I don’t normally blog about specific healthcare issues, but I’ve noticed a troubling omission from a number of reputable public health resources and their advice, and, frankly, some serious mistakes that have been made, because these sources have not yet incorporated important discoveries, and are therefore making recommendations which are not based on current evidence. No, I am not a doctor, but I do know how to read research papers carefully and look for confirming or disconfirming evidence.
We know, for sure, that COVID-19 spreads not only by droplet and contact, but also by aerosols. We’ve actually known that since the beginning, and we need to come back to that for public guidance and understanding, because I think that a number of people have lost the thread. Specifically, we knew this because healthcare professionals were rightly seeking good personal protective equipment including face shields and N95 masks when dealing with patients and ‘aerosolizing events.’ What this means for SARS-Cov2 care in particular, is that intubation and extubation tend to generate…spray. And it’s small enough that it gets carried about, more than the 6 foot / 2 meter recommendations.
What we’ve learned (or need to learn) is that aerosols are persistent, and they build up over time in enclosed spaces.
Understanding this should change your behaviour, and it’s important. It’s also important not to panic, in the sense of “oh no! It’s in the air! All is lost!”…which isn’t true.