Plexiglass Barriers Won’t Stop the Virus at the Debate, Experts Warn – By Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times

“A box fan, an air filter — and duct tape to attach them.

With four such cobbled together devices, at perhaps a total of $150, the vice-presidential debate on Wednesday night could be made much safer, according to experts in airborne viruses.

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris were seated more than 12 feet apart on the podium, with plexiglass barriers between them. Mr. Pence and his aides had objected to the barriers, but relented on Tuesday night.

The barriers might make more sense if Mr. Pence and Ms. Harris were seated more closely together on the podium, scientists said. But the risk in this setting is airborne transmission of the coronavirus, and the barriers will do nothing to protect Ms. Harris and the moderator, Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of USA Today, if Mr. Pence were infected.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines confirming that the virus can be carried aloft by aerosols — tiny droplets — farther than six feet indoors. In one recent study, scientists isolated infectious virus some 16 feet from an infected patient in a hospital.

‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus. – By Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times

“It begins with a mild fever and malaise, followed by a painful cough and shortness of breath. The infection prospers in crowds, spreading to people in close reach. Containing an outbreak requires contact tracing, as well as isolation and treatment of the sick for weeks or months.

This insidious disease has touched every part of the globe. It is tuberculosis, the biggest infectious-disease killer worldwide, claiming 1.5 million lives each year.

Until this year, TB and its deadly allies, H.I.V. and malaria, were on the run. The toll from each disease over the previous decade was at its nadir in 2018, the last year for which data are available.

Yet now, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, consuming global health resources, these perennially neglected adversaries are making a comeback. “

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Apoorva Mandavilli. What a gut wrenching story. It would be wonderful, if the world community wanted to provide affordable or free health care to all the 7. 6 billion humans on the planet. Here is my deal, I work for that, if it includes comprehensive family planning, and and effort for negative population growth. Scientists like Edward O Wilson, or some of his friends, have suggested that the worlds ecosystems and non human species would be much better off if the human population was not greater than 4 billion. Any number greater than that is probably unstainable, without the crowding out of many other species. So, we can do like grownups. or let nature do it with pandemics, floods, famines, fires, droughts, and civil wars.
David blogs at InconvenientNews.Net, and is the author or The Tay Son Rebellion, an historical fiction on 18th century Vietnam.