September 26, 2020

Risk

A couple of weeks ago, Jamie and I were talking about a Jacob Lawrence exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and another exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Mexican Modern Artists, both in New York City, and both with runs ending this fall. We both so wanted to go. Without thinking, we suddenly decided to try to fly to New York to see both exhibits. We found airfare, we found a hotel, and then we found our sanity and talked ourselves back from the edge. Now when I think back, I am amazed that we seriously considered it. We all so want our lives to return to normalcy. It is still not safe to fly for those us with risk factors. It can be done safely, but all it takes is one asymptomatic super-spreader and everything comes undone.

We are all, every day, assessing our risks and making choices of how to keep safe. It can be exhausting. Our understanding of risk has changed. Medium has a good article about risks of catching COVID-19. Vox media has a conversation with a Harvard epidemiologist about how to think about risk.

Deciding on risks can be challenging. We have to balance competing information, as well as our willingness to overlook risks and deny they exist and our belief that something is more risky then it really is. Finding the safe balance is key.

It helps to have more data and knowledge about the true risks. Hard when the virus is still an infant. Frustrating when we get reports from the CDC about the risk of aerosol transmission to only have it retracted. How can we determine our risks? Information is available. Understanding more about aerosols and how they may be transmitted is key. I am glad to see studies are being conducted to understand further the effect of aerosols. Interesting to consider heat, cold, humidity, and evaporation as influences on transmission, which helps explains why being outdoors is the safest way to be around others, especially as winter approaches.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and stay sensible. Not like Jamie and me a couple weeks ago.

https://elemental.medium.com/the-most-likely-way-youll-get-infected-with-covid-19-30430384e5a5

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/airlines-say-flying-is-safe-but-recent-studies-reveal-potential-for-superspreader-coronavirus-disaster/

https://www.vox.com/2020/9/10/21430547/covid-19-julia-marcus-the-ezra-klein-show-outside-inside-risk

https://www.mdlinx.com/news/how-the-coronavirus-spreads-through-the-air-5-essential-reads/404jJ57ACqeEYDP7rguWT4

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/tiny-airborne-particles-may-pose-a-big-coronavirus-problem/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200922112304.htm. airborne/evaporation