I am still not seeing as much as I would like about ventilation. One of main things we have learned about the virus is that indoor air exchange is the A-1 vector for transmission. I think of this at work when I go down to the cafeteria and a young woman with gloves has to pick up a sugar packet, a coffee stirrer, and a coffee cover and hand it to me. Then I go back to an isolated office for phone and online meetings while all the air in the building is pumped directly onto me.
This is significant for nursing homes. No everyone is there for the comorbidities we are so attentive to these days. For some, it is dementia, or mobility and balance issues, or Parkinson’s symptoms that prevent independent living. But there they are, now stuck in close quarters with a lot of people with C-Pap machines aerosolising everything. I have an ugly suspicion that it goes less-noticed because it is not easily weaponised by either camp in the national debate. If a governor had said early on that businesses like restaurants could stay open with a few restrictions, so long as they had ventilation systems that met a certain standard – particularly in areas outside of the Northeast cities that were so heavily affected – it would be hard to gin up anger either way. Dan from Madison raised the caution flag that a lot of these systems are now so far back-ordered that no one is getting delivery in months. I’m betting that stuff is harder to switch production to than individual ventilators. So who can capitalise on that one at the Conventions?
I have also not heard much about viral load, which I suggested early on would be important. Next-most-affected after older people are those taking care of them. It can’t be a non-factor, but whether it large or merely worth noting as a possibility would seem of some interest. If I were to guess, the importance of superspreader events would suggest that crowds indoors are an enormous risk.
Bsking just mentioned in the Apples to Apples comments (at Assistant Village Idiot) that America’s high obesity rate as a factor is also neglected. That matters at a couple of levels. Median age has also been mentioned WRT Laos in specific and SE Asia in general. It likely matters.
The advance notice for the Apples to Apples II post is that the regional approach within countries does look like the best way to look at this, and whatever lessons we might extract across countries are often going to come from this.