Day 180 – Covid stuff

I’ve been hard at work all day and I’m likely to be hard at work until I go to bed, so here are a couple of Covid-related things I have found recently.

First off, this image, which describes the mentality of each of these four groups of people perfectly. I mean, there are other terms that you could also use for three of them, but I think that this approach works nicely for a family-friendly blog post.

And then, rather more seriously, this thread which I spotted on Twitter and has loads of information on the latest scientific research and discoveries about you know what and especially how it gets around.

Lots of practical advice in there.
Go and have a read.

Day 168 – Pandemic ends as parent is “so over it already”

Great news.

A parent on a local Whatsapp group has single-handedly ended the Coronavirus/Covid-19 world pandemic.

During a discussion around the need for safety protocols including sanitising your hands and wearing a mask* at an indoor venue, the parent happened to remark:

But really now I am so over this already

And added a facepalm emoji for extra gravitas (please note that touching one’s face is not recommended).

Anyway, it seems that someone important was reading the aforementioned Whatsapp group, as a statement from the SARS-CoV-2 virus was issued very shortly afterwards. It’s fairly lengthy, so I’m not going to share the whole thing, but here’s some of what the spokesperson had to say.

As the officially recognised causal agent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SARS-Cov-2 virus was both disappointed and alarmed to learn that one of the parents in the [redacted] Whatsapp group was “so over this already”. It was believed that the human population of the planet were at least content with the situation as it currently stands. We had no idea that people were unhappy with how things were going.
Someone should have said something.

While it was always our intention to kill as many people as possible – a goal assisted by individuals being “so over” wearing masks, washing their hands and socially distancing – we’d like to keep our relationship with mankind as amicable as possible, and so we will be ending the global pandemic with immediate effect.

We would have done this much sooner if we had known that really now people were so over this already.

So there you have it.

If only someone had made the point that really now they were so over this already previously.
We could have avoided an awful lot of fuss.

Personally, really now I’m so over people ignoring Covid-19 regulations because really now they are so over this already.

Want more regulations? Then just keep choosing to ignore the ones we have now.

Very straightforward stuff.

 

* clutches pearls, fans face, faints dramatically

Day 160 – (even) More on Masks

It takes quite a lot for me to read a Physics paper. Of the the three, traditional “main” branches of science, Physics was my least favourite. And that’s saying something, given that one of the others is Chemistry.

However, this paper by Verma et al. in the journal Physics of Fluids¬†(please try to restrain your excitement, readers) is actually rather interesting and offers further evidence that masks with exhalation valves are frankly useless in the fight against Covid-19. It also adds that those plastic face shields people are starting to use are equally kak. (In addition, they are not “cloth covering the nose and mouth”, so technically not legal either. Not that that will bother anyone in SA.)

Thus:

…there is an increasing trend of people substituting regular cloth or surgical masks with clear plastic face shields and with masks equipped with exhalation valves. One of the factors driving this increased adoption is improved comfort compared to regular masks. However, there is a possibility that widespread public use of these alternatives to regular masks could have an adverse effect on mitigation efforts.

Just for the record: “improved comfort compared to regular masks” just means “people being overly dramatic about having to wear a mask”. Having “an adverse effect on mitigation efforts” is merely fancy language for “won’t work at stopping the transmission of Covid-19”.

It’s been said before.

And there are some more of those lovely visualisations of coughs and sneezes, which I screenshotted.
For the clear plastic face shield:

And for the mask with exhalation valves:

Full descriptions and even some delightful (and educational) videos on that link through to the paper, but basically (as you may have already guessed), green cloud is not good. And there’s a lot of green cloud in those images.

So. If you are one of those people who wears one of these masks or face shields or you know someone who does, please (politely) let them know that they’re not helping the situation at all.

Day 127 – Quick in and out

I’m having a busy day today – all to do with a plan we have for tomorrow, which I might well share with you. Maybe instagram is the best space to watch, although this space is always freely available (please observe proper social distancing).

Stuff I saw today which I thought was good – this:

Very good. And salient as well, given that I spotted a new record low of 3/34 people wearing masks correctly while I was out for a run that I didn’t want to go on this morning (but this). I don’t go around checking numbers the whole time. I’m not quite that obsessive. But 1km in, as your mind starts to empty and you (subconsciously) realise that the first seven people you’ve seen this morning haven’t been wearing masks, you start to do a count – if only to distract yourself from the screaming in your legs and lungs.

Anyway, that’s less than 9% and that’s frankly pretty crap.

In other news, I also filled my car up with fuel for the first time in 4 months and 8 days. Topping up only three times a year is certainly cheaper than my usual regimen, but comes with some horrible limits on personal freedoms. I wouldn’t advise it.

That’ll be all then. Not least because I can’t buy any electricity because of some online problem at the electricity buying people and so this post could end at any

 

 

 

(moment).

Day 120 – Good stats

Amazing news for Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs – an area of opulence, privilege and Diep River – with the latest Covid-19 stats: now with extra detail.

Cape Town used to be the “epicentre” of the country’s infections. Indeed at one point, it was home to an incredible 10% of the cases on the entire continent. But as things got worse here, they got worser [really? – Ed.] elsewhere else, and we’ve long since fallen behind Johannesburg for new and current infections. Now we’re just another city with thousands of cases.

But it’s the detailed breakdown of the stats that has really made all the difference. And I’m pleased – nay, proud even – to announce that since mask wearing was made compulsory there have been no new cases in the Southern Suburbs of Covid… of the chin.

I spoke to local health spokesperson Dr Mae Dupnayme for her take on this.
Here’s what she had to say.

“The mask regulations were promulgated on the 12th of July, and they’ve really made a difference to the number of people you see out and about with masks. In the Southern Suburbs especially, where white men and women – especially those with K-Way puffer jackets and/or too much botox for their own good – are apparently immune to this novel virus, people walking around wearing masks around their chins and necks has become a very common sight. And I think that’s why we have seen the amount of chin Covid plummet to zero. Interestingly, hand Covid levels are also very low, probably due in the main part to teenage girls wandering around in non-socially-distanced groups each with their mask dangling from their wrist.
The number of respiratory infections? Oh, that’s through the sodding roof. Everyone’s breathing the damn virus out over everyone else and spreading it like syphilis at that place¬†in Bellville.
But I have seen literally no cases of Covid of the chin for a week now. It’s amazing.”

But is Covid of the chin a real thing?
Dr Dupnayme explains:

“Technically, probably not. We’ve never actually seen a case of Covid of the chin, but there are two important parts to this: firstly, we’d never actually seen a case of Covid of the anything before a few months ago, and secondly, the fact that we’ve seen zero cases means that actually, it has not increased from previous levels, which were obviously also zero, and when we’re referring to anything to do with Covid right now, the words “not increased” are like bloody gold dust, and look really good in our report. Really good.
And so I’d like to thank all those who ignored the grammatically disastrous DO NOT BRING DOWN YOUR MASK TO THE CHIN thing with the weird bloke and his horribly infected neck – covered in “bacteria or virus or germs” – that’s been doing the rounds on Facebook.
Actually, in putting their masks over their chins and not over their noses and mouths, they’ve effectively prevented any cases of Covid of the chin: a disease that never existed and has never killed anyone. Well done.
A sad side-effect of this behaviour is that they’re breathing out coronavirus from your exposed nose and mouth and that could kill someone, of course, but they won’t need to stress about that. It’s not them, is it?
But the no chin Covid thing is great news for anyone worried about getting Covid on their chin. That’s the message we need to be taking from these numbers. Zero Covid of the chin.”

An incredible tale indeed.

So, from the Ground Zero of South African coronavirus infections to some of the lowest rates of Covid of the chin in the whole world. It really is a huge success story for the Mother City and especially the posh suburbs in the south.

 

And Diep River.