To quote an article from ScienceDaily.com,
In medicine, transmission is the passing of a disease from an infected individual or group to a previously uninfected individual or group. In order to survive, microorganisms that require human hosts must have a way to be transmitted from one host to another.
Infectious agents are generally specialised for a particular method of transmission. Microorganisms vary widely in the length of time that they can survive outside the human body, and so vary in how they are transmitted.
The main thing to know about transmission is that we do not want it to occur. A lot of people do not want COVID-19 transmitted to them. A somewhat smaller number also would prefer not to transmit it to others. It is important to know where the dangers lie, because (in America, anyway) people get very annoyed at being asked to inconvenience themselves, unless science is 100% certain the consequences are life or death. And, sad to say, maybe not even then.
We especially hope to avoid transmission in schools, for the sake of all children and their families; and teachers, bus drivers, school employees, and all of their families. We especially do not want obese kids to get it, because they tend to fare very badly with this illness.
COVID-19 exhibits mission creep
During earliest days of awareness, both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control agreed that a person takes the virus on board by being close to a sick person and inhaling respiratory droplets, or by touching a contaminated surface before touching one’s face.
But other experts contended that tiny aerosol droplets could stay in the air for quite a while, and travel quite a distance. In a letter published by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, 239 research scientists from 32 different countries declared this aerosol transmission as not a theory but a certainty.
This, combined with the growing certainty that people with no symptoms can spread the illness, led to the practice of masking both indoors and outdoors, regardless of distance. Hospitals became more aware of the need for strict practices in such areas as the proper disposal or cleaning of used personal protective coverings.
A very thorough analysis of the infamous Skagit Valley Chorale practice, including “church-hall blueprints, furnace specifications, locations of choir members and hours of attendance,” made it clear that this was a superspreader event by means of aerosol dispersion. The aerosol theory, which had at first been labeled “outlandish,” became accepted .
Here is a puzzling question. For years now, many people have protested vigorously against the practice of raising fur-bearing mammals to make coats from. In view of that, how are so very many mink still being farmed in so many countries? Anyone who wants to ruin their day is invited to Google the words “mink” and “coronavirus” together. Apparently the little critters are perfectly capable of transmitting the virus to humans.
COVID-19 comes at us from many directions. Of course this is fanciful, but it sure does seem like the disease is a sentient being, capable of learning, growing, adapting, and diversifying as it goes along. Mere humans struggle to adapt quickly enough to keep up with it — or with the ongoing revelations of its secrets.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Transmission (medical),” ScienceDaily.com, undated
Source: “Scientists say WHO ignores the risk that coronavirus floats in air as aerosol,” LATimes.com, 07/04/20
Image by Jeff/CC BY-ND 2.0