactive about stopping the spread of Covid-19 are doing better than those which have not. We need to learn what works and do it in our own countries.
One thing which has worked particularly well in South Korea is ‘drive through testing’. You stay safe inside your car – your own little bubble of protection – and drive away without having to come in physical contact with others who may or may not be infected.
When I saw news footage of people waiting in long queues [here] to be tested, my first thought was, “well, if they didn’t have it before, they may well have it now”. Gatherings of people who may already be infected is such a bad idea…
Daniel Andrews [Premier of my state of Victoria] has declared that his government is going to take more stringent measures against the spread of Covid-19. I’m glad, but I still think that allowing Moomba and the Grand Prix to go ahead in Melbourne was a bad idea.
I understand that we do not yet have the level of community spread that triggers more ‘stringent’ measures, but we also don’t have the community awareness required to take this threat seriously. Traditional, normal public gatherings like these simply reinforce the idea that we’re ‘safe’.
We’re not safe, and we have to get used to that idea. We have to get used to taking precautions such as wearing masks and gloves, washing our hands religiously, staying away from crowds and air conditioned centres. We have to start doing these things now so that when things do get worse, they’ll get worse at a slower rate.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to slow the spread of this virus.
The following is a screenshot of a thread I read on Twitter last night. It’s from Northern Italy and describes a health care system teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet Northern Italy has a world class health system.
We have world class hospitals in Australia too, but people with the pneumonia stage of the infection need ventilators. These machines are capable of breathing for the patient until they are capable of breathing on their own again. But if everyone gets sick at once, how many are going to miss out on ventilators because there aren’t enough to go around? How many will die?
Deaths by age
Going back to the Dr John video, the stats showing the break down of deaths by age show that small children appear to be remarkably resilient:
From the age of 10 onwards, however, young people do die from Covid-19 as well. 0.2% of deaths amongst young people may not sound like much, but they are still people, real people.
Do you really want your ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to result in the death of your brother, sister, best friend, lover, wife, husband?
Or what about your parents? Aunts? Uncles? Grandparents?
We have to slow the spread of this virus, and we have to start now.