February 20, 2021

How not to be a superspreader

In late December our local NPR station had some interviews from some students from a local elementary school to find out what they thought about all that happened in 2020. They were interviewed by the Family Support Worker at their school, who knows them and gives extra support if needed. Unsurprisingly they had some wise things to say. One said virtual school was “very bad with all the glitching kicking you off of meetings.” He was looking forward to returning to the class. Another said they missed “everything about school except math”. Another boy described his fear of life, since he was African American, hearing about George Floyd’s death at the hands of police. Heartbreaking to hear.

But when asked about the election results, one said wisely that he thinks Joe Biden will do better with the coronavirus than Trump based on the fact Joe Biden wears a mask and he didn’t catch “corona” like Trump and many of the people around Trump did. Such a powerful and simple observation.

And that is what I have been thinking about today. Common sense, not hubris, protects us. The superspreader event at the California conference, that tried to create a “super bubble” with testing, failed royally since people opted to not wear masks. Multiple people in Trump’s orbit including himself, caught COVID-19 because they supposedly relied on testing over masking.

And then we see the amazing NASA team at the Jet Propulsion Lab follow Coronavirus protocols for the landing of the Rover Perseverance on Mars, with everyone masking and spaced. Lots of fist bumping when Perseverance landed safely. No one had their mask slip below their noses. Even during their press conference the next day, everyone wore masks. Yes, it is too soon to know if any infections will result, but I’d be surprised.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six. Believe in science.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.