My local health department, just like yours I am sure, releases information on community exposures for COVID-19 after they do their “extensive” research for contact tracing.
I have found it to be ridiculous that 90% of the community exposures seem to be at restaurants. Even in a tourist town, that’s pretty ludicrous.
Why was I never seeing a listing of banks, gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, or any of the places we all go to at least once, sometimes, several times a week?
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Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the restaurant community (and casinos) are the cause of all of our problems?
No, I don’t think so.
Come to find out, the health departments don’t “count” anywhere you have been if you haven’t been there for more than 15-minutes and within six feet of someone with the virus (or suspected of having the virus).
How crazy is that?
Where did they get this asinine and unscientific information? Well, from the CDC, of course.
The contact tracing part of the CDC’s website includes a summary of COVID-19 specific practices that says, “Contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts (any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.”
So this is the information the CDC is giving out to local health departments all over the country to use for their contract tracing.
So don’t worry, people. If I have COVID-19, and I touch three things at my credit union on the way home, you are perfectly safe because I was only there for fourteen minutes and twenty seconds.
But now we find out, in an ACTUAL study, that COVID-19 may survive on some surfaces for 28 days. So the whole 15-minute thing is absurd.
The surfaces studied included glass, stainless steel, money, vinyl and cotton.
Unlike the CDC, who likes to rely on models, predictions and the actions of previous viruses, the Virology Journal actually conducted experiments to find out what’s going on with the COVID-19 virus specifically.
Why is this important? Because we touch things all day when we are out and about. And most surfaces aren’t disinfected after we touch them.
Fomite transmission is a part of this whole situation and it spreads viruses at a rapid pace. Because of this, it should be taken more seriously by the CDC and the media.
Fomite transmission refers to the transmission of infectious diseases by objects. And if the virus lives on surfaces for a long time, well, you can see why this virus could be spreading so fast all over the place.
Fomite transmission is something I’ve been paying attention to since the beginning of the pandemic because I have participated in several seminars on the subject and have spent hours studying it because I am in the animal rescue world.
In these seminars, we learned how you can be caring for a sick animal in an animal shelter and spread their sickness, Parvo and other diseases, all over the building as you touch a light switch, mop handle, faucet handle and more.
We learned that we needed to adhere to specific protocols for cleaning and disinfecting and that we definitely needed to clean the cages of the healthy animals first and then deal with the ones who are sick.
Having this knowledge of fomite transmission, I knew that the CDC and the media hasn’t been taking the fomite transmission of COVID-19 seriously as an important factor in the transmission of the virus.
Finding out now that the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for up to 28 days answers a lot of questions about why the virus is still spreading even in our heyday of mask wearing and other precautions being taken.
And the 15-minute rule from the CDC is obviously an unverified assumption that they continue to rely on.
Think about it. What do you touch when you are out at businesses for less than 15 minutes?
Let’s see… light switches, faucet handles, pens, credit card machines, door handles, doors, money, toilet handles, trash containers, elevator buttons, seats on public transportation, food and drinks that you look at and put back on the shelves, fuel nozzles at the gas station… the list goes on and on.
Lots of things on lots of days.
The bottom line is that the survival rate of COVID-19 on surfaces and fomite transmission could possibly be an answer to a lot of questions about how this virus spreads so quickly and it’s an issue that more people – and the CDC – need to pay more attention to.