March 18. The Coronavirus is Airborne

March 18.  The Coronavirus is Airborne 

A new article in the New England Journal of Medicine, covered in The NY Times and by CNN, states that the Coronavirus small droplets are airborne.  It has the small 5 micron size ones lasting a half hour, until they settle.  But at the end of the three hour test, there was still a trace left.  Airborne viruses are much more communicable than just droplet ones.  The WHO has been classifying it as a droplet virus, emitted with coughing and sneezing, with a range of six feet, which is now a national standard.

The article also covers surface survival.  On copper, it can last four hours, but for days on stainless steel.  On plastic and steel, it can last three days.  On cardboard and clothes it can last 24 hours.  Someone questioned gloves, as I have been thinking.  What happens when you touch surfaces with gloves, and then still touch your face, or wipe your nose?  You can even contaminate yourself when you take off the gloves. 

Schools have been completely closed in 31 states, and California is thinking about it.  41 million out of 56 million students are affected by this.  Some are closed until the end of the academic year.   It is very risky that at the time the Coronavirus is exponentially exploding, Spring Break is sending students and families to mix all over the country.  Florida is a key vacation spot.  50.8 million students are in public schools, and 5.8 million in private schools.  In California, nearly all districts are closed.

Dr. Birx and Sanjay Gupta are warning that young people can also be seriously hurt by the Coronavirus.  This is in motivating them to also observe social distancing.  In China, infected children has 50% mild cases, but 39% were moderate, and 6% were severe.  Ones that were put into ICUs could have 20%-30% reduced lung capacity, that lasts for half a year or more.  Children under 5 were more at risk.

People with the Coronavirus have been dying 8 days after showing symptoms.  Symptoms usually appear 5 days after being infected.

CNN has been saying that 4 out of 5 infections in China were from unknown sources.

Analyzing today’s data, the US has 9,415 cases, with now 150 deaths.  The deaths are 68 in WA, 20 in NY, 16 in CA, 8 in FL, 7 in LA, and 5 in NJ.  Now that more tests are available, but still not enough, Dr. Birx warns us that the number of cases are going to jump for 4 or 5 days.

The 9,415 cases are a large 3,063 cases more than the 6,352 of yesterday.  That rate of increase is 3,063/6,352 = 48.2%.

Here is our curve, matching those of other severely afflicted countries.  Unfortunately, it is a logarithmic scale, just showing the same exponential growth slope.

New York with the largest number of cases, 3,083, has increased by 1,376 over 1,707 yesterday.  The rate of increase is a whopping 1,376/1,707 = 80.6%.

Next largest Washington has increased only 85 cases to 1,187 from 1,102 yesterday.  The increase is only 85/1,102 = 7.7%.  I’m not celebrating yet.

California has 870 cases, up 170 from 700.  The rate of increase is 170/700 = 24.3%.

Florida has 330 cases, up 114 from 216 yesterday.  The rate of increase is a large 114/216 = 52.8%.

NJ is next with 427 cases, IL has 290, LA has 280, MA has 256, TX has 223, and CO has 221.

While Canada and the US have mostly closed their border, Canada only has 727 cases, while the US has 3,083 in bordering NY, and 1,187 in bordering WA.

Trump is selling this as protecting the US, but the opposite is true.  Also, Mexico only has 93 cases, but Trump is considering protecting us there also.  I think that Mexico is glad that Trump has improved the wall.

Los Angeles has 190 cases.  Orange County has 42.  12 of them are community acquired.  8 are in people over 65.  9 million Californians are ordered to stay at home.  That is about one out of four.  I’m one of them.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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