Does disinfectant theater contribute to coronaplague?

Text message exchange with a couple of 24-year-olds:

  • Me: We can come over now.
  • Them: We are at the gym!
  • Me: You’re always there. I am amazed you haven’t gotten coronaplague yet!
  • Them: Hahaha I know! The gym we go to is super clean.

Surface contamination has been ruled out as a significant source of coronavirus infection, right? (see below, however, for how cleaning can cut flu risk by 2 percent) Everyone agrees that it is now mostly about aerosols and therefore a gym is a perfect environment for spreading, yes? (People breathing hard and relying on non-N95 masks and/or bandanas as PPE.)

Masks make people complacent and prone to ignoring instructions to keep a 6′ distance. I wonder if the sight of workers with spray bottles and paper towels has the same effect. These 24-year-olds feel that they are significantly less likely to get infected because they’ve seen every surface being wiped, despite the fact that wiped surfaces are irrelevant when faced with an aerosol enemy.


5 thoughts on “Does disinfectant theater contribute to coronaplague?

  1. At the Doctor’s Office: Approximately 5-6 patients in the waiting room, a couple others in line checking in. Everyone socially distanced with seats cordoned off in alternate rows. At check in, you get a laminated plastic card to leave on the chair so that someone can disinfect the seats afterward.

    The receptionist at the door was seated behind plexiglass barriers, the check-in receptionists were all behind glass barriers. Everyone masked, of course. At least a dozen of the open seats couldn’t be used because they still had laminated cards on them! Nobody was wiping the seats down! The guy at the door had the supplies, but he was deeply involved with his smartphone. I guess they waited until nobody could sit down anymore before they wiped down the seats and collected the cards. Batch mode.

  2. Also, I used to see articles every few months about how excessive cleaning was weakening people’s immune systems. Of course, those articles all stopped in March of this year when the human immune system apparently just stopped working in Western Europe and North America.

  3. Pre ‘rona all sorts of articles were showing up saying hand sanitizer is bad. Schools were getting rid of sanitizer, etc. We’ve come so far(backwards) in so little time

  4. Very few college-educated people have a good ad hoc understanding of biology. In Science We Trust. Dr Fauci understands the science.

  5. Supermarkets. Drove a relative to one yesterday and waited in the car for their post-shop briefing. Jam packed, lots of people (all wearing masks) trying and mostly failing to social-distance. There was quite a bit of hand-sanitization going on, but not uniformly by any means. It’s a very difficult problem to stop an airborne infectious disease under those circumstances. The biggest problem is that people need to breathe in order to stay alive, and if you put several hundred of them together in an enclosed space, even if they’re all wearing masks, something’s gonna give.

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