Random discussion of Covid-19 not specifically related to restaurants or food

As DD said my comments were more about risk assessments but of course also a prediction about the likelihood that many restaurants won’t survive the next few years is very high (but the recent demonstrations of people don’t believing in the need for “stay-at-home” orders will provide some customers for restaurants).

I would call your assessment more a first world problem (and the need for instant gratification for some people)

Well, it’s not too difficult to learn.

And that is the most problematic issue you seem to show (especially in the context of cancer patients you write later) - Covid is highly contagious and so if you get covid most likely you will affect many other people by infecting them (and potentially killing them) just because you are so self-centered that restaurant visits are so important for you without thinking about the consequences it might have on other people who try to avoid exposure as much as possible.

I wouldn’t be so sure about it - data is still emerging and perhaps you might not die immediately but it seems that covid is not only about black and white (surviving or death) but many shades of gray with pretty devestating health consequences even if you survive. (and I enjoy life too much (and there are so many great aspects beyond just restaurants) that I think it is worth risking your health for a few years avoinding restaurants.)


First of all, I’ve been following all of the social distancing and mask requirements, unlike many others I’ve seen on the streets. Keeping your distance from others is clearly needed when something contagious is going around. That should be, if not for some, a no-brainer. Secondly, I don’t need “instant gratification”; I’ll just leave that one lie. Third, you misunderstood what I said about cancer. I wasn’t comparing covid to cancer. Re-read what I said. Fourth, there have been 90,000 deaths in the US attributed to covid in the past two months or so. That’s 0.03 percent of the US population. So yeah, I’m not worried about dying from the covid with those odds. And finally, I knew you or somebody (like Robert) would jump on my comment about getting the covid in a (gasp) occupied restaurant and then of course passing it around to everyone I get near – even with a mask on, as is required when you’re not at home. Right. Well, for those still in denial, the covid isn’t going to go away. At all. Ever. Even when a vaccine is finally both approved and widely available and if all 320 million Americans (and everyone who travels from any other country to the US) get the shot (which isn’t likely to be 100% effective), it’ll still be out there. And not everyone will get the covid vaccine shot, for various reasons (inconvenient, don’t like shots, don’t trust the vaccine, etc.). Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, you’re one of the 50% of Americans who regularly don’t. Point a finger at them (and maybe yourself) if you want to talk about passing things around. Restaurants, like many other places where people congregate for long periods of time, are always going to be sources of infections for anything that’s contagious, as they always have been; colds, flu, covid, whatever. I myself wouldn’t go into a restaurant or anyplace else where there are a lot of people if I felt sick, because that’s the decent “first-world” thing to do. I’d have to be an “asymptomatic carrier”. And now you can pick up on that one…

There are things that restaurants can do to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases like the covid. There’s been discussion at length about that here and elsewhere. It would be supportive of the restaurant industry (the topic of this thread) if the government would provide financial assistance to restaurants so they could do those things. Improved ventilation and/or HEPA filtration, and eliminating loud speech due to poor acoustics, are two things that come to mind.

Asymptomatic carriers account for some large percentage of infections. Probably now approaching 100% outside of hospitals and care homes.

It’s kind of goofy to me that articles about pandemic safety / risk in restaurants and elsewhere still talk about people sneezing and coughing, as if a customer doing either would be welcome.

Well, we’re in violent agreement on this one. People who are obviously ill should politely be told they can’t be seated. And it’s been appalling to me, at least, that the government stood by while people in care homes were getting infected and dying in large numbers.

As to asymptomatic carriers, I don’t disagree, but there have been conflicting studies; things don’t seem clear or consistent yet.

I read somewhere yesterday that a lot of the current infection rate in SD County (which really hasn’t slowed much in spite of everything) is thought to be between family members or other people who live in the same household.

If I ever felt the slightest bit I’ll. Since whenever. I would call in sick as not to infect others or go out in public .
So I don’t understand I feel like I have a fever . Let’s go out to eat and party .
I assume this is happening from moronic people . Say it ain’t so .

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But it is so. Some people will do that. They’re either oblivious, unconcerned, ignorant, or just plain uncaring.

Even my DH and I are careful when one of us feels like we might be “catching something”; more so if one of us has a full-blown cold.

Apparently at first some hospitals were discharging recovering but still infectious Covid-19 patients to care homes.

In the Indoor transmission of SARS-Cov-2 study of contact tracing, 80% of clusters involved home locations, that is, people in the cluster transmitted it to those they live with. The next most common location was transport at 34%. Restaurants and “other food venues” were at distant third at 4%. I take that to mean that most transmission outside of the home was on public transportation, which would explain why New York City was hit so hard.

This is an interesting compilation of data with revealing results and conclusions. Somewhat technical, so for those who don’t want to wade through it, your summary is probably all they need to read.

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The other interesting datum in that study is that in only one of 7,324 cases was the virus transmitted outdoors.

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Yes, I also noticed that and worth pointing out here.

There is so much scientifically wrong in your post that isn’t really worth replying in detail but that number alone clearly shows that you don’t get some key infectious concepts.

Thanks for letting me know that I don’t know or understand anything. I didn’t realize that. You, of course, have decades of experience in toxicology, virology, and epidemiology and therefore fully understand every key infectious concept. Correct?

All I know is that if you divide the number of deaths by the number of people, it’s a really, really small fraction. Which has nothing to do with infectious concepts, but a lot to do with my own personal risk assessment – as I see it.

Look, restaurants are going to be re-opened with numerous restrictions. You can stay home and cook. I’ll go, follow the rules, and take my chances. OK?

You are aware that we are at the very beginning of the pandemic and so the total number of people living in the US isn’t really relevant at this time to calculate such numbers.

If you will do this for such a long time before a vaccine is available you will indeed need significant amount of luck to not get infected over the next 12-18 months

Yes. The total number of infections and deaths will continue to rise. I’m not surprised that the total number of deaths is already 50% higher than deaths this season from the flu, since it’s a new virus and no-one had any antibodies against it at all. But hopefully after this first wave, the second, third, and fourth, etc. will be progressively milder. And after a vaccine is finally available, the rate of rise will decline even further, and those that still get infected in spite of having had the covid shot will have milder cases, as it is with the flu.

It is hard to predict but it is most likely that the second wave (in the winter) will be significantly worth than the first as we will have significantly more people infected with covid and the flu at the same time. I think (but hopefully be wrong) that the real impact of covid-19 on deaths will be in Q4/20-Q2/21 and not now (and I am not too optimistic that the current repurposing efforts will lead to anything really impactful in the near term)

Thanks to wishful thinking and ignorance, it seems unlikely we’ll have to wait very long to see how bad the second wave will be in the US.

I have no idea, and you may be right, but we’ve already had a lot of people with both pneumonia and covid. Here’s a clip from a CDC table from yesterday:

It’s not broken out specifically, but presumably some of the deaths in the last column were people with both flu and covid.

That will be still the first wave just delayed in some states. The second wave will come later this year

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All the data I have read so far from virologists seem to indicate that it is very unlikely that any significant number of people had flu and covid at the beginning of the year.