Evidence says: double down on mask-wearing, ease up on deep-cleaning (but don’t stop the handwashing)

A month’s worth of links on preventative measures.

June 26, with visual aids: “I sneezed, sang, talked & coughed toward an agar culture plate with or without a mask. Bacteria colonies show where droplets landed. A mask blocks virtually all of them.

June 29: “For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, health and government officials assured the public that young people were at little or no risk of falling seriously ill from COVID-19. But many young people who have contracted the virus tell a very different story.

July 10, something positive: “We were given a list of the names of residents on each floor and worked our way through every apartment, continuing until they’d all been visited. Testing was completely voluntary, yet not one resident said no. They were incredibly thankful, respectful and grateful for us being there.

July 18: “We had three new positive cases on the same day in this town, but people can’t be bothered to put a piece of cloth over their face. The sheriff’s department is closed to the public because it has a bunch of positive cases, but they still won’t enforce the mask law. One day I said to my co-worker, ‘I need to leave the store right now or I’m going to lose it. I’m going to explode.'”

July 27: “The scientists I spoke with emphasized that people should still wash their hands, avoid touching their face when they’ve recently been in public areas, and even use gloves in certain high-contact jobs. They also said deep cleans were perfectly justified in hospitals. But they pointed out that the excesses of hygiene theater have negative consequences. For one thing, an obsession with contaminated surfaces distracts from more effective ways to combat COVID-19.

July 30: “A local business that operates in a somewhat cramped indoor space sent me an email about how it was “keeping clean and staying healthy,” illustrated by 10 bottles of hand sanitizer without a word on ventilation—whether it was opening windows, employing upgraded filters in its HVAC systems, or using portable HEPA filters. It seems baffling that despite mounting evidence of its importance, we are stuck practicing hygiene theater—constantly deep cleaning everything—while not noticing the air we breathe.

And while you’re protecting each other, take a minute to help protect local museums:

“The institutions surveyed ranged from aquariums to botanical gardens to science centers. […] Their annual budgets ranged from less than $50,000 to more than $10 million, but according to AAM, the vast majority — 87% — said they had only 12 months or less of financial operating reserves, with 56 percent having less than six months left to cover operations.

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