It's Still A Pandemic, Y'Know
HI HO, Friendly Neighborhood Scientist here!
I wanted to post this link from Science News (6 June) where they go over the pandemic now, such as the difference between antibody tests and virus tests (blood vs nose); treatments vs vaccine; what contact tracing is; and (important to me lately) on how the stress of everything is real.
I can still Sandwalk all of this for us, but liked how they presented the useful information clearly.
A quick Things To Remember list:
-- The pandemic is no different now than it was when it began.
-- Everyone can still get the virus, even though we are feeling like getting back out together.
-- The US is still woefully under testing for live virus.
-- All the same mask wearing, hand washing, and blah blah blah continues to apply the minute you step out of your house.
-- The business of outside being safer than inside has to do with a few facts, including:
1) The virus can hang in the air from breath (talking, breathing, shouting) for up to 3 HOURS. In theory if you are outside and moving about in lots of air, it is more difficult to encounter an infectious load ("the solution to pollution is dilution"). It's why a mask outside is still important if you will be among fellow humans;
2) Sunlight. Virus denatures in sunlight after an hour or more depending on the surface, longer on porous substrates. That said, don't wear a mask at a rally and get coughed on -- and no amount of sun will prevent you from getting the virus.
3) If we contract the virus, the same odds apply: people with underlying conditions and risks can get it more easily and potentially suffer greatest -- and then all of the rest of us roll the dice from whether we will be asymptomatic or dead -- or somewhere in between.
4) DO: Enjoy friends and family (who continue to behave safely) in outdoor settings: wear masks if more people are together, like at a picnic table and must sit close; socially distance; don't hug and faff about with personal contact; wash hands -- and have some churrasca for me!
Ultimately? Stay away from each other as much as possible by staying home, and make conscious decisions about where to go out and with whom.