Wednesday 8 April 2020

Day 23 of self-isolation

Should we wear masks? Let's look at the science.

Mythbusters did a simple test, and it turn out that a sneeze can carry for 17 feet. More rigorous scientific studies give a distance of 7-8 meters. In other words, if you sneeze, you project whatever viruses that you're infected with, for a long distance. A two meter separation isn't enough!

So, we're advised to sneeze into a tissue, which is a great idea (and dispose of it properly). But I find that a sneeze comes on me so suddenly, I dno't have the time to grab a tissue. The alternative advice is to sneeze into your elbow, which isn't great, but is better than spraying out viruses for 8 meters.

Which is why a mask is a good idea.

It doesn't have to be a medical grade mask; just a cotton scarf around your mouth will be enough to curtail that 8 meter travel.

And the mask has another effect - it will persuade people to stay clear of you. Especially if you wear a sign that says "I have not been tested for Covid-19 so I don't know if I'm infected or not"

Of course, the time to wear a mask is if you have Covid-19. But since you probably don't know whether you have it or not (people are infectious but without symptoms for 7 to 21 days) the public-spirited thing to do in these days of Covid-19, is to wear a mask whenever you go out. So if you do sneeze (or cough), the virus particles are trapped by the scarf.

When you get home, it would be easy to disinfect the scarf, and reuse it later. We've been offered re-usable face masks for £8.

We're running out of milk. My coffee is a lot darker.

And then we had a delivery - mostly fresh vegetables and fruit, but also a lot of milk. Hurrah! Coffee with milk again.

The Diprobase cream has greatly improved the backs of my hands. Or maybe they just got better on their own.

938 deaths in the UK yesterday, 14% up on the previous day. This is a big increase, and a bigger growth rate than we've seen before. Italy and Spain are fown to 3.1 and 4.3 growth; they are a week or two ahead of us.

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