COVID-19 Doesn’t Play

I haven’t posted for awhile because I tested positive for COVID-19. It started out mild but then hit me hard. While I was able to stay home, I did feel pretty sick for about a week. While I am off quarantine now, I am still tired and don’t feel quite back to normal. Overall though, I feel blessed to have stayed out of the hospital.

I feel more certain than ever that mask wearing is necessary and churches should stop clutching their rights to meet together. We only have a few more months until a vaccine is widely available. Surely, we can wait a few more months to get together in large groups.


27 thoughts on “COVID-19 Doesn’t Play”

  1. “So are any of us safe indoors during the COVID-19 era? Can we go to a grocery store? Can we meet with a loved one? John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, alongside his MIT colleague Martin Z. Bazant, have answered that question with a complex mathematical model, which simulates the fluid dynamics of virus-loaded respiratory droplets in any space, from a cozy kitchen to a gigantic concert hall.

    The tool assumes one person in a room with you has COVID-19. Then, it hands you an incredible amount of control to tweak the variables at play. These variables include details about the building: What’s the square footage? What’s the height of the ceiling? How about the HVAC system—is it a standard domestic furnace or does it have a fancy HEPA filter? What’s the humidity? Is a window open? The variables also include all sorts of details about human behavior: How many other people are there with you? Are they wearing masks? Cotton or surgical? Do they wear masks properly or pull them down their face a bit? Are they whispering or singing?

    At first glance, all of these controls might seem overwhelming. (And they are!) But the payoff is worth it. Because the tool gives you a very clear answer of how long how many people can safely be in a space together.

    1. MIT has modeled the transmission of covid indoors.

      Let’s run this model for a small office (200 sq ft), 8 ft ceiling, mechanical ventilation, residential air filtration, 60% rel

      humidity. Four folks in the room, in normal health, resting and talking. One is infectious with covid.

      If no one wears a mask, the room air will be unsafe and infection transmission occur in 31 minutes.
      If everyone wears a single layer cotton mask, the room air will be unsafe and infection transmission occurin 2 hours.
      If everyone wears a multi-layer cotton mask, the room air will be unsafe in 3 hours.
      If everyone wears a disposable surgical mask, the room air will be unsafe in 17 hours.
      If everyone wears an N-95 mask, the room air will be unsafe in 4 days.

      Hence, masks reduce (but don’t eliminate) the transmission risk.
      This addresses the “masks are mandated, but infection still occurs; hence masks don’t work” argument.

  2. Thank goodness you are okay. Please take good care of yourself–COVID has a nasty habit of roaring back just when you think it’s done.

  3. Welcome back, Warren. Glad you’re on the mend. We missed you!

    Sadly, nothing’s changed in your absence. Eric Metaxas just posted Trump’s 46 minute crazy conspiracy theory rant on his own YouTube channel.

  4. I’m so sorry to read this, Professor. Prayers for healing from me and hope that you are soon back to normal. Take care of yourself, please!

  5. I am glad you are recovering. My mother died from Covid . She was 89 years old- and was in Memory Care. It was in last March when the first surge was burning through the country.
    I am also angry and puzzled why there are people in our nation who regard health precautions as assaults on liberty. I am horrified that our president* has done nothing about the life threatening and economy wrecking pandemic except to lie about it- and encourage his cult followers to risk death to show support for him. I believe his encouragement for this reckless behavior is evil and if our president* was more intelligent, or less evil, he would never have chosen this path.
    I am 69 years old and taking every precaution recommended- and still I believe none of us are absolutely safe until the advent of the vaccine.
    But it’s happy news that you have passed through the worst and are coming out the other side.

    1. My condolences. My own parents are the same age, and we were very grateful they’re still living in their own home and not in a care facility. They live in Stratford-upon-Avon, in the UK, and there was a large spike in deaths in the local care homes at the start of the pandemic. It’s been a rough year for them, nonetheless.

  6. Oh Warren! I am very pleased to hear you are on the mend. (I was beginning to wonder why a new post was so long in coming.)

    One of my closest friends, who has a number of risk factors (e.g. male and over 50, diabetic) in play in his situation, has just recently had a similar experience to yours. A few months ago, a rather younger friend was similarly affected. I think I know around 25 people who have have had symptomatic COVID-19.

  7. Sorry you had to suffer through the illness, Warren.

    Glad it was no worse, and that you are on the mend.
    Good luck!

  8. Sorry to hear about that Prof. but with what is going on in the world this thing is not that surprising. I have others I have known get the virus, but none that have gone into the hospital, thank God. And while I am not anti-vac I would not suggest anyone get there hopes up too much with the vaccines. They have been developed extra quick and they are using new tech that has never been this widely tested in the population, so many people are saying they would rather risk the virus than the vaccine. I do understand this and would not put down the people who are hesitant. Indeed, I am one of those. This is especially true for the young and the healthy, much less so for those at greatest risk.

  9. So sorry to hear that you’ve been going through this, Warren. I hope that you’ll make a full recovery.

  10. Warren! Sorry to hear you got sick, but glad to hear you are better. Please take care of yourself, one of my close friends has “long COVID” and heart trouble as a result.

    Speaking of COVID-19, the city of Los Angeles issued this evening (Wednesday, Dec. 2) what is basically a shelter in place order:

    All residents within the city of Los Angeles were ordered to remain in their homes effective immediately, according to an emergency order issued Wednesday evening.

    The previous “safer-at-home” order was withdrawn and superseded by the new one published Wednesday, which is “necessary for the protection of life and property in the City of Los Angeles,” the order states. It largely mirrors the existing LA. County protocols that went into effect Monday.

    Many residents were notified with an email and text alert from the city’s NotifyLA System Wednesday night.

    Grace Community Cult Church is in the city limits of Los Angeles. So I checked the mayor’s order to see what is in place for churches.

    Here from the bottom of page 7:

    26.Places of worship, provided that the gathering of congregants is held outdoors,
    and after implementing the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
    Places of Worship Protocol.

    I fully expect Grace Community Cult Church to implement the….WAIT, who am I kidding? John MacArthur knows more than a bunch of epidemiologists and public health professionals. Maybe even more than God.

    Anyway, you get well, and I’m sure that GCC will be waiting for you when you’re feeling MUCH better!

  11. Like everyone else, I’m really glad to hear that you’ve cleared this hurdle — facing down these odds is no small matter. I don’t want to pry, but… given that you’ve been taking all due precautions all along, can you say what sort of precaution you wish you had taken, beyond social distancing and wearing a mask?

    1. Yeah, that would be good to know, since I’ve been doing militant social distancing and wearing a mask since March.

    2. I wish I knew. I have not been able to figure it out. I masked up everywhere. The only thing I can think of is I live in an area where mask compliance is low, relatively speaking. When I go out, I always see people not wearing them.

      1. Here that’s called “NO I WON’T! AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! FREEDOM!!!”

        Anti-mask has become the latest way of announcing Whose Side You Are On, Your Macho Manliness, and Litmus Test of your Salvation.


      2. Unfortunately the mask (short of a properly used N95) is more effective at protecting others from the mask wearer than vice versa (though still some protection). My area is tightening up starting tomorrow though my the standards of the rest of the country we’ve been fairly tight all along. Thanksgiving and Christmas may kill thousands.

        1. Good on you for your high standards.

          Nothing “unfortunate” about protecting others. If we all did that, then we’d all be protected!

      3. My wife and I tested positive the day before Thanksgiving and we’re not sure where we were infected either. Our daughter tested negative. We’ve taken a cautiously vigilant approach since the beginning; wearing masks, distancing, and choosing destinations wisely. We suspect the infection may have come from either her workplace or her doctor’s office. I also suspect that surface contact spread may be a bigger issue than experts think at this time. My unsubstantiated, and possibly ignorant, theory is that workers who touch their masks frequently at retail establishments may be another source of superspread

        Anyway, thanks for the information you share and take care.

  12. Sorry to hear you wrestled with Covid-19.
    Glad to hear you are recovering.
    Take good care of yourself.

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