COVID loves Bars … and Churches … and Classrooms

COVID loves bars. Get lots of people together, indoors. Keep ’em together for hours. Love it! Go ahead, tell ’em to wear masks and practice “social distancing.” You did know they’re here to consume alcohol, right? How’s that “social distancing” workin’ for ya?

Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Yes, COVID loves bars.

COVID loves churches. Get lots of people together, indoors. Keep ’em together for hours. Love it! Go ahead, tell ’em to wear masks and practice “social distancing.” You did know they’re here to make a joyful noise, right? How’s that “social distancing” workin’ for ya?

Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Yes, COVID loves churches.

COVID loves classrooms. Get lots of people together, indoors. Keep ’em together for hours. Love it! Go ahead, tell ’em to wear masks and practice “social distancing.” You did know most of them are children, right? The kind who tease each other and sneeze on each other, right? How’s that “social distancing” workin’ for ya?

This one is not funny.

We’re about to make one of the biggest mistakes in history: prematurely opening the schools. Even though few children suffer permanent damage from COVID-19 (but “few” doesn’t mean “none”), children make the best disease vectors precisely because they are so often asymptomatic. Put lots and lots of kids indoors, in groups, for eight hours a day … COVID loves classrooms.

I hate COVID.

Americans must act. We must call politicians on the phone, write letters, carry signs, pester politicians, raise such a stink in the courts and in the press, that our teachers would be proud of how well they taught us so many years ago.

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12 responses to “COVID loves Bars … and Churches … and Classrooms

  1. I wonder if 222nm UV lamp will become much more common.
    Safety study:
    Corporate propaganda:

  2. Vaccine or the long, hard slog to herd immunity should resolve the pandemic, but it’s not fun right now.

      • Thanks for noticing and remembering, Doc. Here is some of my more current thoughts about the pandemic and how it will play out:

        Antibodies are not the end all, be all of an effective, long term immune system response to infection by a novel pathogen. As long as we survive initial exposure long enough to not succumb to the pathogen or a cytokine storm, the lymphoid immune system will develop a helpful response to the pathogen which will likely carryover to the next time that we encounter this “now known” pathogen. Here’s an article about the antibodies produced by the lymphoid immune system and the t cells of the lymphoid immune system that can function like an immune system memory that makes subsequent encounters with a pathogen less dangerous.

        Antibodies are great and the testing for them is pretty quick and relatively painless – finger stick. The accuracy level of the antibodies tests is not very tight, but it’s still a useful test to get if you have been sick and weathered the storm at home in quarantine and now want to know if you were sick with Covid. A lot of speculation and reporter coverage about second infections seem like fear-mongering to me. It sells articles, gets eyeballs and clicks, but it’s about commerce, not about science. I think what we really want as a baseline in recovery is some lymphoid immune system memory of Covid (or any novel pathogen) because that will render that pathogen much less catastrophic/deadly upon subsequent encounter/infection.

        Be happy, be well, be smart.


      • And this, if you can wade through the specialist jargon (and IIUC):

      • as per schools: I am working on the local muni and school officials to do the following:
        1. Do daily covid pool testing of the community by testing wastewater as it enters treatment facility.
        2. Report the daily level of covid found in the waste water with context as to what the level means in terms of level of infection within the community
        3. School district should follow the number and immediately suspend classes in buildings during spikes in the covid levels in the community.

        There continues to be lots of talk about contact tracing, but I think that’s a dead end now. That would have worked in the early days of the pandemic, it will not work now. Instead we need to shift to pool testing of infection levels within a community and respond appropriately on a very local level to protect our hospital resources and allow for the best outcomes for folks who are at risk of death from covid.


        Wastewater pool testing should be our second line “go to” means of identifiying outbreaks or early signs of infection by any pathogen capable of producing a pandemic. The first line is to isolate the infected individuals, do aggressive contact tracing and stop the spread of the pathogen almost immediately upon identification of the outbreak. We do this successfully so far with known pathogens like ebola. It is harder to do this with a new pathogen like covid because the number of infected individuals is usually fairly high by the time we can identified the new pathogen. If we grounded commercial airlines at a global level quickly and limited travel by other means when a novel pathogen outbreak happens we have a better chance of avoiding a global pandemic on the level of covid, but it seems unlikely that our species will agree to this level of public safety limitation on the freedom to travel and see the world.

  3. Susan Anderson

    Slight addendum on bars: the point of alcohol is to loosen self-control and make people more sociable. Even those with good intentions let go after a relatively small number of drinks.

  4. There was an interesting interview on More-or-Less (World Service) with statistician Ola Rosling (of Gapminder fame) on the success or otherwise of the Swedish approach, which included keeping the schools open the whole time. (from 05:20)
    Whilst overall the experience has led to high levels of infection compared to their neighbours (although less than UK/France/Italy/Spain/Belgium) and much the same economic cost as the more thorough lockdowns elsewhere, it does provide a very useful real-world test case. It does seem that transmission through schools has been very low indeed (no significant outbreaks with thousands of schools open for 3 months throughout the whole thing). Unless there is something special about Swedish schools that does suggest that re-opening schools is not a blanket unreasonable risk.

    • Hold up a sec–if I sort the useful Worldometers table by cumulative case per million, I get this:

      Sweden: #18; 7,770/million
      Spain: #21; 6,729/million
      Belgium: #26; 5,543/million
      UK: #39; 4,364/million
      Italy: #41; 4,053/million
      France: #62; 2,732/million

      So, no, Sweden apparently does not have “less [infection] than UK/France/Italy/Spain/Belgium.”

      On the other hand, if I sort by deaths per million, I get this:

      Belgium: #2; 846/million
      UK: #4; 670/million
      Spain: #5; 608/million
      Italy: #6; 580/million
      Sweden: #7; 561/million
      France: #8; 462/million

      So, a more mixed record on mortality.


      Carry on.

      • Susan Anderson

        Doc Snow, thanks. It’s important to remember that reporting on deaths is highly variable between countries. Others have commented on this, but Belgium especially and the UK (I get regular updates on that one) report more actual deaths than some of the others. I seem to remember somebody else recently addressed this here. The death stats simply aren’t reliable in the timeframe we have.

      • Ignorant Guy

        Death stats are highly variable between countries. But so are case stats.
        In Sweden they know for sure when someone is dead and they know rather well when the cause is Covid-19. When comparing Covid-19 death stats with excess mortality stats Sweden appears to be about as reliable as Belgium. On the other hand, for a case to be counted there must be a positive Covid-19 test result and the conditions for getting a test have varied wildly during the pandemic. When it was really bad this spring (and this was for Stockholm, not the countryside) you could only get a test if you were so ill that you had to go to hospital – and you could only go to hospital if you were so ill that you were literally dying. If you were not dying you were told to stay at home until you were actually dying and in the meantime you would not get tested and not enter into the stats. Now the situation has improved and it’s much easier to get a test. The death stats are still not so easy to interpret because mortality from Covid-19 has also varied considerably. This spring the health care system was seriously overloaded and there was insufficient knowledge about efficient treatments. Now the knowledge has advanced a lot and at the same time the load on hospitals have eased.