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(2,776 posts)
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:51 PM Feb 2022

The scientific-screw-up-that-helped-covid-kill

Wow, I just finished reading how the mistake of cutting off airborne transmission at 5 microns misinformed COVID response leading to the flawed 3-6 feet social distancing rules based on that error. Equal part gender bias and academic rigidity as the idea was proposed in early 2020 by a female environmental researcher. After the WHO scoffed at the idea she decided to track down the 5 micron dogma. During her quest she had to find an out of print book from the 1950s to find the source researcher and then follow all his research and the ones after him in both directions in time to where the mistake became dogma. A lot of this detective work was by a grad student whose own research was on hiatus. Final hero was a researcher at a Hong Kong university, who had implemented air disinfection into the school's ventilation and showed the very reduced spread in that environment.


Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech and an expert in how viruses behave in the air is who the story was about. I only found other stories about her before I decided this story hadn't been posted yet.

I guess it might need to get cross-posted, but I'm still a newbie at posting.

7 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The scientific-screw-up-that-helped-covid-kill (Original Post) IbogaProject Feb 2022 OP
Thanks for posting Sherman A1 Feb 2022 #1
K&R Excellent post. alwaysinasnit Feb 2022 #2
Old article, but still worth a read if you haven't read it yet. Pobeka Feb 2022 #3
I knew to check it publication date IbogaProject Feb 2022 #4
It's good you posted it. More people will see it that missed it the first time. Pobeka Feb 2022 #5
Thanks for sharing the article Tumbulu Feb 2022 #6
Masks are common in east Asia all through flu season IbogaProject Feb 2022 #7


(4,999 posts)
3. Old article, but still worth a read if you haven't read it yet.
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 10:37 PM
Feb 2022

It's something else, isn't it?

Even today, people can't get 6 feet out of their heads.


(2,776 posts)
4. I knew to check it publication date
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 10:39 PM
Feb 2022

And I looked to see but nothing for Wired and nothing about the discovery just posts quoting that researcher as the public messaging adjusted. I did have the inkling to double check before I posted.


(4,999 posts)
5. It's good you posted it. More people will see it that missed it the first time.
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 11:13 PM
Feb 2022

I can't remember if I found out about it at DU or elsewhere, but it was nearly a year ago I read it for the first time and was stunned.


(6,268 posts)
6. Thanks for sharing the article
Wed Feb 9, 2022, 01:52 AM
Feb 2022

I remember when the pandemic first began that it seemed pretty clear that it was airborne. It is interesting to read why there was such a resistance to the concept.

It was mid January of 2020, and I had already canceled an airplane trip for early February, as I figured that the world would shut down rapidly. I remember shopping at Costco wearing my N95, looking at the other people wearing masks. Mostly we made up about 1/4 of the shoppers. Already, before anyone was suggesting masking inside, a whole bunch of us had figured it out. And were taking precautions.

I guess that is the difference between people figuring things out and on their own and acting on them for personal safety and the job of the large health organizations.

I do not think I will ever feel safe going inside a public space without a mask. As it sure has become clear to me that they are protective in so many more ways that I imagined.


(2,776 posts)
7. Masks are common in east Asia all through flu season
Wed Feb 9, 2022, 09:52 AM
Feb 2022

It seems like a good idea to adapt. Air filtration home & work too.

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