When Will The "Deep Cleanings" Stop?

CDC: "The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is ... generally less than 1 in 10,000."

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Over the past year, we have learned a lot about COVID-19. Many of the things we thought in the early days proved to be entirely wrong. For a period, the government said healthy people should not wear face masks. Now we should wear two masks! It is entirely unclear where the six-foot rule came from. It is still not clear if the six-foot rule makes any sense. And it is very, very hard to transmit COVID by touching a surface. Remember "fomites"? Last year, I would routinely let my Amazon packages sit outside over night. I even washed plastic bags. There were massive shortages of Lysol wipes. Hand sanitizer could not be found. None of these steps, it now appears, were necessary. The CDC now reports that transmission via touching "fomites" is very, very unlikely.

 Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection

Last March, almost all workplaces began to perform "deep cleanings." Some (but not all) airlines would sterilize planes between each flight. This process was very expensive, and time-consuming. And may have had little use. The CDC advises that simple disinfectants are enough. And some of the mistings used on planes may actually be not safe:

To substantially inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, the surface must be treated with a disinfectant productexternal icon registered with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) List Nexternal icon or technology that has been shown to be effective against the virus 22. Disinfectant products might also contain cleaning agents, so they are designed to clean by both removing soil and inactivating microbes. Cleaners and disinfectants should be used safely, following the manufacturer guidance. There have been increases in poisonings and injuries from unsafe use of cleaners and disinfectants since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 23. Some types of disinfection applications, particularly those including fogging or misting, are neither safe nor effective for inactivating the virus unless properly used 24.

Moreover, there is no need for disinfecting general community areas. Soap and water are enough:

Surface disinfection has been shown to be effective for preventing secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between an infected person and other people within households 25. However, there is little scientific support for routine use of disinfectants in community settings, whether indoor or outdoor, to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites. In public spaces and community settings, available epidemiological data and QMRA studies indicate that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites is low—compared with risks from direct contact, droplet transmission or airborne transmission 8, 9. Routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent, at least once per day, can substantially reduce virus levels on surface. When focused on high-touch surfaces, cleaning with soap or detergent should be enough to further reduce the relatively low transmission risk from fomites in situations when there has not been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 indoors

At some point the deep cleanings will stop.

Update: The New York Times wrote about the end of deep cleanings:

Dr. Allen said that the school and business officials he has spoken with this week expressed relief over the updated guidelines, which will allow them to pull back on some of their intensive cleaning regimens. "This frees up a lot of organizations to spend that money better," he said.

Schools, businesses and other institutions that want to keep people safe should shift their attention from surfaces to air quality, he said, and invest in improved ventilation and filtration.

"This should be the end of deep cleaning," Dr. Allen said, noting that the misplaced focus on surfaces has had real costs. "It has led to closed playgrounds, it has led to taking nets off basketball courts, it has led to quarantining books in the library. It has led to entire missed school days for deep cleaning. It has led to not being able to share a pencil. So that's all that hygiene theater, and it's a direct result of not properly classifying surface transmission as low risk."

NEXT: Get ready for religious-based objections to employer vaccine mandates

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  1. Now do widespread, systematic voter fraud.

    Or Obama’s birth certificate.

    1. Okay.

      “At some point people believing these stupid conspiracy theories will stop.”

      1. The Republican Party has basically gone from a mainstream of small government types with a conspiracy fringe to a mainstream of conspiracy theorists with a small government fringe.

        1. Still better than the wokestapo leftists who destroyed the democrats like a cancer.

          1. Right, it’s better to be a Republican who believes crazy and sometimes racist conspiracy theories which have no tether to facts or reason than it is to be a Democrat who is sometimes overzealous in advocating for equality.

            I bet a lot of people here honestly agree with that statement on face value. The Democratic party is so abhorred in their mind that they agree it’s better to be a stupid racist conspiracy theorist than a Democrat.

            1. a Democrat who is sometimes overzealous in advocating for equality

              Well…I suppose that’s one way to characterize those who are so racist all they can see is the level of melanin in your skin.

              1. At the end of the day, there really isn’t that much seperating you from Qanon, is there?

                1. At the end of the day, there really isn’t that much seperating you from Qanon, is there?

                  A lot more than there is separating you from most unicellular organisms.

          2. What “wokestapo leftists”? Joe Biden is only minimally less conservative than you are. Yeah, the Democrats have a lunatic fringe, but if you look at who Democrats actually nominate and elect, they’re not that far to the left of Republicans.

            1. “Joe Biden is only minimally less conservative than you are.”
              -He’s not acting like it.

            2. What “wokestapo leftists”? Joe Biden is only minimally less conservative than you are.

              You appear to not know what either of those words mean.

              And where did he say anything about Biden?

              1. I see they left the gate unlocked at the funny farm again and you got out. Better get back before they miss you.

                1. At the end of the day, there really isn’t that much seperating you from Qanon, is there?

                  Aren’t you the same hypocritical asshole who constantly whines about non-substantive, insulting responses?

                  Let me ask again: Where did he say anything about Biden?

        2. Of course, Democrats thinking that the Border Patrol is inflating the number of migrants at the border because they all love Trump isn’t a conspiracy theory at all, right?

        3. The Republican Party has basically gone from a mainstream of small government types with a conspiracy fringe to a mainstream of conspiracy theorists with a small government fringe.

          I loved it when they claimed that Russia hacked Hunter Biden’s laptop…or whatever that one was supposed to be.

        4. Now do the Trump-Russia delusion.

          1. As I always say in response to this – read the Mueller report. There absolutely were a lot of connections.

      2. Right. Like the people in all groups are inherently equal across all endeavors and the only deviation from this must be the result of racism or sexism. Or like the unsubstantiated belief that George Floyd was killed by racism, a conspiracy which cost America billions of dollars of damage and scores of lives. Or like the belief in black magic force of “white supremacy” insidiously pervading society and keeping people of color down, a conspiracy theory which is leading absolute insanity in our education system, and increasingly beyond.

        Were these the kinds of conspiracy theories you had in mind?

  2. Imagine my surprise that the CDC was wrong and full of baloney yet again. Not! How many man-hours wasted?

    Actually, they changed the 6 foot rule to 3 feet now (for schools only I think). It’s all made-up.

    1. Look at the bright side . . . less time worrying about the CDC, more time to search for Obama’s birth certificate!

    2. I have made good money doing “deep cleaning” followed by fogging. Panic means profit. Followed all the CDC guidelines, used List N disinfecting agents, proper PPE (to protect us from the chemicals, not from COVID).

      Insurance rates went through the roof for companies who did this sort of work. Not for any real risk, but for perceived risk. Again, bullshit.

      Then the lawyers who wrote specific contracts to indemnify the companies doing the work against lawsuits and charging an arm and a leg all the while. Yet more bullshit.

      Knew it was all pseudoscience bullshit all along. I have been trained as an engineer and have done significant work with safety systems, hazard identification, and risk analysis.

      But if people are going to pay me good money to make their employees “feel safe”, who am I to argue? And they are willing to pay big bucks to make that happen.

      For example, yesterday I did a job that took me a total of 1.5 hours, including travel time, and netted me almost $700.

      That’s lawyer money right there for the taking!

      1. I love it. Good work.

      2. You were trained as an engineer and run a cleaning company?

        I’m going to have to tell my nephew to change his major…

        1. I spent 30+ years as an engineer, but got tired of travelling out of the country for 2-4 months at a time. Wasn’t ready to retire, so I thought I’d try something that had a significant project management component.

          1. Either you are omitting mention of substantial equipment and materials investment, or the work you describe is that of a janitor.

            Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        2. Umm, Queen Amalthea, did you happen to notice the “a total of 1.5 hours, including travel time, and netted me almost $700” bit?

          Using my non-common corpse math skills, that’s $467/hour, or based on a 60 hour workweek, $1,456,000/year and I personally know lawyers working a *70* hour workweek and who only are only paid $70,000-$80,000.

          So perhaps you might want to rethink your advice to your nephew…

          1. “I personally know lawyers working a *70* hour workweek and who only are only paid $70,000-$80,000.”

            They must be at the bottom of the barrel, Ed.

            1. Starting salaries — and I haven’t inquired further.

            2. When I worked at the city of seattle a few years ago that wasn’t significantly less than some of the attorneys on the city payroll. I was making more in IT with a bachelor’s degree than a good slice of the staff attorneys.

      3. “Insurance rates went through the roof for companies who did this sort of work. Not for any real risk, but for perceived risk. Again, bullshit.”

        The CGL policies for businesses doing this work went up without any loss runs accompanying the increase? Or are you talking about a different insurance product?

    3. “Now we should wear two masks! It is entirely unclear where the six-foot rule came from. It is still not clear if the six-foot rule makes any sense. ”
      AND
      “It’s all made-up”

      Actually the MIT did a detailed computational and experimental study of aerosol dispersion under various amounts of air circulation. The conclusion is that in usual indoor settings each person should be surround by 150 sq. feet of open space. That is more than a 6 ft radius circle.
      The 150 sq. ft rule was set as a requirement for any classes meeting in person (including wearing of masks.

      In other words, 2 meters was an excellent initial estimate, contrary to JB’s (and your) opinions

      1. I don’t get the hate. I have made no comment one way or the other about the 6 foot rule.

        Both M L and I go by two initials, but other than that I don’t get the impression that our opinions overlap very often.

        1. The comment was not to you jb, but to ML and JB (Josh Blackman)

          1. Oh, oh! Makes sense. I guess I’ll have to keep in mind that capitalization is significant in this particular context. 🙂

        2. Sorry about the confusion. JB = Josh Blackman

      2. So, a 6 foot radius is only 113 square feet….

        1. Yes, and we determined that was insufficient for students back on campus.

        2. If you make it a square 12 feet on a side it basically works (and definitely works at 4 meters per side). In practice, we’re much more often putting people in the center of virtual squares than virtual circles.

          1. Since infection typically occurs from one person to another….and it’s the linear distance between the two that really matters… I’m not sure a polygon type system like you appear to be arguing really works.

            If we wanted to be rather pedantic about it, you could argue that they’re all just in the center of a 2 X 75 foot rectangle…so they all have enough space.

            1. The aerosols spread as the inverse square of the distance. That is why 10 ft separation is twice as safe as 6 ft.
              The size of the circular or square space around a person should be corrected by the level of ventilation

            2. The point of the 150 square feet, though, is that it’s about amount of air circulation and ventilation, not just distance between people. My point is that with most of the ways we actually separate people by six feet we’re making squares around that, not circles.

              Having said that, my math is totally wrong because twelve foot squares around each person overlap with only six feet of separation and you don’t end up with the 144+ square feet of total space. So you’d need to separate beyond six feet to get that level of circulation.

      3. If engineers did the study, that 150 sq ft. is twice what the study proved.
        That still ignores viral load. Detection does not = infection.
        Thats why all of this is theater. Science seldom appears except to hide behind as the Govt sees exactly how many rights can be violated under the color of “safety”
        Next up?
        CAGCC (catastrophic, anthropologic, global, climate ,change)
        The elimination of the 2cnd amendment.

        1. “If engineers did the study, that 150 sq ft. is twice what the study proved.”
          What do you mean? Engineers and physicists did the measurements and the simulations. In addition air flow was modeled to account for circulation.
          “Thats why all of this is theater. ”
          That is a typical no nothing comment. Although if there is one superspreader in the room (100 billion virions per ml) that room would still not be safe at 150 sq. ft.
          However. those high titers ar one in 100,000. The guidance was based on the median value of ~100,000 virions per ml.

          “Detection does not = infection.”
          I guess that you are proud to show your ignorance. The probability of infection was also inserted as a function of the virion concentration.

          1. That was a know nothing comment rather than a “no nothing” comment.

      4. Citation, please. I ask because I can’t find that study but I do vaguely remember it. And as I remember it, it was done long after the 6′ rule was set. I’d like to confirm whether my memory is correct.

        And if it’s the study I remember, there were also some significant questions about the validity of their assumptions.

    4. What pisses me off is that a major (reasonably good) hospital conglomerate is using information in my medical file (i.e. age) to harass me to get a COVID vaccination *from them* while failing to realize that I actually was eligible several weeks ago due to medical conditions that they’d actually treated me for — aka gross incompetence.

      And as you can’t opt out from this crap, my telephone number becomes 123-456-7890 and my email address is no.spam@ go.away.com….

      The babysitting would be annoying enough if they were actually accurate — but they aren’t. And I can see all of this lowering the status of medical people to that of police officers — and maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing…

      1. “aka gross incompetence” How about being overwhelmed?
        Are refusing to get a vaccine? or were you just lazy several weeks ago?
        By the way, in MA, the eligibility for certain medical conditions began later than several weeks ago (That was in February).

        1. “By the way, in MA, the eligibility for certain medical conditions began later than several weeks ago (That was in February).”

          No shit, Sherlock…. although I believe that the correct adjective is “earlier”, not “later.” And as the harassment was automated, including multiple “do not reply” emails, it isn’t an issue of being overwhelmed.

          I do thank you for clarifying what will be my complaint to the Joint Commission — had I relied on their medical advice, I would not have known that I was eligible for vaccination in February (as you note) and hence could be dead now. QED, they endangered my life with their profit-driven incompetence.

          And “profit-driven” because what no one is mentioning is that the people administering the shots are getting a bleepload of money for it, be it this hospital or CVS…

          Hence when an institution, which has a financial interest in the outcome, gives bad medical advice so as to possibly direct business away from other venues — well, what do you call that?

          I call it “fraud.”

          1. Ed,
            In February the major hospitals in MA were not even getting enough vaccine to administer to their staff who has contact with patients. You did not hear because there was not enough vaccine for you. And unless you were in phase 1 (which did not contain exceptions for persons with serious problems, I seriously doubt that you were eligible earlier than the last week in February. Moreover hospitals in MA were scrambling just to get their staff covered.

            It is amazing to hear you, of all people, blame the profit motive

      2. ” What pisses me off is that a major (reasonably good) hospital conglomerate is using information in my medical file (i.e. age) to harass me to get a COVID vaccination *from them* ”

        Just spend a few moments speaking with them. They will stop calling.

        1. Oh, really.

          These are the same folk whom I told FOUR TIMES that I was allergic to a certain medication, let alone wasn’t taking it, and they never managed to update their computer to reflect this.

          1. If they are that incompetent, you should change your health care provider. In the end it is YOUR health on the line.

    5. In all honesty, the outcome of the Wuhan hysteria might be as beneficial as the outcome of the AIDS hysteria, in that the protocols may not have been relevant here, but they serve to promote public health in general.

      Pre-AIDS, most dentists didn’t sterilize their equipment between patients — think about that for a minute…

      AIDS led to “universal precautions” which were largely useless against AIDS, but *DID* prevent a lot of other problems. For example, in 1986, an employer instructed me to unclog a toilet with my bare hand (which I refused to do, and was subsequently fired for) — but imagine an employer mandating that *now*….

      It’s not just the various forms of Hepatitis but even things like the flu that were (are) spread by physical contact and then spread again by manual (i.e. hand) contact to the eyes, nose, or mouth.

      What the Wuhan hysteria has done is the same for airborne vectors. While I consider all of this mask and distancing stuff to be nothing more than feel-good kabuki theater, the fact remains that stuff is spread by people sneezing and coughing on others.

      The average college undergraduate thinks nothing of doing a keg stand during cold & flu season — and if the cute blonde babe is going to refuse to do it because of Covid — whatever — there are a whole lot of other things that won’t be spread at that party as well…

      1. re: “Pre-AIDS, most dentists didn’t sterilize their equipment between patients”

        Citation, please.

        Your assertion runs counter to the practice of every dentist I’ve had since, well, as long as I can remember so at least into childhood (which for me is longer ago that I like to admit). My current dentist uses an autoclave that looks like it has been in use since the Korean War. (Still works, though.)

        That’s not to say that changes haven’t been made to the procedures. It used to be thought that certain tools were low risk and that external wipe-down was adequate sterilization but a study showed that under certain conditions microbes could get into surface crevices that external wipe-down would miss. The ADA recommended different cleaning protocols after that study. But a) that had nothing to do with AIDS (though it would have been about the same time) and b) it was merely a change to the technique of sterilization between patients, not a statement that there was no sterilization before.

        1. Thank you, Rossami, for injecting a bit of sense here.
          What scared dentists was that bovine spongeform encephalopathy prions were not destroyed in a normal autoclave. There was never much a a BSE scare in the US, but there certainly was in the UK

  3. “It is still not clear if the six-foot rule makes any sense.”

    It is absolutely clear it makes no sense, but no one has the balls to say so. That piece of folklore is no more valid than anything else from the CDC. Any studies at all of an actual ‘science’ based distance? Why not 5 feet, or 7 feet? How much more virus is passed at each of those distances? What study justified the shift from distance OR “cloth face covering” to distance AND “cloth face covering”‘ ?
    The CDC is a waste of time and money; the first infrastructure project should be to tear down all of their building.

    1. The New York Times actually ran an article shortly after all this nonsense started about how the whole “social distancing” thing was from a government bureaucrat’s 14 year old daughter’s school science project.

      Also, I notice that there’s no mention about how obsessively disinfecting everything in sight harms people’s immune systems. This is something that actual doctors (the kind who see patients, not the government bureaucrats) have been trying to warn people about all along, and been getting censored for their trouble.

      1. The problem with your theory is that many of the ‘government bureaucrats’ were/are also practicing doctors.

        1. “practicing doctors”

          Around here, they’re known as ‘elitist, progressive know-it-alls, with their fancy educations, credentials, and “science”.’

        2. Doctors get to bury their mistakes — engineers have to live with theirs…

      2. More blah-blah from the ignorant.

    2. It makes total sense to advise to keep your distance when dealing with a respiratory disease and you have to pick some number (telling people a vague ‘keep your distance’ isn’t very helpful).

      1. It may make total sense for those a few fries short of a happy meal.

        1. This is what conservatism is down to, they really can’t see that keeping one’s distance might be helpful for dealing with a contagious disease. Heck, this movement has gone beyond being at war with science, it’s moving on to attacking common sense.

          1. These days, you don’t get to be a conservative with legitimate education, sound judgment, reality-based reasoning, and strong character. That ship sailed years ago (U.S.S. McCain) or was sunk (U.S.S. Romney). It’s now a reality show combining McHale’s Navy, Gilligan’s Island, the Beverly Hillbillies, and The Apprentice (Dumbass Division).

          2. Look, Queen, “science” can produce an actual number and then actually be able to defend it.

            For example, there are people who can tell me hundreds of digits of π and prove that they are right — or, at least, equally demented people concede that they are right.

            My view of conservationism is that if you want to dedicate your life to calculating π, fine — this *is* a free country. But unless you can how me *why* 3.1414217 is inherently wrong, i.e. not at least close, leave me alone…

            As a conservative, I respect individual effort — but even if you can calculate π out to a few hundred decimals, unless you can explain why the number I use is somehow *wrong* (i.e. gives bad results), I don’t really care.

            We put men on the moon with slide rules — analog slide rules — and those were “good enough” to work….

            1. Ed,
              NASA actually did use digital computers in the Apollo program. Use slide rules were used to an extent. But I am many others can do as well calculating in their head. But for accurate orbital dynamic that is not enough.

            2. 3.1415217

              Grrrr….

              1. This probably says something unflattering about me, but from memory, pi=3.14159…

                (alternatively, if that was meta humor, that you can’t even get the value of pi right, then bravo, well played, sir)

        2. You’re both wrong and foolish. Not to mention arrogant

    3. Horse hockey.
      Actually the MIT did a detailed computational and experimental study of aerosol dispersion under various amounts of air circulation. The conclusion is that in usual indoor settings each person should be surround by 150 sq. feet of open space. That is more than a 6 ft radius circle.
      The 150 sq. ft rule was set as a requirement for any classes meeting in person (including wearing of masks.

      In other words, 2 meters was an excellent initial estimate, contrary to your ill-informed opinion.

  4. I used to believe in COVID, but no more. Now it’s clear that it was a scam for the Democrats to transfer trillions to their pet constituents.

    1. It was neat how the rest of the world bought into the conspiracy, wasn’t it?

      Cuckoo for Coco Puffs.

      1. As the culture war crushes their aspirations and drains their hope, conservatives and Republicans are becoming even more gullible, more disaffected, more desperate.

        1. They take the house in ’22, the white house and senate in ’24. They nominate Breyer’s replacement for a 7-2 majority. Your dreams, crushed beyond all recognition.

          1. Nonsense. All the Dems have to do is legalize 12 million mestizos, make D.C. and Puerto Rico states, and a few other changes, and they’ll have permanent control.

            1. That will only work until the Democrats really screw up and an all Republican Congress/Administration gets in power.

              They then create 500 new tiny states with all the land in each owned by the RNC and the three homes on the land leased (month-to-month should anyone fall out of line) to the one US House member and to the two US Senators respectively (and for short times, the three condos are rented as necessary to the next incoming Senators/Representative in order to establish the residency requirements in the US Constitution).

              Then “checkmate” and the Democrats will forever regret having started the game.

              1. By the time Democrats lose control, I doubt the Republican Party will still be the opposing party.

          2. Just not enough half-educated racists, superstitious gay-bashers, backwater xenophobes, misogynistic incels, and disaffected clingers left in America for Republicans to stay afloat, let alone reverse the tide of the culture war.

            Other than that, though . . . great comment!

            1. Except that we produce 100% of the nation’s infrastructure. Your side produces code for big tech, financial products, and gay sex.

            2. Jesus. By the rotten tripe you say about those who disagree with you as to the Covid overblown pandemic, scamdemic, or psyops, your targets should feel obliged to call you and supporters half-educated racist anti-racists, superstitious and satanic “breeder” bashers, urban diversity whores, woman-hating gays, and disaffected losers in a country you and they hope to be incorporated into a global communistic system of the “have” pseudo-leftist-socialist rulers over “have-not” “useless eater” minions.

              Culture war or cull-ture war against those whom you despise? Truthfully, those you hate are far more tolerant of you than you are of them. You live for hate, oppression, and genocide, whereas those you blame for your every ill wish to live alone with the polite lies of natural and Constitutional rights accorded them and you by this country’s founding.

              But, it’s all fiction, so the real choice is what side of the satanic divide one feels more comforted by today. Your choice is evident in every comment, even though or because of it, you, too will be considered a useless eater and expendable in the end.

              The hate snuffs all.

              1. “Covid overblown pandemic, scamdemic, or psyops”
                Tell that to the families of the 565,000 dead Americans.

                Lies like yours are toxic

                1. Are you designated hater for my last couple of posts on two different threads, Nico?

                  Apparently, the flu is virtually non-existent now. The math isn’t complex, nor are the fear machinations headlining the padded numbers for Covid every day.

                  I know people who died of long-standing illnesses but whose death certificates stated died of Covid, based on false, amped up PCR tests logged within a month of their demise. One succumbed to heart problems, another a big Dem lawyer who lay in a bicycle accident coma for a couple of months, there was a friend’s parent stricken by a stroke, and so forth.

                  Nobel prize winner and PCR test inventor Kary Mullis emphatically said his test can never diagnose positive infection, only read inert snippets of genetic material. He died at a fairly young age the August before the Wuhan staging of an outbreak.

                  Here’s what toxic: the lying beast system, its aggressive supporters, and all go-along subjects of today’s irrational medical (economic and social) fascism in service to the Great Reset.

                  Maybe you’re really young and brainwashed, but I grew up in the 60s and 70s in which we were warned not to ever believe government, the military, and corporations, aka The Man. I never understood that until the last 20 years.

                  To mask up is to submit to the State and to its destructive nonsense imposed from on high. According to its own literature before Covid, the CDC concluded masks do nothing to stop viral transmission, and, yes, its studies then took into account spittle and aerosolization.

                  Meanwhile, it has changed its tune for the big Covid take-down of how we used to live and breathe. By the way, the CDC and notable health technocrats profit from vaccines and other pharma patents, and we are to believe they with their lying stats and fear-mongering have our best interests at heart.

                  1. You can call my comments what you want.
                    Your comments here are grossly misleading. Dare I say, they are deliberate lies, that you type just to satisfy your political whims. Your very rhetoric is laced with hate for people who have tried to take public health seriously, if not always very effectively.

                    Flu has not been not a significant problem this year. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. The outcome of a flu infections is influenced by co factors much more that COVID-19 is. But the CFR in the US (~2% averaged over the course of the pandemic) is much greater than that of recent flu seasons.

                    Why are you so crazed about masks? They are a simple and low cost prophylactic that reduces the aerosol transmission by a factor of between 2 and 10 depending on how effectively they are used.

                2. 90+% of whom died of something else…

                  1. Go ahead and believe your fantasies Ed.

      2. Yes, because our “stimulus” transferred our wealth to the rest of the world.

    2. Man, my co-worker’s husband really scammed me good by dying from this scam. Can’t believe Herman Cain turned out to be a Democrat too by playing into the Democrat’s ploy by dying. What a RINO.

      1. Was he obese?

        1. Cain seemed like pretty normal weight to me. If you believe this site:

          https://www.celebrityborn.com/biography/herman-cain/17453

          his BMI would have been 26, which is overweight but not obese.

          1. At that BMI the correlation between obesity and covid mortality is only ~ 4%

  5. I always thought it was fairly well known where the six foot rule came from:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_curve

    It’s debatable whether six feet is enough, but it’s an easy number to remember and visualize, and better than nothing, so I imagine that’s why it caught on.

    1. I’ve seen suggestions of ten feet. One article was talking about the possibly of transmission dozens of feet downwind, but at that point I said the hell with it. (Even if it’s theoretically possible, you’d pretty much have to aim your droplets.) Social distancing probably does help. For instance, moving to an uncharted desert isle. (Although, as we all know, uncharted desert isles get lots of visitors. See “Gilligan’s Island.”)

      1. 10 ft is twice as good as 6 ft.

    2. I dunno I’ve seen a clear, cogent explanation of how precisely six-foot was derived. It would be nice if the CDC provided one somewhere, even if they led with the top-line rule.

      But the intuition behind distancing always seemed fairly clear to me, and obviously there’s going to be falloff with increasing distance, and exactly where you draw a line is somewhat of a judgment call (that also should incorporate ease of communicating the line — for example, in most of the world two meters makes more sense than six feet as an easy descriptor). So I didn’t need particular persuading. Maybe, for people who are not terribly inclined to think these things through, more really would be helpful. (Tho probably a lot of these people are just looking for something to nitpick, such as the measure of arbitrariness inherent in a euphonious measurement. It cannot seriously be argued that distancing has no effect on ability to transmit any contagion, when some form of proximity is required for transmission…)

  6. Perhaps the surfaces are too clean. It’s been known that some bacteria produce surfactants that are capable of inactivating certain viruses.

  7. When deaths & hospitalizations decline to negligible. Pretty much just like every other contagion ever.

    Should be another month or two in the US.

  8. It is pretty dumb that we’re still cleaning surfaces like crazy. It would be nice if we could stop doing expensive and ineffective things like deep cleaning surfaces, and just stick with cheap but somewhat effective things like mask wearing indoors. But since Orange Man didn’t like wearing masks and did a bad job dealing with the pandemic, we for some reason now have to choose between doing crazy stuff like surface cleaning and wearing masks outside or pretending the pandemic doesn’t exist.

    It’s kind of depressing, really.

    1. I think the surface cleaning is kind of a safety theater and I don’t mean that to be totally pejorative, people kind of need to feel like they have some control and efficacy in scary situations and that kind of thing helps the customers feel safer even if it’s a bit irrational…

      1. It’s totally safety theater in exactly the way you describe it, and I’m sure businesses like airlines can rationalize it because it costs less than the amount of extra business they’re able to attract by acting like they care a lot. I’m sure there’s also places that started doing it and just don’t want to deal with the hassle of explaining to people why they’re stopping, or just have too much internal inertia to question it.

        I do agree with some of the commentators that the CDC is somewhat at fault here: not only for over-emphasizing surface cleaning initially, but for not making a clearer statement about the fact that it’s not really that helpful and that people can stop doing it. Overall I’d say the CDC has taken an overly conservative posture on various topics throughout the pandemic and it opens up the door for people to ignore other, more important guidance that they issue.

        1. People who go to church and teach their children that fairy tales are true complaining about a lack of evidence with respect to some cleaning? Evidentiary skepticism from the QAnon-birther-‘lock her up’-stolen election side of the political aisle?

          Ouch. Very ouch.

          1. Kirkland, you get a negative reading on your boat’s depth finder and still make it in over the ledge to the safety of the harbor — you do that just once and you’ll stop talking about “fairy tales.”

            1. Are you describing a miracle engineered by sweet newborn infant Jesus, of Talladega Nights fame?

      2. When your local area is reporting a thousand cases per day and when the mortality rate is more than 2%, it is rather foolhardy to avoid clean things brought into the house with a weak bleach solution. That is cheap and effective. Or you can leave the packages out in the bright sun for two hours.

        1. When your local area is reporting a thousand cases per day and when the mortality rate is more than 2%

          That depends entirely on whether you are in the kill zone.
          Healthy 50 year old? Meaningless theater.

          (and…pandemics have never used “cases” as a metric before. Always infections.)

          1. “Healthy 50 year old? Meaningless theater. ”
            Not only stupid, but arrogant in your stupidity.

            BTW, the virologists distinguish between those infected by SARS-CoV-2 and those who develop cases of COVID-19.
            What in the world are you trying to prove with this mindless remark,”pandemics have never used “cases” as a metric before. Always infections”

    2. Expensive and ineffective things kept my business going, as I was paid well to do expensive and ineffective things.

      But you listen to the CDC, you get what you deserve. Because they told us to do expensive and ineffective things.

      Oh, and wearing masks does nothing except to concentrate any pathogens you may be harboring to levels which can infect you.

      Not to mention the effectiveness of someone with a “mountain man” type of beard which allows all those nasty germs out anyway.

      1. “Oh, and wearing masks does nothing except to concentrate any pathogens you may be harboring to levels which can infect you.”

        That is a totally nonsensical concept as you are already stuck with those pathogens by your own hypothesis

      2. Disaffected, anti-social, bigoted janitors are among my favorite sources of pandemic management tips.

    3. There’s no good evidence that masks help at all, and there is evidence they don’t.

      1. One wonders what your ability to judge the evidence in this matter is. One knows you’re highly motivated to find certain answers as well…

        1. Simple. The data strongly suggest that the states with mask mandates have far more hospitalizations and fatalities that states without mask mandates, normalized by population.

          But science is hard.

          1. That’s terrible reasoning, not science. There’s all kinds of ways states might differ in what might be key ways.

            1. Now, that is terrible ratiocinating.

              1. Confounding variables, how do they work?

                1. So, the most ruthless of our progressive totalitarian satraps, the governors of California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, seized emergency powers and proceeded to destroy the livelihoods of millions, shutter tens of thousands of businesses, prohibit the free exercise of religion, forbid freedom of assembly (except for antifa, BLM, and those agitated about the chimera of “systemic ray-cism”), impose mandatory face diapering, and preside over the transfer of mucho dinero from the lower and middle and small business classes to the oligarchs while overseeing some of the highest death rates attributable to the China virus in the world.

                  How does one explain such piss poor performance? What do the “experts” have to say about that? How about “THE” science? What about the cult of Covid? Sorry, I repeat myself.

                  More lockdowns, more mask mandates, more livelihoods lost, more money flowing from Mom & Pop to the multinationals, more Karens, more freedom of assembly restricted, more liberty of travel restricted results in more economic destruction, dislocation, interruption, and ruination.

                  The greater the degree of the Stalinist repression, the more likely the result will not be better health outcomes. To the contrary, it is more likely that there will be more “cases”, more Wu-flu deaths, more nursing home deaths, more drug overdoses, more depression, more suffering, more missed diagnoses, more school canceled, and more divisiveness.

                  1. “The greater the degree of the Stalinist repression”

                    Whether closing bars and what have you is a good or bad policy, it’s just a wee bit shy of how Stalin ran the USSR.

                  2. Hate to break it to you, but once you look beyond NJ, NY, RI and MA, most of the states with high death rates from Covid are very right-leaning and generally imposed much lighter restrictions: MS, AZ, LA, SD, AL all have >200 deaths per 100K. So your theory of “greater repression == worse health outcomes” is clearly flawed. Places like Washington State that locked down early and hard fared *much* better than the Dakotas or Florida.

                    I do think it’s fair to say that there’s not a clear correlation between harsh restrictions and better outcomes, which legitimately should make us wonder in retrospect if it was worth the cost. Hopefully when we’re out of the thick of it all there will be some decent analysis of what worked and what didn’t and better explanations of why some places fared so much better than others to help guide future policy.

                    1. I do think it’s fair to say that there’s not a clear correlation between harsh restrictions and better outcomes, which legitimately should make us wonder in retrospect if it was worth the cost.

                      It has been memory holed, but I remember very clearly
                      “two weeks to flatten the curve”
                      They showed a bar graph of hospitalizations. With the lock downs, and without. The graph showed a “flattened curve”
                      But the two graphs showed exactly the same number hospitalizations. at the end of 6 weeks. No lives saved…deaths the same.

                      In short, the lockdowns were never intended to save lives…because every virologist knows…virus is going to virus.

                    2. That should fall under the ‘no evidence lockdowns/masks were effective’, since it seems pretty random with respect to state actions there.

                      I’d also point out there’s ~100 years on studies of mask impacts on respiratory virus transmission, and the consensus is that masks don’t have a significant effect. (That is, meta-analyses of these studies can’t reject the null hypothesis that there is no effect). That’s what the actual science says.

                    3. “It has been memory holed, but I remember very clearly
                      “two weeks to flatten the curve”
                      They showed a bar graph of hospitalizations. With the lock downs, and without. The graph showed a “flattened curve”
                      But the two graphs showed exactly the same number hospitalizations. at the end of 6 weeks. No lives saved…deaths the same.”

                      This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of flattening the curve. The whole point was to make sure that you don’t overload the system and get to the point where hospital interventions become less effective, for example because we run out of ICU or ventilator capacity so we have to triage care. This actually happened in Italy. So the argument was never “less people are going to go into the hospital” it was “if you don’t flatten the curve, a greater percent of people who need to be hospitalized are going to die”.

          2. DC,
            As a trained engineer, you might actually look at controlled experiments to measure the amount of pathogen transmitted through various types of makes rather than looking at state data with no corrections fo disparate externalities applied.

            1. Wrong variable. You need to look at actual transmission, not just droplet dispersal. Otherwise you’re measuring the wrong thing.

              1. Squirrelloid,

                Droplet dispersal is the only thing that can be accurately measured AND certified by the manufacturer.
                Transmission is affected by many uncontrolled variables and is not a function of the physical characteristics of the barrier.

        2. Yet up above you were pretending to know all about the science. Fraud.

          1. Where did I pretend to know all about the science? Put or shut up, puss puss.

        3. I can’t post two dozen links for you in this comment system and you haven’t asked for it anyway.

          In general, there’s no way around relying on some “experts” for some things. So just ask yourself this. Which expert are you going to believe: Tony Fauci on a Monday, or Tony Fauci on a Tuesday? Assume further that nothing, absolutely nothing compelling changed overnight. Kind of seems like a toss-up at first blush.

          1. We’re talking about a *novel* virus, of course even experts are going to have evolving takes on that kind of thing. It doesn’t mean that they don’t know far, far more than amateur yahoos, especially ones with highly motivated reasoning for ideological reasons.

            1. “We’re talking about a *novel* virus”

              So, I should disinfect my books? 🙂

              This virus has been around for almost a year and a half. At what point do we stop calling if novel?

              1. I would think when we are talking about natural phenomena a year and half is not a long time for something to be around (and understood).

              2. Sure, Matt.
                For you it is SARS-CoV-2.

            2. We’re talking about a *novel* virus, of course even experts are going to have evolving takes

              So the” experts” shutdown the largest economy of the world, on “evolving takes”? Nothing tethered to science…good to know.

              1. The economy of the world was throttled by a virus with a measure Ro in excess of 5 at the time of first lockdowns.
                You seem to think that because experts don’t know all, then they know nothing.

                The people who know nothing are those who make statements such as your last comment

            3. That’s not what “novel” means in this case. It merely means that it isn’t exactly the same as a previously known virus.
              It’s still a coronavirus – something we have decades of research on.
              It’s still a SARS variant – something we have decades of research on.
              It it NOT something totally new and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

              1. So what.
                We did not know enough to stop the transformation of the disease from a local problem to a global pandemic.

          2. ML,
            Your very comments betray that you are not and have never been in search of scientific data. You listen to opinions and then discard some and keep the less informed based on your politics.

          3. You continue to not be an objective observer, but try to wear the mantle of one, even as you wallow in confirmation bias.

            Learn some humility, FFS.

            1. You continue to not be an objective observer, but try to wear the mantle of one, even as you wallow in confirmation bias.

              Learn some humility, FFS.

              Next up…Brian Williams will give a lecture on journalistic integrity.

      2. That’s dumb and wrong, but like I said Donald Trump apparently broke everyone’s brain (I’m not even picking sides on this one) so we get to choose between “do a bunch of stuff, including things that are ineffective” and “rationalize not doing anything at all”.

        Since I think hundreds of thousands of people dying is pretty bad, I’m mostly stuck with the “do a bunch of stuff, including things that are ineffective” team but wish there were a few more folks like Don Nico out there capable of helping to figure out some compromises.

        1. jb,
          There are many compromises that can work, but that will take all of us pulling in our sharp edges at least somewhat.
          What surprises me is the degree to which people want to politicize the covid pandemic.
          To be sure the CDC and FDA, make many incorrect guesses last spring. Many of these are still repeated. Yet in the meanwhile a considerable amount of serious scientific research has been done on SARS-CoV-2 independent of ideology. Many resources, Such as COVID Science Updates are available each day.
          I am sure that I sometimes fail at putting all preconceived notions aside, but I do hope that by keeping an open mind I’ll gain a deeper appreciation of risks and costs

      3. There’s plenty of good evidence that masks help. I can show you the articles. Can you cite the evidence that says they don’t work?

        1. By “help” I mean decrease transmission.

        2. Airtight N95 masks (without exhaust vents) work quite well.
          No lesser mask type has any statistically significant effect upon COVID transmission.

          And that’s the result from peer-reviewed metastudies by the CDC, and the NIH, and published in Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.

  9. Wow, that’s some really good hindsight.

    Now do causes of the Civil War.

  10. Yeah, I’m actually okay with them sterilizing the plane between flights.

    But hey, after “public health laws are unconstitutional” assuming an “anti-cleaning” stance does seem like a natural evolution for you folks.

  11. JB’s post is what one might expect from someone from a Tier 5 Law School

    1. I do not follow the intricacies of America’s shabby schools with precision, but I thought there were four tiers followed by a pool of unranked schools. Has the unranked group come to be known as “Tier 5?”

      1. No, it is just my nomenclature for a school at the bottom.
        Probably just snobbery since my son went to a top 5 law school.

  12. “At some point the deep cleanings will stop.”

    Ipse dixit.

  13. Since this is a legal blog, maybe I’ll ask a legal question about deep cleanings. Let’s say the risk really is 1:10,000 of getting covid infection from fomites on surfaces. So I am a business owner looking to economize, and I reduce labor hours by severely reducing (or stopping) deep cleaning on a daily basis. Of course, because I am in business for altruistic, and not profit purposes, I give those savings to employees in the form of higher pay (just removing profit from the equation here).

    Do I have a legal duty to inform that I (as a business owner) stopped the deep cleans?
    Are the ‘deep cleans’ guidelines, or are they actually laws?

  14. Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection.

    Okay! Good news!

    Or maybe not. Under 1 in 10,000? Make it less. Make it way less. Make it 1 chance in 100,000—an order of magnitude less. Now apply that probability to a population of 100 million determined minimizers.

    How many cases do you get per day, if each minimizer finds only one contaminated door knob on the way to the restroom? Oh, it’s about 3000 cases, just today. Same tomorrow.

    Likewise, every day. But not really the same, not six weeks hence. By then, it’s likely way more per day. Because quite a few of those cases have by then become contagious, and infected with contagious droplets fellow minimizers who surround the fomite victims.

    Absent controls, total case numbers increase exponentially. But there is nothing minimizers want to minimize more than they want to minimize controls, and thus by foolishness keep exponents high enough to assure increasing case numbers.

    It is astonishing that with nothing better than high school math you can get at least rudimentary insight into why Covid contagion has defied minimizer predictions. Yet we still get stupid OPs like the one Blackman delivered above. Stupid OPs, and a claque of dupes to cheer them on.

    1. I agree that the ‘1 in 10000’ line isn’t particularly enlightening, but you do realize you’re arguing with quotes from the CDC, right? I don’t know if you followed the provided link to the CDC source of the quotes, but here is the executive summary from that page:

      “The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low.”

      1. Yes, in a sense Stephen is arguing with the CDC which is making that statement to get people to wear mask, So it tries to minimize the importance of other means of transmission, which in fact may have greater that 1 in 10,000 chance for an elderly immuno-
        compromised person for who the number of virions needed to cause infection may be much lower than for a young healthy person

      2. Absaroka, I prove it every day. I am a bad writer. I try to make a point, and it’s as if I just confused everyone.

        No, Absaroka, I am not arguing with the CDC. I am taking their data and interpretation, making it notably more conservative for the sake of argument, and showing that even that delivers a far-from-negligible bad result.

        As for the CDC’s executive summary, on the point you chose to emphasize, it is somewhat at odds with the body of the paper, where there is language saying, (1) that they are not confident they have yet measured fomite contributions accurately, and, (2) that hand washing makes a non-trivial difference for preventing infections. That hand-washing result is presumably at odds with any conclusion that fomites are a negligible source of infections.

        But the larger point I tried to make, also at odds with the tone of the executive summary, is that before you conclude a 1-in-10,000 chance of infection per-touch of infected surfaces is a low risk, you not only have to know a lot more about infected surfaces and how often they get touched, but you also have to consider the stakes. If a tiny fraction of a very large population will die because of that risk, that could be a lot of deaths. Arguably, the current horrific death toll is but a tiny fraction. Coping with that has convulsed the nation nevertheless.

        1. “As for the CDC’s executive summary, on the point you chose to emphasize, it is somewhat at odds with the body of the paper, …”

          Just to be clear, *I* didn’t choose to emphasize anything; the *CDC* decided on what to put in their bold faced summary, which I quoted in its entirety.

          You wish to emphasize some parts of the CDC’s article differently than the CDC did, and provide your own analysis which leads to different conclusions. And that’s just fine, no one has to agree with the CDC’s conclusions. I disagreed with them when they said masks didn’t work, after all.

  15. Yes, folks, that is how science works. We make the best inferences we can make with the data we have, and we make them provisionally. (Got that, all you lily-livered poseurs, who were, at different times in the past, pre-law-undergrads, and were afraid to take courses on differential equations or quantum mechanics or hard-core statistics, lest they spoil your perfect 4.0 transcripts and stop you from getting into the Law School Of Your Choice? PROVISIONALLY!!!)

    And then when we get some new data, we CHANGE our inferences and recommendations. And then it happens again. And gradually, OVER TIME, we approach consensus.

    And even then, the consensus can change.

    There’s really only one thing you can hear from a scientist and count on it being the actual truth: when the scientist says “we don’t know enough yet to give you an answer with much confidence.”

    This bit from a now-classic zombie-flick from 1985 sums the situation up pretty well. Every new public-health crisis seems to elicit this kind of exchange:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNMYPUoUfiU&t=85s

  16. The only truly efficacious aspect of the prophylactic protocol – in the grander scheme of things – is abandoned. I have always sanitized my home.

    All we are left with is visible virtue signaling for the petty tyrants to rage at.

    Kisses and hugs. No mask. No CoViD vaccination. Faux FauXi

  17. Cleaning and sterilizing is a standard response to epidemics. It often works. It’s reasonable for people to do things that have worked in the past.

    Criticism is easy. Anybody who actually accomplishes anything is going to make some mistakes and is going to do some things that worked in the past but don’t work as well this time.

    1. For the disaffected, ignorant, and increasingly irrelevant, nipping at the ankles of their betters may be just about all they have left.

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