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RE: Misinformation, Misconceptions, and Covid-19

in #biology3 years ago

When I got to the direct Trump quote about the UV light and injecting cleaners, I started to laugh out loud. You made a great point about how judgemental we can be, but that doesn't mean I'll apologise for laughing at Trump. The man deserves all the ridicule he can get.

You know why? It's not because he entertains his imagination that we could just inject bleach or take some kind of subcutaneous UV light bath. If someone thought of that, that's not alone a reason to ridicule them unless we're some kind of arseholes (and sometimes, we really are). Really though, as cringey as it may sound to people who understand why that's ridiculous, all it shows is a lack of domain knowledge coupled with a propensity for critical thought.

Trump and others shouldn't be ridiculed for not having domain knowledge... but they should be ridiculed, I believe, for refusing to recognise that fact and keeping their mouth shut, at least in public or while acting officially. That's what sets Trump (and others like him, though I think he's the worst I've ever seen) apart from the simply ignorant or unintelligent. It's extremely dangerous for someone so powerful to be so confident speaking publicly on a topic he has zero knowledge about.

I invite you to share some misconceptions that you have encountered in the comments below, and you can also feel free to ask questions.

Gladly! Actually, I'm not sure if I actually have the misconception myself! I've talked with people who seem (to me) varying degrees of paranoid about the virus's lifespan on surfaces. Some are reluctant to touch their face after touching something else, some go as far as to avoid ordering things in the mail or ordering food delivered because there may be viruses on the packaging. I have even read stories online about people who shower and change their clothes immediately after an outing to the grocery store. That one definitely seems like overkill to me, or at least extremely unlikely to actually do anything meaningful when compared against the fact that this thing is flying around in the air all around us.

Now, I am applying a bit of a moral code to my own actions here. Since I recognise that I am not an expert, I am wearing facial coverings when going out, I am refraining from touching my face, and I generally try to minimise all forms of direct or indirect contact with others. I'm doing this for their sake, not mine, since I don't actually believe I'm doing anything really effective, and I actually believe that I have either already contracted the virus, or that I will inevitably get it (I lean more toward the former).

On to reasoning: to me, my risk from handling a box or other packaging, touching my face, walking around in clothes I wore outside... they all just seem so negligible when compared against catching it by... you know, breathing it in. I've also read that breathing it in is the only way you'll really catch this (please correct me if I am wrong, but I read a comment somewhere saying we don't have to worry about food because eating the coronavirus won't give us COVID-19).

Anyway... I'm following all the guidelines anyway because they don't hurt anyone and might actually be helping. But, how terribly wrong am I and how?


Oh, laugh about trump, he's the head of a country and should either know better or listen to his advisors. I was mostly referring to average people.

About the surface survival ... that's actually a thing.

My (granted, superficial) dive into the literature has provided no exact time frames of how long the virus survives on surfaces, but it can easily be hours to days. There's a paper in which they checked where a patient left virus particles.

SARS-CoV-2 needs the ACE2 receptor, which is found a lot on the surface of cells in the respiratory tract (a review paper on that), so the general consensus is that it needs to somehow enter that (nose, mouth). However, I need to repeat that we don't know everything yet, so I wouldn't 100% rely on that.

Bottom line: Completely changing your clothes after shopping might be overkill. Touching groceries and packages might actually be risky, but I honestly don't have the patience to sanitise everything I buy. I try to minimise the number of things I touch outside, try not to come too close to people, and sanitise my hands if I have to touch something.

should either know better or listen to his advisors

I think that, for a politician, knowing better takes the form of listening to their advisors. That's the most frustrating thing about the whole thing. He listens to his advisors as long as their answers fall in line with his narrative; otherwise, they may as well be speaking to a wall and it'll probably not be long before they're fired and replaced with a yes-person.

the general consensus is that it needs to somehow enter that (nose, mouth) [...] I wouldn't 100% rely on that.

I absolutely will not, but it's good to hear it from someone who knows more than I do. Like I said, I'm living a sort of mismatched approach from what actually makes sense to me. Unlike some world leaders, I'm not so arrogant to risk others' lives on my own misplaced confidence.

Thank you so much for your response!