With businesses beginning to open up, what can they do to stop a second wave of infections.
Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?
They're all starting to open up across the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.
This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”
Super spreaders spread the virus more efficiently than your average person.
Some studies are showing strong evidence that the new coronavirus can linger in the air for hours before entering a person's lungs; especially, with closed control AC units.
Temperature checks and routine health screenings of workers are mandatory under the guidelines. Restaurants are encouraged to provide outdoor seating whenever possible, but it’s not a requirement. It’s also not required that restaurant goers wear masks while seated.
Reconsider hanging out in public enclosed spaces for too long.
Superspreaders are capable of walking into a bar, restaurant or church, and simply by chatting or singing infect many people around them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t officially recognize airborne transmission of the virus as a significant threat; nor does the World Health Organization.
The science isn’t settled on superspreaders or whether aerosols can pack a viral punch strong enough to infect and kill people. While some researchers have argued that there’s enough evidence to warrant immediate action, others have said there’s a lack of definitive studies.
Still, the emerging data was enough to get the attention of Dr. Robert Schooley, an infectious disease expert at the UCSD School of Medicine. He coauthored the paper with Prather and is genuinely concerned about the airborne spread of the virus and disregard for face coverings.
According to Dr Robert Schooley, an infectious disease expert at Univerisity of California San Diego School of Medicine, “if you want to be successful in going back to work and going back to school, wearing a mask is the best way to ensure that experiment is successful. If you want to have it fail, go to restaurants and don’t wear masks and yell at each other across the table.”
The term “droplet transmission,” refers to virus-laden moisture often expelled during a cough or sneeze that quickly falls to the floor. Droplets, technically speaking, are moisture bubbles larger than 5 micrometers, while the more buoyant aerosols are anything smaller.
Businesses are definitely struggling and quarantine fatigue is definitely starting to affect people. It seems that there will be no way to effectively stop the businesses from opening up or from people going to these establishments. In these areas, therefore, businesses need to ensure the safety of their customers if they are to stay open for a meaningful amount of time.
Both businesses and customers need to practice excellent hand hygiene, sanitation, face masks, as well as social distancing and physical barriers when possible. Without these measures, it's more than likely that a the virus will begin to thrive in these public and potentially crowded areas with poor ventilation and we will definitely experience a second wave of infections.