Coronavirus disease 2019

respiratory syndrome and infectious disease in humans, caused by SARS coronavirus 2
(Redirected from COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

QuotesEdit

Disease characteristicsEdit

  • "It's a very complicated receptor binding process compared to most virus spike proteins," Benton said. "Flu and HIV have a more simple activation process." The coronavirus is covered in spike proteins, and it's likely only a small fraction of them go through these conformational changes, bind to human cells and infect them, Benton said.
    We know that the spike can adopt all these states that we were talking about," said co-lead author Antoni Wrobel, who is also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Francis Crick Institute's Structural Biology of Disease Processes Laboratory. "But whether each of the spikes adopts all of them we can't say because we can see only kind of snapshots."
    The spike protein is very quick to change. In the lab, the spike can morph into all of these different conformations in less than 60 seconds, Wrobel told Live Science. But "this will be very different in a real infection; everything will be slower because the receptor will be stuck on the surface of a cell so you have to allow time for the virus to diffuse to this receptor," Benton said.
    Why does the spike protein go through this many conformational changes to infect a cell? It "may be a way of the virus protecting itself from recognition by antibodies," Benton said. When the spike protein is in its closed states, it hides the site that binds with the receptor, maybe to avoid antibodies coming in and binding to that site instead, he said.
  • This study was the first study to examine the individual and synergistic effects of AT and RH on coronavirus survival on surfaces. The results show that when high numbers of the surrogates TGEV and MHV are deposited, these viruses may survive for days on surfaces at the ambient AT and wide range of RH levels (20 to 60% RH) typical of health care environments. TGEV and MHV may be more resistant to inactivation on surfaces than previously studied human coronaviruses, such as 229E (28). SARS-CoV has been reported to survive for 36 h on stainless steel, but the reductions in the levels observed were greater than those seen for either TGEV or MHV at 20°C at any RH in this study. However, the AT and RH conditions for the previous experiment were not reported, making comparisons difficult. Rabenau et al. reported much slower inactivation of SARS-CoV on a polystyrene surface (4 log10 reduction after 9 days; AT and RH conditions not reported), consistent with some observations for TGEV and MHV in the present study. There are some similarities with studies of another enveloped virus, human influenza virus, on surfaces in that at higher RH (50 to 60%), the inactivation kinetics are closer to those of TGEV and MHV.
  • The survival data for TGEV and MHV suggest that enveloped viruses can remain infectious on surfaces long enough for people to come in contact with them, posing a risk for exposure that leads to infection and possible disease transmission. This risk may also occur for other enveloped viruses, such as influenza virus (3, 4). The potential reemergence of SARS or the emergence of new strains of pandemic influenza virus, including avian and swine influenza viruses, could pose serious risks for nosocomial disease spread via contaminated surfaces. However, this risk is still poorly understood, and more work is needed to quantify the risk of exposure and possible transmission associated with surfaces. Statistical analysis showed that TGEV and MHV do not differ significantly in their inactivation kinetics on surfaces, and both viruses may be suitable models for survival and inactivation of SARS-CoV on surfaces. However, more data on the survival rates and inactivation kinetics of SARS-CoV itself are needed before these relationships with other coronaviruses can be definitively established. However, the findings of this study suggest that TGEV and MHV could serve as conservative surrogates for modeling exposure, transmission risk, and control measures for pathogenic enveloped viruses, such as SARS-CoV and influenza viruses, on health care surfaces.
  • For months, scientists have observed trends showing older people and men tend to be more vulnerable. Scientists know something about why children tend to have less serious infections from coronavirus -- they have fewer ACE2 receptors in their noses, and these receptors are how coronavirus gets into our cells. But they can't really explain why older people have such a high death rate from coronavirus -- much higher than from the common flu.
    "What is it about age that makes you so much more susceptible to having disease?" Collignon questioned. "We've got the data and we know it's true ... but I don't think we've got all the answers for that."
  • The problem, says Collignon, is that not enough money is spent on answering the basics.
    "We spend billions of dollars on vaccines and drugs, but you can't get funding to do research on basics like how effective is this mask versus that mask," he said, adding that was partly because answers to those questions didn't make the problem go away -- they just decreased the risk.
  • China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market. The presumed rapid spread of the (COVID-19) virus apparently for the first time from the Huanan seafood market in December (2019) did not occur. Instead, the virus was already silently spreading in Wuhan, hidden amid many other patients with pneumonia at this time of year. The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace.
  • If a person infected with the coronavirus sneezes, coughs or talks loudly, droplets containing particles of the virus can travel through the air and eventually land on nearby surfaces. But the risk of getting infected from touching a surface contaminated by the virus is low, says Emanuel Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers University.
    "In hospitals, surfaces have been tested near COVID-19 patients, and no infectious virus can be identified," Goldman says.
    What's found is viral RNA, which is like "the corpse of the virus," he says. That's what's left over after the virus dies.
    "They don't find infectious virus, and that's because the virus is very fragile in the environment — it decays very quickly," Goldman says.
    Back in January and February, scientists and public health officials thought surface contamination was a problem. In fact, early studies suggested the virus could live on surfaces for days.
    It was assumed transmission occurred when an infected person sneezed or coughed on a nearby surface and "you would get the disease by touching those surfaces and then transferring the virus into your eyes, nose or mouth," says Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies airborne transmission of infectious disease.
  • Scientists now know that the early surface studies were done in pristine lab conditions using much larger amounts of virus than would be found in a real-life scenario.
    Even so, many of us continue to attack door handles, packages and groceries with disinfectant wipes, and workers across the U.S. spend hours disinfecting surfaces in public areas like airports, buildings and subways.
    There's no scientific data to justify this, says Dr. Kevin Fennelly, a respiratory infection specialist with the National Institutes of Health.
    "When you see people doing spray disinfection of streets and sidewalks and walls and subways, I just don't know of any data that supports the fact that we're getting infected from viruses that are jumping up from the sidewalk."
  • It's still unclear whether that takes place (that COVID-19 can spread before people show signs of being infected). But if it does, that might explain why the disease is spreading so quickly.
  • Both influenza and coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infection that can lead to morbidity and mortality, especially in those who are immunocompromised or who have no existing immunity to the viruses. Indeed, while the COVID-19 should not be taken lightly, influenza is a much bigger problem, but because it is relatively common and has been around for a long time, it does not receive the attention that new viral outbreaks do. The COVID-19 is scary because it is new and we do not know a lot about it yet. New viruses are always scary because we have little to no protective immunity against them and we do not have vaccines. There is work going on to understand and develop preventive strategies to deal with this COVID-19 threat. However, universal precautions to limit its spread are very important right now until a new vaccine or another strategy is available.
  • I say "possibly" (for the SARS-CoV-2 to more dangerous to humans than the other coronaviruses) because so far, not only do we not know how dangerous it is, we can't know. Outbreaks of new viral diseases are like the steel balls in a pinball machine: You can slap your flippers at them, rock the machine on its legs and bonk the balls to the jittery rings, but where they end up dropping depends on 11 levels of chance as well as on anything you do. This is true with coronaviruses in particular: They mutate often while they replicate, and can evolve as quickly as a nightmare ghoul.

Virus-infected patientsEdit

  • Fatality rate of the 2019-CoV infection is relatively low, at slightly more than three percent, suggesting the possibility that those who died could have other predispositions. Most (of the patients) would fully recover.
  • We need to get a better idea of how many people are discharged from hospital and a better understanding of how many mild cases have been missed (from this COVID-19), while we focused on more severe disease (until this moment (3 February 2020)). When we find that out will depend on China giving us more details, because that's where most cases are, and so far, a decent number of cases outside of China have not seemed as severe.
  • The primary hypothesized mechanism of benefit from convalescent plasma is through direct antiviral action of neutralizing antibodies on SARS-CoV-2 RNA.1 In the PLACID Trial, a statistically significant 20% higher rate of conversion to a negative result for SARS-CoV-2 RNA occurred on day 7 among patients in the intervention arm.
    In plain English, this means that convalescent plasma did exactly what the investigators hoped it would do, yet there was no net clinical benefit to patients. Why might this be the case?
    The most common use of therapeutic plasma, which contains more than 1000 different proteins, is for the management of acute bleeding and complex coagulopathies. Despite the presence in plasma of anticoagulation factors such as antithrombin and protein C, the net effect of plasma is prothrombotic. Immunoglobulin therapy, which is derived from whole plasma, is subject to a US Food and Drug Administration warning about the risks of thrombosis, particularly in older patients, those with cardiovascular risk factors, and those with hypercoagulable conditions.
    It is now widely recognized that covid-19 is a life threatening thrombotic disorder. An excellent recent pathophysiology synthesis concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 not only produces an inflammatory and hypercoagulable state, but also a hypofibrinolytic state not seen with most other types of coagulopathy.” Most recently, plasma from convalescent covid-19 patients has been shown to directly cause endothelial cell damage in vitro.
  • Despite the lack of accurate data on how physical activity improves the immune response against the new coronavirus, there is evidence of lower rates of ARI incidence, duration and intensity of symptoms and risk of mortality from infectious respiratory diseases in individuals who exercise at high levels appropriate.
  • There are still gaps in the knowledge regarding the pathogenic mechanisms involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, there is consensus in the scientific literature about the important involvement of the immune system in the susceptibility, progression and outcome of COVID-19. The imbalance in innate and adaptive immune responses, characterized mainly by changes such as cytokine storm and lymphopenia, in addition to the disorders in coagulation- and host-related conditions, including obesity, metabolic syndrome and aging (immunosenescence), is among the factors notoriously associated with a worse prognosis of infection.
    The benefits of exercise—regular and at appropriate intensity levels—for the immune system in respiratory infections such as COVID-19 include increased immunovigilance and improved immune competence, which help in the control of pathogens, a fact that becomes more important considering the immunosenescence and susceptibility of the elderly population to severe infection. Other favorable effects in relation to host factors, such as prevention or reduction of overweight, increased physical and cardiopulmonary conditioning, attenuation of the systemic pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic states, decrease in oxidative stress, improvements in glycemic, insulinic and lipidic metabolisms, besides the enhancement of the vaccination response, also indicate how adequately physical activity can help the organism’s immune response against COVID-19.
  • Take a look at the death toll now (as of 5 February 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak), there are almost no children. A nine-month-old baby is the youngest known patient, and the baby's still alive. The youngest patients who died are about 30 years old. Most of them have congenital diseases, such as brain disorders, heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes or cancer. There are patients who are over 80 years old. At first, more than half of them were over 80 years old. Many cases are 89. If you ask me, some 89-year-old people happen to fall and die. So, don't panic about the number of fatalities. A majority of them have congenital diseases, pneumonia or influenza. Their depth of breathing is lower than normal, and there's a possibility that they want to eliminate excess phlegm. This can pose a life-threatening risk. Most fatalities are not young people. There's not much difference from the common influenza. If people who are 89 or 90 years old have influenza, that's not good.
  • One thing about this (COVID-19) that's somewhat unprecedented is the speed at which new data is coming out and becoming available for mass consumption. In that article, there's not a lot of detail about when the initial patient returning to China became symptomatic. It's really hard to tell. People don't always accurately report. That's not on purpose or anything, but people aren't so self-aware that they're going to notice a single sneeze, or every little cough, or clearing their throat, or their nose is running and they think it's allergies. There are a lot of reasons why people might not necessarily recognize that they are symptomatic when they actually are.
  • The COVIDSurg Collaborative's study of surgical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 is commendable, as most existing publications around perioperative practice are commentaries or recommendations with extrapolated knowledge.
    The study findings suggest a grievous prognosis for patients having surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, in that nearly one in four (23•8% [268 of 1128]) patients die within 30 days, and about half (51•2% [577]) of them will have major pulmonary complications. Factors associated with these outcomes were non-modifiable, except for the decision of elective surgery. Even among elective surgeries, delaying cancer surgery might have its own consequences. Hence, it becomes crucial to look for modifiable risk factors, such as the anaesthetic type.
    Although unproven in people with COVID-19, preference for regional anaesthetic over general anaesthesia has advantages such as minimal effect on the respiratory system, avoidance of intubation-related seeding of pathogens to the lower respiratory tract, decreasing thromboembolic complications, and a reduced surgical stress response.
    Using regional anaesthetic techniques, aerosol-generating procedures can be avoided with decreased risk to health personnel; additionally, there is potential to conserve protective equipment and essential drugs during shortages.
  • The implications of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy remain unclear at this moment. Pregnancy is considered high risk as this population remains vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Till date, data regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst pregnant women, their manifestations and outcomes remain limited. Most pregnancies had good outcomes, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to infant was un-common . However, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and risk of miscarriage remains unclear.
  • From observations, the (COVID-19) virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period. Some patients have normal temperatures and there are many milder cases. There are hidden carriers. There are signs showing the virus is becoming more transmissible. These walking "contagious agents" (hidden carriers) make controlling the outbreak a lot more difficult.

Accountability related to the virus outbreakEdit

  • "If you were to create a petri dish and say, how can we spread this the most? It would be cruise ships, jails and prisons, factories, and it would be bars," Alozie says. He was a member of the Texas Medical Association committee that created a COVID-19 risk scale for common activities such as shopping at the grocery store.
  • Back in February, at what has been dubbed “Game Zero,” nearly 2,500 Spanish soccer fans of the club Valencia CF traveled to Milan, Italy, to attend a Champions League match, joining a crowd of 40,000 in San Siro Stadium. No masking, distancing or screening protocols were in place at the time. The result was described as a “biological bomb”—a superspreading event that led to infection both locally and in Spain. According to a Wall Street Journal report, “The military drove the dead away by the truckload” from hospitals in Bergamo, Italy.
  • With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.
    Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom! Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.
    It is all too easy for some to take an idea — in this case, for example, personal freedom — and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything.
  • The pandemic has exposed the paradox that while we are more connected, we are also more divided. Feverish consumerism breaks the bonds of belonging. It causes us to focus on our self-preservation and makes us anxious. Our fears are exacerbated and exploited by a certain kind of populist politics that seeks power over society. It is hard to build a culture of encounter, in which we meet as people with a shared dignity, within a throwaway culture that regards the well-being of the elderly, the unemployed, the disabled and the unborn as peripheral to our own well-being.
    To come out of this crisis better, we have to recover the knowledge that as a people we have a shared destination. The pandemic has reminded us that no one is saved alone. What ties us to one another is what we commonly call solidarity. Solidarity is more than acts of generosity, important as they are; it is the call to embrace the reality that we are bound by bonds of reciprocity. On this solid foundation we can build a better, different, human future.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected nursing home residents. According to a New York Times database, nursing homes account for 8 percent of cases and 41 percent of COVID-19-related deaths nationwide. While the clinical status of these patients is the major determinant of risk, debate continues on the relative importance of locale, the race and socioeconomic status of patients, facility size state regulations, payer mix, and ownership status. Nonetheless, there is agreement that, in general, America’s nursing homes are not designed, operated, or funded to deal effectively with infectious disease epidemics, and their staff are often too few in number and inadequately paid, protected, and trained.
  • “Current recommendations worldwide are not to have large crowds mingle,” says Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. In an e-mail exchange, Gandhi tells me she could envision fans returning to stadiums under strict safety protocols (masking, distancing, employing good hand hygiene) and at perhaps 10 percent to 20 percent of capacity. “COVID-19 is not radioactive,” Gandhi said, “and there are ways to keep fans and the college community safe.”
  • Part of the reason Gershon and Morse feel more confident about the subway: Transit agencies around the world are taking impressive efforts to get squeaky clean.
    Gershon gives the example of New York's MTA: "They started a very extensive and exhaustive program of deep cleaning — those subways have been more clean than, like, forever," she says. "They shut them down every day from 2 to 5 a.m. to clean."
    In addition, the New York subway system uses HVAC systems in each individual car, which turn over air quickly and filter out viral particles, Gershon says. That may aid in mitigating some of the risk associated with a respiratory disease.
    These protective efforts are going on around the world. In Ethiopia, authorities have begun disinfecting public buses to reinstill confidence in transit. Hong Kong has successfully used a disinfection robot to spray bleach in train waiting areas. In Prague, authorities disinfect 10 to 12 trams a day with a deep cleaning. And Seoul has set up isolation rooms in case transit workers develop symptoms.
  • There are several ways to improve air flow and quality, but many virus-fighting technologies are relatively new and difficult to research, experts say.
    Costly changes to HVAC systems also can create a false sense of security, said Raj Gupta, executive chairman of ESD, a Chicago-based engineering firm.
    Gupta said companies first should focus on three primary goals before addressing air quality: keeping sick people out of their space; enforcing distancing and mask-wearing; and emphasizing cleaning and hygiene.
    “It’s important to realize that if we want to throw money at filters and everything, it’s not going to matter if we don’t do those first three things,” Gupta said. “People should not rely on it as a quick fix.”
  • Outdoor workouts are a safer option than exercising inside a gym during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to I-Min Lee, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
    Outside, it’s more likely that any potential virus in the air will disperse, she said in an August 20, 2020 story on the website Popsugar. But Lee said that those exercising outdoors should still heed safety guidelines such as wearing a mask, distancing from others, and frequently washing their hands.
  • Preliminary findings also suggest that around one-third of restaurant customers and around 40% of the hotel customers are willing to pay more for increased safety precautions. While customers expect hospitality businesses to implement more rigorous safety/cleaning procedures, a portion of them are willing to pay for those added safety measures (Gursoy et al., 2020). Further research is needed to determine the importance of each of these safety precautions, how such measures will influence customers’ attitudes and behaviors and whether customers are indeed willing to pay for them and by how much more.
    Preliminary findings also indicate that a large proportion of restaurant customers (64.71%) and the majority of hotel customers (70.42%) believe that the use of various technologies in service delivery will be necessary in the COVID-19 environment in order to minimize human-to-human contact (examples: service robots, contactless payment such as Apply pay or contactless bank cards, digital menus that can be viewed on personal mobile devices via QR codes, contactless digital payments, keyless entry, touchless elevators, etc.) (Gursoy et al., 2020). These findings strongly suggest that technology integration and adoption into hospitality operations will likely be integral in the near future.
  • The movement of cruise ships has the potential to be a major trigger of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks. In Australia, the cruise ship Ruby Princess became the largest COVID-19 epicenter. When the Ruby Princess arrived at the Port of Sydney in New South Wales on March 19, 2020, approximately 2700 passengers disembarked. By March 24, about 130 had tested positive for COVID-19, and by March 27, the number had increased to 162. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between the cruise industry and the COVID-19 outbreak. We take two perspectives: the first analysis focuses on the relationship between the estimated number of cruise passengers landing and the number of COVID-19 cases. We tracked the movement of all ocean cruise ships around the world using automatic identification system data from January to March 2020. We found that countries with arrival and departure ports and with ports that continued to accept cruise ships until March have a higher COVID-19 infection rate than countries that did not.
  • At one time, said Muller, the cruise industry treated onboard diseases as if they didn’t exist. “They just pretended it didn’t happen. Then in 2013, to their credit, they got smart and at first indication of a disease like norovirus, they’d pull up at the nearest harbor, get everybody off and do a deep clean.” (Norovirus, a contagious virus, causes vomiting and diarrhea.)
    But the ships infected with the coronavirus earlier this year were not allowed to dock; they were forced to sail aimlessly as they sought an open port that would accept them. Meanwhile, the disease spread onboard. “That was the worst thing that could have happened,” Muller said.
  • One much-publicized study on flying, conducted by the Defense Department, found that “overall exposure risk from aerosolized pathogens, like coronavirus, is very low” and concluded that a person would have to be sitting next to an infectious passenger for at least 54 hours to get an infectious dose of the virus through the air. But the “54-hour” number has since been removed from the report at the request of the authors, who worried it was being misinterpreted.
  • “Up-to-date information is crucial for the nation to effectively respond to this pandemic,” said Jean Ross, RN and a president of NNU. “Nurses know that we need detailed, consistent data to understand how and where the virus is spreading, who is most vulnerable to infection, and whether interventions are effective. We can use this information to learn how to prevent the spread of future pandemics. Unfortunately, instead of tracking and reporting Covid-19 data, federal and state governments have ignored, hidden, and manipulated Covid-19 data.”
    There is widespread resistance on the part of health care employers to transparently provide information on nurse and other health care worker Covid-19 infection rates and fatalities. Meanwhile, federal, state, and local governments have failed to compel health care facilities to provide this data. If hospitals are not widely required to publicly disclose their deaths and infection rates, they have no incentive to avoid becoming zones of infection.
  • Most states report only a limited subset of Covid-19 data. But comprehensive reporting is necessary to fully grasp the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic and respond effectively. Only 15 states are providing infection numbers for all health care workers on a daily, semiweekly, or weekly basis. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began requiring nursing homes to provide Covid-related health care worker infection and mortality data, which is publicly available from CMS. For the hospital industry, however, data collection on health care worker infections and deaths has been woefully inadequate.
    At the federal level, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been primarily responsible for tracking and reporting Covid-19 data, including information on testing, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. But the Trump administration has moved hospital Covid-19 data reporting from the CDC to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has hired private companies under nondisclosure agreements, keeping the majority of the data collected hidden from public view. Trump appointees within HHS’ communications staff have reviewed and edited the CDC’s weekly scientific reports to downplay risks.
  • Benjamin, an internal medicine specialist and Maryland’s former secretary of health, said, “Just like in a restaurant, you take a mask off to eat popcorn or drink, etc. And of course, when you do that, if you’re infected, you will expel virus.” Especially, he noted, if you laugh or scream at the movie.
    De St. Maurice, a physician who specializes in pediatrics and infectious disease and is the co-chief infection prevention officer for UCLA Health, agreed: “How often are they going to pull the mask back up? And movies make you laugh and shout.”
    The health experts expressed concern that even proper social distancing might not be enough protection for a long period of exposure (say an average visit of two hours) to people who are not wearing masks.
  • Mandates for beauty services, especially hair and nails, are going to continue to change. But be sure to reach out to your hairstylists before you go to ensure they're wearing a mask — at the very least. "Clients should be asking if the hairstylists always wear protective gear including gloves and masks, and if everything used in the salon is scrubbed and sanitized after each client," dermatologist, Sapna Palep, founder of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City, tells Allure. "The chairs should also be wiped down thoroughly with antiseptic cloths." She notes that getting your hair done outside is safer, but either way, salons should be taking the temperatures of all staff and clients on a daily basis, and staff and clients should be screened for possible COVID-19 exposure.
  • We asked Scott Pauley, a representative for the CDC, if it’s better to send laundry out to a wash-and-fold service than use a laundromat, and he told us, “[It] would really boil down to social distancing, and whether you could limit close contact with other individuals.” If you choose to use a laundering service, protect the laundry workers handling your dirty stuff: If anyone in your household is sick, don’t send your dirty laundry out immediately. “Bundle it up, let it sit for a few days, and then send it out,” Roberts said. “Viruses don’t survive that long,” she noted. “Certainly not over two days or three days.” An article in the Journal of Hospital Infection agrees, finding that coronaviruses survive a max of two days on hospital gowns at room temperature. Similarly, be careful with the clean bundles of laundry you get back. “If you’re immunocompromised, if you’ve got lung issues, and you’re worried about it, then put them in a closet or something that’s not used, and don’t open them for a few days,” Roberts said. “That should pretty much get rid of the virus.”
  • Whether you do your laundry at home, in a laundromat, or in a shared laundry room in your building, public health experts say there are some general safety guidelines everyone can follow. If you’ve purchased or made cloth masks, the CDC recommends cleaning them frequently in a washing machine—they don’t currently offer any guidance for handwashing them. If anyone in your household is sick, or if you’re worried someone has been exposed to COVID-19, the CDC says not to shake your dirty laundry—this could spread the virus. The CDC also recommends wearing disposable gloves while handling laundry and washing your hands thoroughly when you take the gloves off (if you don’t have disposable gloves, wash your hands as often as you can). New York City’s Department of Health recommendations for businesses (PDF) say to avoid “hugging” dirty laundry to your body to reduce contact with possibly contaminated items. And Roberts says you can also leave your dirty laundry untouched and out of the way for a couple of days before washing to allow any pathogens to die off the surface.
  • “It’s an ideal setting for transmission,” said Carlos del Rio, an infectious-disease expert at Emory University, referring to church gatherings. “You have a lot of people in a closed space. And they’re speaking loudly, they’re singing. All those things are exactly what you don’t want.”
  • “The idea of just opening a stadium and letting the crowds come back to capacity is clearly really foolish,” says Mark Rupp, chief of infectious disease at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In an interview, Rupp tells me that while there could be ways of limiting crowds and enforcing safety measures, “I don’t think there is any way of taking the risk out of it completely, quite frankly.”
  • Outbreaks of the coronavirus in meat processing plants appear to play an outsized role in a handful of states with new infection rates far higher than the rest of the country. Or, as economist Ian Shepherdson put its: "The U.S. meat industry is the source of most new COVID hotspots."
  • More than 200 scientists earlier this month signed an open letter warning that public health agencies such as the WHO and U.S. Centers for Disease Control were ignoring the potential risk of the virus spreading through air circulating indoors.
    The WHO responded by updating its guidance to acknowledge the possibility of airborne transmission of COVID-19.
    “I think improving ventilation and improving air cleaning is one of the few lines of defense that we have,” said Brent Stephens, an engineering professor and chair of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Civil Engineering, who signed the open letter.
    “I don’t think we really have a good sense of how important it is,” said Stephens, who specializes in air quality in buildings. “We’re still learning.”
  • From the early days of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, states have wrestled with the best course of action for the nation's imperiled bars and nightclubs. Many of these businesses find their economic prospects tied to a virus that preys on their industry's lifeblood — social gatherings in tight quarters.
    Public health experts and top health officials, including the Dr. Tony Fauci, say the evidence is abundantly clear: When bars open, infections tend to follow.
    • Will Stone, [1], How Bars Are Fueling COVID-19 Outbreaks”], “NPR”, (August 18, 2020)
  • Characteristics that might have led to transmission from the instructors in Cheonan include large class sizes, small spaces, and intensity of the workouts. The moist, warm atmosphere in a sports facility coupled with turbulent air flow generated by intense physical exercise can cause more dense transmission of isolated droplets (6,7). Classes from which secondary COVID-19 cases were identified included 5–22 students in a room ≈60 m2 during 50 minutes of intense exercise. We did not identify cases among classes with <5 participants in the same space. Of note, instructor C taught Pilates and yoga for classes of 7–8 students in the same facility at the same time as instructor B (Figure; Appendix Table 2), but none of her students tested positive for the virus. We hypothesize that the lower intensity of Pilates and yoga did not cause the same transmission effects as those of the more intense fitness dance classes.

Effects of the virus outbreakEdit

See also: 2020 stock market crash and Strikes during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic
  • This theme of helping others has stayed with me these past months. In lockdown I’ve often gone in prayer to those who sought all means to save the lives of others. So many of the nurses, doctors and caregivers paid that price of love, together with priests, and religious and ordinary people whose vocations were service. We return their love by grieving for them and honoring them.
    Whether or not they were conscious of it, their choice testified to a belief: that it is better to live a shorter life serving others than a longer one resisting that call. That’s why, in many countries, people stood at their windows or on their doorsteps to applaud them in gratitude and awe. They are the saints next door, who have awakened something important in our hearts, making credible once more what we desire to instill by our preaching.
    They are the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves, not preserving ourselves but losing ourselves in service.
  • We (Government of Macau) don't know if this is the peak of the (COVID-19) disease. I think it could be only after Lunar New Year (CNY) because now people are moving a lot. If there is contagion it is now, during these travels, but maybe the most critical time could be registered after the CNY. That's why we took the hard decision to cancel CNY festivities, to prevent further aggravation of the disease.
  • Across the country, as millions open their doors and windows every night to cheer doctors and nurses battling a deadly pandemic, people like Padilla operate in the shadows. They work the same 12-hour shifts, using special training to ensure hospitals stay clean, but for considerably less pay and sometimes without the same protective gear given to doctors and nurses.
    Environmental service workers “are such an integral part of the whole health care team,” said Jane Hopkins, executive vice president of Service Employees International Union's Northwest chapter. “In a hospital, they’re just as important as a doctor – they’re just doing a completely different job.”
  • The impact on the (China's) economy (by this COVID-19 outbreak) is gaining weight, especially on transport, tourism, hotels, catering and entertainment. But, the impact will be temporary and will not change the positive foundation of China's economy. Many have tried to estimate the impact (of this COVID-19 outbreak) based on the impact of SARS in 2003, but China's economic power and ability to handle such an outbreak is significantly stronger than in those days.
  • COVID-19 has "brought home not only the realities of our vulnerabilities but the potential risk of this kind of a pandemic in man-made context, genetically modified, that is targeted in ways that are intended to undermine, attack our systems and our health," said Zarate, an NBC News contributor who oversaw the creation of infrastructure to combat terrorism financing in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "Our homeland security posture and even our counterterrorism approach will be fundamentally altered by this crisis."

CrimonologyEdit

  • Like other viral pathogens, SARS-CoV-2 is closely dependent on the complexity of human behavior and human interactions. There are many documented outbreaks of respiratory pathogens in jails and prisons in many countries. Custodial institutions have been the epicenter of outbreaks of infections amongst prisoners amplifying infections at rates far exceeding those in nonincarcerated communities. Highly transmissible viral infections such as measles, mumps, and the novel coronavirus disseminates rapidly among inmates and staff and potentially into the larger community. Overcrowding, insufficient sanitation, poor ventilation, and inadequate healthcare in prisons contribute to enabling these institutions as breeding grounds of infectious disease outbreaks. Detention and incarceration of any kind involves large groups of people living in cohorts in confined spaces creating many challenges for curbing the spread of COVID-19. The number of single rooms in jails or prisons are insufficient to adhere to the recommended isolation and quarantine guidelines and limits the ability to implement strict infection prevention protocols.
  • COVID-19 provides the clearest illustration yet that prison health is public health. It is more important than ever for our governments and prison administrations to abide by the principle, enshrined in international law, that prisoners have an equal right to health and healthcare. Realistically, the only way that most countries could afford to meet this obligation is by first reducing their use of incarceration. This means ruling out custody for less serious, non-violent offending; and reversing the recent growth in the length of prison sentences.
John H. Boman, IV and Owen Gallupe; “Has COVID-19 Changed Crime? Crime Rates in the United States during the Pandemic”, Am J Crim Justice. 2020 Jul 8 : 1–9.Edit
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state-level governments across the United States issued mandatory stay-at-home orders around the end of March 2020. Though intended to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the lockdowns have had sweeping impacts on life in ways which were not originally planned. This study’s purpose is to investigate the extent to which governmental responses to COVID-19 have impacted crime rates in the U.S. Compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, crime – as measured by calls for service to law enforcement – has decreased markedly. However, there are multiple indications that the crime drop is being driven by decreases in minor offenses which are typically committed in peer groups. At the same time, serious crimes which are generally not committed with co-offenders (namely homicide and intimate partner violence) have either remained constant or increased. As such, the crime drop appears to be hiding a very disturbing trend where homicides remain unchanged and intimate partner batteries are increasing. Since many offenders would presumably be committing less serious crimes in a non-pandemic world, we raise attention to the possibility that mandatory lockdown orders may have taken minor offenders and placed them into situations where there is rampant opportunity for intimate partner violence, serious batteries, and homicides. While crime in the U.S. appears to be down overall, this good news should not blind us to a troubling co-occurring reality – a reality that paints a dim picture of unintended consequences to public health and criminal justice finances as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Worldwide lockdowns and quarantines issued in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic have brought about a number of implications for everyday life. Unfortunately, most of the impacts of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns have been alarmingly negative – a gradually increasing death toll, job losses, unemployment, and a looming global financial crisis are among the most commonly reported issues worldwide. However, the pause to everyday life initiated by state governments in response to COVID-19 has resulted in scattered examples of positive changes as well. For instance, a notable drop in carbon-based emissions has reduced air pollution (Bauwens et al., 2020). Partially as a result of this, air quality across the globe has improved, resulting in a decline in the number of air-pollutant-instigated respiratory health problems (Dutheil, Baker, & Navel, 2020).
  • Nearly every major news source which has reported on this issue since COVID-19 lockdowns began have found a similar phenomenon: Crime is down across the United States. The most common metric of these reports is police calls for service (911 calls). Probably due to the fact that 911 calls are concrete events which are easily trackable over time, major news outlets like The Washington Post (Jackman, 2020), USA Today (Jacoby, Stucka, & Phillips, 2020), and CNN (Waldrop, 2020) have all used this as the metric for determining that crime is down across the U.S.
    In these major news sources, the extent to which crime has decreased since COVID-19 lockdowns began varies dramatically. For example, The Washington Post (Jackman, 2020) reported decreases in calls for service in 29 of 30 jurisdictions including a 25% decline in Chicago and ~ 20% in Washington and Baltimore between March 16 and April 22, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. USA Today reported that weekly calls for service dropped “at least” 12% between February 2 and March 28, 2020 across 30 police agencies (Jacoby et al., 2020). Although not providing exact numbers, CNN reports that calls for police service are down in New York City. Regarding the crime drop, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told CNN that “Crime has dropped off – off the face of the map, really” (Waldrop, 2020).
  • Despite having a well-executed study that points to emerging evidence as to how COVID-19 is impacting crime rates, Ashby (2020) faced the same limitations all criminologists currently do about how crime is fluctuating in response to COVID-19: A lack of sufficient data. The most widely available data source right now on judging how COVID-19 has impacted crime comes from publicly available police data. The limitations of official police data are well documented. Due to police simply not knowing about offenses due to under/non-reporting of crime (MacDonald, 2002), police data do a very poor job at capturing one of Ashby’s variables – serious assaults which occur within the home. This variable is capturing something that is similar to, but not synonymous with, intimate partner violence (IPV; see Ashby’s discussion on p. 14). Evidence dating back over 20 years demonstrates that IPV is most frequently not reported to the police (e.g., Bachman & Saltzman, 1995). While estimates vary, only about half of IPV incidents result in a 911 call (Reaves, 2017). And due to the frequent ambiguity of 911 calls (see New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, 2003) and the common situation where law enforcement officers cannot substantiate a domestic battery occurring (only about 40% of cases result in arrest; Reaves, 2017), IPV is certainly an underestimated variable with police data (cf. Bachman & Saltzman, 1995; Reaves, 2017; also see Gracia, 2004). Self-report data on perpetration or victimization data would be highly preferential to capture IPV (see Straus & Gelles, 1990).
  • During COVID-19 lockdowns, peer dynamics have clearly been altered due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements. We argue that these disruptions to established social patterns are the driving force behind the reduction in offending over the course of the pandemic. Without access to peer groups, the context in which much criminal behavior occurs is removed (Osgood, Wilson, O’Malley, Bachman, & Johnston, 1996). With no school to attend, students cannot congregate afterwards. This is important since a typical day would see a ‘spike’ in crime after school lets out when youthful offenders have little to no supervision (see Gottfredson, Gottfredson, & Weisman, 2001). While the after-school crime spike is a time and context in which substantial amounts of minor offending typically occurs, it cannot occur if adolescents are not attending school.
    During the stay-at-home order, the opportunity for underage drinking with friends – and the minor offending that often accompanies it – also largely disappears without the option of attending parties. Since groupy offenses constitute the majority of criminal acts, it is likely that the NIBRS data will eventually show that they carried the bulk of the crime reduction following state government responses to COVID-19. Supporting this anecdotally, Chief Tullis noted that since the start of mandatory lockdowns in Ohio, his officers are seeing very few peer groups coming into conflict with the law. Underage drinking is nearly non-existent since nobody is going out in groups. In fact, nearly everyone getting arrested in his department’s jurisdiction are acting alone. Due to the commonality of arresting people who are committing crime with co-offenders, Chief Tullis stressed that the lockdowns issued in response to COVID-19 have represented a dramatic shift in policing.
Stuart A Kinner, Jesse T Young, Kathryn Snow, Louise Southalan, Daniel Lopez-Acuña, Carina Ferreira-Borges, and Éamonn O'Moore; ”Prisons and custodial settings are part of a comprehensive response to COVID-19”, Lancet Public Health. 2020 Apr; 5(4): e188–e189.Edit
  • Prisons are epicentres for infectious diseases because of the higher background prevalence of infection, the higher levels of risk factors for infection, the unavoidable close contact in often overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and unsanitary facilities, and the poor access to health-care services relative to that in community settings. Infections can be transmitted between prisoners, staff and visitors, between prisons through transfers and staff cross-deployment, and to and from the community. As such, prisons and other custodial settings are an integral part of the public health response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • Prisons concentrate individuals who are susceptible to infection and those with a higher risk of complications. COVID-19 has an increased mortality in older people and in those with chronic diseases or immunosuppression. Notably, multimorbidity is normative among people in prison, often with earlier onset and greater severity than in the general population, and prison populations are ageing in many countries.7 Furthermore, inadequate investment in prison health, substantial overcrowding in some prison settings, and rigid security processess have the potential to delay diagnosis and treatment.
    As such, COVID-19 outbreaks in custodial settings are of importance for public health, for at least two reasons: first, that explosive outbreaks in these settings have the potential to overwhelm prison health-care services and place additional demands on overburdened specialist facilities in the community; and second, that, with an estimated 30 million people released from custody each year globally, prisons are a vector for community transmission that will disproportionately impact marginalised communities.
  • Prison health is public health by definition. Despite this and the very porous borders between prisons and communities, prisons are often excluded or treated as separate from public health efforts. The fast spread of COVID-19 will, like most epidemics, disproportionately affect the most disadvantaged people. Therefore, to mitigate the effects of prison outbreaks on tertiary health-care facilities and reduce morbidity and mortality among society's most marginalised, it is crucial that prisons, youth detention centres, and immigration detention centres are embedded within the broader public health response.

EducationEdit

  • "We're going to have a mental health epidemic among our children in this country. …The poorest kids, they know people who died, they know people who are sick. The very air you breathe, the people you pass on the street are suddenly dangerous to you. All of that trauma is going to come into our schools and into our classrooms, and we really need to prepare for this.
  • "As a pediatrician, I am really seeing the negative impacts of these school closures on children," Dr. Danielle Dooley, a medical director at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., told NPR. She ticked off mental health problems, hunger, obesity due to inactivity, missing routine medical care and the risk of child abuse — on top of the loss of education. "Going to school is really vital for children. They get their meals in school, their physical activity, their health care, their education, of course."
  • A recent study from Yale University could potentially shed some light on these questions. It tracked 57,000 childcare workers, located in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, for the first three months of the pandemic in the United States. About half continued caring for very young children, such as the children of essential workers, while the other half stayed home. The study found no difference in the rate of coronavirus infections between the two groups, after accounting for demographic factors.
    Walter Gilliam, lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, cautioned that it's difficult to generalize this report to a K-12 schools setting, because the children were mostly under the age of 6 and kept in very small groups — and, he said, the childcare workers were trained in health and safety and reported following strict protocols around disinfection. However, he said, "I think it would be great to do this study with school teachers and see what we can find out."
  • When you add up what we know and even what we still don't know, some doctors and public health advocates said there are powerful arguments for in-person schooling wherever possible, particularly for younger students and those with special needs.
    "Children under the age of 10 generally are at quite low risk of acquiring symptomatic disease," from the coronavirus, said Dr. Rainu Kaushal of Weill Cornell Medicine. And they rarely transmit it either. It's a happy coincidence, Kaushal and others said, that the youngest children face lower risk and are also the ones who have the hardest time with virtual learning.
  • “It’s not reasonable to ask adolescents and young adults to take on additional risks for the enjoyment of spectators and the financial gain of their universities,” said Dr. Adam Ratner, the director of pediatric infectious diseases at New York University School of Medicine and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at N.Y.U. Langone Health.
    There are places where athletes have been exempt from campus shutdowns, he said: “Everyone is used to there being a different set of rules for athletic programs at universities,” and it’s particularly troubling to see that playing out in a pandemic.
  • “These schools have reached the conclusion, right or wrong, that because of the risks of the virus, students should be at home with their families, studying on Zoom,” Mr. Edelman said. “But they’re willing to take a small number of students, who are disproportionately minorities, and fly them back and forth across the country to compete in sporting events indoors because it’s revenue-generating. Ethically, that’s appalling, and logically it doesn’t make sense.”
  • Dr. Dean said that in his experience, the students involved in fall sports had been particularly careful to follow the rules about reducing possible Covid exposure. “The fall sport athletes have something to lose, they’re being safe, not going to parties,” he said. “They want to play,” and they know that if they test positive, they can’t.
    His colleague Dr. James Nataro, the chairman of pediatrics at the University of Virginia, who is a pediatric infectious diseases expert who studies emerging infections, said that the university, which had students on campus and held in-person classes in the fall, generally did well. “Against almost every prediction, the students complied, the students were just wonderful,” he said.
    The school is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which modified its schedule to include more in-conference games, Dr. Nataro said, and spectators were kept to a minimum. Still, he said, it was clear, watching football games, that “there were lots of opportunities for transmission,” and some of the good results may have been a matter of luck. And though he himself loves football, he said, he worries about “the lesson it sends if people turn on the TV and watch all these guys without masks standing next to each other — that image isn’t lost.”
  • On Oct. 14, the Infectious Diseases Society of America gave a briefing on safe school reopenings. Bottom line? "The data so far are not indicating that schools are a superspreader site," said Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Michigan's medical school.

ExerciseEdit

  • The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in closure of gyms, stadiums, pools, dance and fitness studios, physiotherapy centres, parks and playgrounds. Many individuals are therefore not able to actively participate in their regular individual or group sporting or physical activities outside of their homes. Under such conditions, many tend to be less physically active, have longer screen time, irregular sleep patterns as well as worse diets, resulting in weight gain and loss of physical fitness. Low-income families are especially vulnerable to negative effects of stay at home rules as they tend to have sub-standard accommodations and more confined spaces, making it difficult to engage in physical exercise.
    The WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. The benefits of such periodic exercise are proven very helpful, especially in times of anxiety, crisis and fear. There are concerns therefore that, in the context of the pandemic, lack of access to regular sporting or exercise routines may result in challenges to the immune system, physical health, including by leading to the commencement of or exacerbating existing diseases that have their roots in a sedentary lifestyle.
  • The laboratory study to investigate the physiological effect of wearing a facemask found that it significantly elevated heart rate and perceived exertion. Those participating in exercise need to be aware that facemasks increase the physiological burden of the body, especially in those with multiple underlying comorbidities. Elite athletes, especially those training for the upcoming Olympics, need to balance and reschedule their training regime to balance the risk of deconditioning versus the risk of infection. The multiple infection-control measures imposed by the Hong Kong national team training centre was highlighted to help strike this balance. Amidst a global pandemic affecting millions; staying active is good, but staying safe is paramount.
    • Ashley Ying-Ying Wong, Samuel Ka-Kin Ling, , Lobo Hung-Tak Louie, , George Ying-Kan Law, ,Raymond Chi-Hung So, Daniel Chi-Wo Lee, Forrest Chung-Fai Yau, Patrick Shu-Hang Yung; “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and exercise”, Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology, Volume 22, (October 2020), pp. 39-44
  • Although moderate-levels of exercise can boost overall immunity. Intensive and prolonged physical exertion has been linked with an ‘open-window’ of impaired immunity up to 72 h after the exercise Common infections for athletes mostly comprises of dermatological related infections (especially in contact sports), upper respiratory tract infections, and gastrointestinal infections. The coronavirus is a respiratory pathogen and previous studies have shown that the risk of upper respiratory tract infections was almost six times more likely in endurance races. The underlying mechanism is not fully understood, although most studies suggest exercise significantly influences acquired immunity while evidence about the role of exercise on innate immunity is less conclusive. As the virus was also found in stool samples, contaminated environments, such as soil, may pose a threat to outdoor sporting events. There are still unknowns regarding the relationship of immunity and sports, therefore experts are still researching on the role of psychological factors (especially during competitions) as one of the large knowledge gaps.
    • Ashley Ying-Ying Wong, Samuel Ka-Kin Ling, , Lobo Hung-Tak Louie, , George Ying-Kan Law, ,Raymond Chi-Hung So, Daniel Chi-Wo Lee, Forrest Chung-Fai Yau, Patrick Shu-Hang Yung; “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and exercise”, Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology, Volume 22, (October 2020), pp. 39-44.
  • The final impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and exercise cannot be determined at this stage, however, the information that we gathered may provide valuable guidance to athletes and governing committees to move forward safely. COVID-19 is highly transmittable in sporting environments due to its viability, long incubation period, and milder symptoms; especially in contact sports. The essential preventive measures include minimizing human-to-human contact and practising proper personal hygiene. Athletes’ on-field own risky behaviours should be avoided to minimize unnecessary infection as close contact with others is unavoidable during contact sports. The decision to resume sporting events should correlate to the local number of cases and strict infection measures will need to be implemented at the early phases of resumption. Exercise with a facemask definitely has a toll on the human body and it is advised to adjust the exercise intensity when masked. Sports and exercise may be important, especially for competitive athletes, but safety is still paramount. Everyone should practice safe sports with the appropriate measures and prevent the further transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Ashley Ying-Ying Wong, Samuel Ka-Kin Ling, , Lobo Hung-Tak Louie, , George Ying-Kan Law, ,Raymond Chi-Hung So, Daniel Chi-Wo Lee, Forrest Chung-Fai Yau, Patrick Shu-Hang Yung; “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and exercise”, Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology, Volume 22, (October 2020), pp.39-44.
  • It is safe to exercise during the coronavirus outbreak. One should not limit the multitude of health benefits that exercise provides us on a daily basis just because there is a new virus in our environment. However, there may be some additional precautions to reduce your risk of infection. If you are a “social exerciser”, you might want to limit your exposure to exercise partners who have exhibited signs and symptoms of illness. The problem, though, is that infected people may be infectious before they exhibit symptoms. In some instances, wearing a mask while exercising may be a way to reduce your exposure. It is very important to make sure that if you are exercising on equipment in fitness facilities or gymnasiums that you make sure to disinfect the equipment before and after you use it. When done exercising, the most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 s, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content may also be used, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns they are not effective against all germs. This strategy should be used at all times, not just because there is an acute viral outbreak. Avoiding touching your face and neck with your hands is also advised if you cannot disinfect them until a later time.
  • The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis is now present in China. It started in December, 2019 and has, so far, led 213 individuals died and at least 9066 infected in China by local time 17:26, January 30, 2020. It has also spread to a number of Asian countries, as well as to Canada, France, Germany, and the United States. As a result, the Chinese government has put several major cities in Hubei Province on lockdown and has thrown plans for the Lunar New Year holiday into chaos for millions of people. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization also declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency because it could spread to countries that are not prepared.
    Furthermore, to prevent the spread of the new and deadly virus, all cities in China now have shut down most public places and facilities, including parks, leaving many people with no place to exercise. As a result, people may wonder if one should exercise at all during the outbreak and if so, how? These questions made Journal of Sport and Health Science remember some well-known studies done by my colleague, Dr. Jeffrey A. Woods and his team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in which they found a protective effect of exercise on mortality due to influenza in mice.

Forestry and land managementEdit

  • Disinfection in a cave environment is very different compared to a home or business. Microbes, including many types of viruses, occur naturally in caves. They are harmless and part of the natural ecosystem and natural processes within the cave. These microbes, particularly in some deep and old caves, can be very unusual creatures. Some produce chemicals or may have genetics that can be of benefit to people for advances in medicine, agriculture and other fields. In our National Parks caves we want to kill the Covid-19, but not impact our natural, original microbe community.
    Disinfectant sprays are handy and effective since each spray disinfects a relatively large area. But, in caves that is opposite of what you want. Disinfecting a large area means killing natural cave microbes. Right now, Covid-19 comes from people and is spread to other people. So, the key is to only disinfect the areas where people travel through the cave and the facilities they use to do so.
  • The global COVID-19 pandemic will pose unique challenges to the management of wildland fire in 2020. Fire camps may provide an ideal setting for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, intervention strategies can help minimize disease spread and reduce the risk to the firefighting community. We developed a COVID-19 epidemic model to highlight the risks posed by the disease during wildland fire incidents. Our model accounts for the transient nature of the population on a wildland fire incident, which poses unique risks to the management of communicable diseases in fire camps. We used the model to assess the impact of two types of interventions: the screening of a firefighter arriving on an incident, and social distancing measures. Our results suggest that both interventions are important to mitigate the risks posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, screening is relatively more effective on short incidents, whereas social distancing is relatively more effective during extended campaigns.

SexologyEdit

  • For the first time in years, rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which had been on track in 2020 to hit record highs in the United States, have taken an abrupt downturn.
    This should be good news. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly kept more people away from bars, night clubs and large parties, reducing opportunities for unsafe sex, studies show.
    But the drop is more likely a harbinger of bad news, experts in reproductive and sexual health believe. They say the pandemic has seriously hindered efforts to mitigate sexually transmitted infections that can lead to pelvic inflammatory dis-ease, chronic pain, infertility and even blindness and death in newborns. Rather than showing sexually transmitted diseases are on the run, the upbeat numbers likely signal instead that they are now going largely undetected.
    In communities across the country, contact tracers for gonorrhea and syphilis, which had already been severely understaffed, have been diverted to Covid-19 cases. Eighty percent of sexual health screening clinics reported having to reduce hours or shut down altogether sometime during the pandemic, according to a survey by the National Coalition of STD Directors.
  • Social scientists are exploring how the coronavirus outbreaks have affected sexual behavior. Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist at the Kinsey Institute, which has been issuing surveys during the pandemic to about 2,000 people, gay, straight and bisexual, said that even those in continuing relationships reported having less sex in the first months. “Higher levels of stress and anxiety are pushing down de-sire,” he said. “Singles have more challenges to hooking up.”
    But when doctors and nurse practitioners who work with teenagers were asked if the pandemic had slowed down their patients’ sexual activity, they replied that, anecdotally speaking, not at all. Dr. Bolan said that one New York pediatrician reported that she’d treated many teenagers for S.T.D.s.
  • Even if sex has declined, researchers question how long it can remain suppressed. Dr. Lehmiller noted that online dating apps report record business. Whether that translates into sexual activity rather than virtual meet-ups is unclear, he said. If people are returning to normal levels of encounters, they may not want to admit it.
    “There is shaming about traveling, social events and gatherings during the pan-demic, so sex and dating is seen as part of that,” he said.
  • Dating is a complicated and often clumsy dance even in the best of times. Add in mask-wearing directives, social distancing and fear of a highly contagious virus for which there is no cure, and you get… well, an awful lot of people going out and doing some version of it anyway. A survey conducted by Everlywell — a company that makes at-home health tests — found that nearly one in four Americans ages 20 to 31 broke quarantine to have sexual contact with someone in April, when stay-at-home orders were at their peak.
  • “My best advice is to tell the date beforehand that you intend to wear a mask and would like the date to do so as well,” Dr. Helweg-Larsen wrote. “You can also practice what to say if the date is resisting (something simple like, ‘please put on your mask’ or, ‘you are protecting me with your mask’) or you can use non-verbal communication like stepping or turning away from someone.”
MacKenzie Sigalos, “Why the coronavirus might change dating forever”, CNBC, (May 25 2020)Edit
  • In New York, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the city’s health department put out a set of guidelines entitled, “Sex and coronavirus disease.” One piece of official advice: “You are your safest sex partner.”
    Dating is hard enough in the best of times. Throw in government directives like this, plus nationwide social distancing mandates, and a highly contagious virus for which there’s no cure or vaccine, and you would expect the search for love to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. But dating is thriving.
  • Before the pandemic, online dating fatigue was taking hold. Dating app downloads for the top 15 apps was shrinking globally, and research showed that all that swiping just made people lonelier.
    The pandemic, at least by some metrics, has been great for business. Dating.com reported that global online dating was up 82% during early March, for example.
    As states across the country began rolling out stay-at-home orders in March 2020, Bumble saw a 26% increase in the number of messages sent on its platform, a company spokesperson told CNBC. Tinder saw the length of conversations rise by 10-30%, and elite dating app Inner Circle saw messages rise 116% over that same time period.
  • Turns out, dating during a global pandemic and being a contestant on “Love is Blind” aren’t too dissimilar. Both scenarios beg the obvious question: Can you truly gauge physical chemistry in a virtual setting?
  • Fisher thinks COVID-19 has given way to a new stage in the courtship process.
    “You know, years ago, marriage used to be the beginning of a partnership. Now it’s the finale,” says Fisher. “All of my data show that the longer the courtship process is, the more likely people are to remain together and create a stable partnership.”
Courtney Vinopal, “Coronavirus has changed online dating. Here’s why some say that’s a good thing”, Nation, (May 15, 2020)Edit
  • “It’s an excellent time for singles to date,” said Helen Fisher, the chief scientific adviser to Match.com and a senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute. “People have time. They’re not getting dressed up to go to work. And most importantly, they have something to talk about.”
    Not everyone, though, is keen to get into online dating, even if spending more time than usual alone at home has made some otherwise happily single people reconsider their feelings about finding a long-term companion. Not to mention that the pandemic has ushered in mass unemployment, higher levels of stress, greater strain for single parents and worries about fatal risks from stepping outside your door — factors not necessarily conducive to romance.
  • Fifty years ago, a global pandemic might have hindered single people from connecting with prospects through their family, friends or faith communities. But these days, most people are connecting virtually to start anyway. “The influence of technology on our romantic and sexual lives has been so enormous,” said Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist and sex researcher at The Kinsey Institute. “From online dating, to texting, video chatting, sexting, etc., we have already been in the midst of a digital revolution for human courtship,” he added, so it’s not a huge surprise that singles would continue dating this way in the midst of a pandemic.
  • The stay-at-home orders issued across the country have been a boon for some of the major online dating apps. “As a city goes into lockdown, engagement on OKCupid goes up,” the app’s global chief marketing officer, Melissa Hobley, said. Since March, the company has seen a whopping 700 percent increase in the amount of OKCupid users going on a virtual date. The app Hornet, which caters to the gay male community, has seen a 30-percent increase in social feed engagement since social distancing measures began in mid-March, according to CEO Christ of Wittig. And the dating app Tinder reported that it saw more engagement on March 29 than on any other day in its history, with more than 3 billion users swiping to connect with people, according to an April 1 press release.
  • A study conducted by Match found that while only 6 percent of singles were using a video platform to meet a potential date before the COVID-19 outbreak, 69 percent of singles said they’d be open to chatting over video with someone they met on a dating app during quarantine as of mid-April. Twenty-two percent of these respondents even said they’d consider entering an exclusive relationship with someone they hadn’t met in person, indicating an openness to cultivating relationships mostly online. As of the end of April 23, 51 percent of users on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel said they planned to video chat more, and 18 percent had had at least one video call with a match.
  • Before the novel coronavirus hit, U.S. couples were already getting married later in life than ever be-fore. Helen Fisher said what’s happening now is increasing the amount of time people spend in a “courtship” stage even more.
    “We’re seeing the emergence of a new phase in the courtship trajectory, which is meet online, talk online, then talk in person,” Fisher added. “Yes, we’re moving forward to the past. We’re getting to know somebody before the sex.”
  • “When your daily habits change, it’s novel. And novelty drives up dopamine in the brain,” the bio-logical anthropologist said. “The novelty is setting up the brain, priming the brain for love. It’s a very good time for romance.”
    “I truly believe this is how you need to get to know people, anyway,” Price said. “This kind of slowed us both down and made us calculate how and when we wanted to do things. It’s been fun.”

Lockdowns/self-isolationEdit

  • Without the mitigation effects offered through quarantine and isolation, the actual progress of the disease in the rest of the world will certainly be much more devastating than the harrowing scenes witnessed to date in China, Europe, and the United States. Moreover, workers involved in informal and precarious labor often live in slums and overcrowded housing — ideal conditions for the explosive spread of the virus.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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