Superspreaders

Recently in the New York Times there was article that suggested “Most People with Coronavirus Won’t Spread it. Why Do a Few Infect Many?

Covid, it seems, is like a forest fire that can simmer and then sudden flash over.  While many diseases have a steady rate of infection (each person passes it on to two or three more), COVID seems different, It appears dependent not on the mass of victims to spread the disease,but on a few super spreaders.  10 percent of the positive seem to be infecting 80 percent of the subsequent positives. How is this possible?

In the right situations, the article explains, one person can become a “virus chimney”  All it takes is:

  1. The right day (likely a few days after infection)
  2. The right place (a crowded bar?  A church choir?  A meat packing plant?  A nursing home.
  3. An extended period of time where that superspreader is in contact with a group of people.

This is why we all need to wear masks and also to avoid contained spaces for extended periods of time.  We need to do this not only to help avoid corona ourselves, but to avoid being a virus chimney infecting others before we even know we have it.

Here is a great discussion of how masks work.  It contains a great line.  

My mask protects you.  Your mask protects me.

Stay Safe.

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