How a Learned Habit Contributed to Pandemic Spread

| June 14, 2020

A single man has his hands sprayed with cough droplet simulation. He, along with others, enjoy a buffet afterward. Then, the room switches to blacklight mode. People see how quickly an actual virus could spread. (CNN/YouTube)

The cashier coughed into her hands. Without washing or sanitizing her hands, she handled the money and merchandise she was holding during the cough. She handed the merchandize, and change, to the customer. My chance of getting this cashier was 50%. I turned that into zero percent as I left the line and returned my items to where I grabbed them from.

Of course, the possibility was there that someone coughed or sneezed near the items I picked up. However, the chances of getting reinforcements to what I already had increased. This occurred prior to the pandemic causing lockdowns and the implementation of health safety measures.

This observation, with the cashier, was not an isolated event. I’ve noticed numerous instances where people coughed or sneezed into their hands and did not follow up with sanitation rubbing or hand washing. They proceeded to grab the very things that everybody else grabbed.

The doorknob you grabbed, the handle that you pushed, the public keyboard that you used, the buffet ladles that you grabbed, etc., could’ve been held by someone that coughed or sneezed into their hands without sanitizing or washing after the fact.

Next up, how frequently do people touch their faces after grabbing objects in public without realizing what they are doing?

Articles and videos on the internet, during the height of the pandemic, focused on open mouth sneezes or coughs. Video animations showed the droplets spreading in the air then landing on adjacent objects. These videos didn’t exactly emphasize the reality that cough or sneeze droplets tend to sink to the ground.

The Japanese did an experiment that highlighted the “contaminated hand” culprit. They sprayed one person’s hands with a substance that shows under black light. This substance represented the virus. Then the group this person was with began eating in a buffet set up. When the designated time arrived, the experimenters switched the lights to black lights. The participants quickly discovered how easy, and quick, it is for one person to contaminate many.

From CNN:

(CNN)A viral video from Japan aims to show how easily germs and viruses can spread in restaurants when just one person is infected.

The experiment simulates the atmosphere at a buffet restaurant or on a cruise ship. It was conducted by the public broadcasting organization NHK in conjunction with health experts.

The video shows 10 people coming into the restaurant, with one singled out as an “infected” person. A fluorescent substance only visible under black light is applied onto that person’s hands, representing germs from a cough or a sneeze. Each participant then goes about the buffet as they normally would, not considering a potential contamination.

At the end of the video, the participants are cast under black lights illuminating where the “infection” has spread.

The substance, used to signify the germs, can be seen on food, serving utensils and platters, and even on the faces of some of the participants.

The article lists a couple of experts. They pointed out that this was experimental, in a controlled environment, etc. This suggests “more needs be done” to verify the validity of this experiment’s conclusions.

However, I’ve avoided getting the cold or flu for years partly by understanding that a common culprit… Behind viral sickness spread… Are those who cover their coughs or sneezes with their hands, don’t wash those hands immediately afterward,  then subsequently touch items that everybody else touches.

The advice to wash one’s hands frequently is a good one. This should be augmented with the advice to wash one’s hands after covering their coughs and sneezes with it. If hand washing immediately isn’t practical, then using sanitation rubs. The handwashing should be done as soon as possible though.

CNN has more on the experiment, including a video, on this May article here. The video is also available here:

Category: Coronavirus, COVID-19, It's science!

Comments (53)

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  1. SgtBob says:

    Cower in your home! The science, the science!

  2. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Managing coughs and sneezes properly is applicable to any illness that produces them.

    Directing those outbursts into a shirt-covered elbow, or wiping your nose on your sleeve, may scandalize one’s mother but it turns out to be better than using the hand.

    • Ret_25X says:

      remember when everyone carried a handkerchief and used them?

      Pepperidge farms remembers…

      Some of the problem here stems from our rejection of certain…well…nerdy options.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Ooooooooookay, so NOW after all of the mass screeching and rioting condoned by the left, we’re now supposed to go back to cowering in our homes?

  4. The Dead Man says:

    Anyone that’s been through epidemiology or even clean room work could have told you this. It’s why we’ve been saying to cough into your elbow or something similar, it helps reduce the number of vectors you create. It’s also why you should definitely avoid work when you have Strep or any Fecal-Oral based diseases just because of how easy it is to contaminate surfaces and spread the misery.

    What this article doesn’t do is touch on the surface life on various surfaces, the virulence factor or transmission methods. Is it a few hours or a few days? Does it require a low viral load or a large? All of these factor in. It’s why a lot of these unknowns that turn into the new panic is a mixture of caution, Dunning Kruger and media whipped up hysteria.

  5. Commissar says:

    This is still a serious virus. And we are about to face a second wave of infections.

    We may never reach the R0 we once faced, with the total infected doubling every 5-6 days.

    We managed to get that down to doubling every 30-60 days depending on the state.

    Because people are no longer taking this seriously, or prioritizing other needs, or feel they have no choice but to return to near full life function…

    We can expect this virus to start doubling every 10-20 days soon. And this infection rate will continue through to Christmas.

    If you count the days we can expect to see a lot of people hospitalized and dead by Christmas.

    So, if you are in a high risk group, and a lot of you are… then you may want to take a knee and social distance and take proper precautions for as often as you can for as long as you can.

    • SFC D says:

      What’s the dead boomer count?

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Imma still kicking SFC D…well that is…til AW1Ed loses that lovin’ feelin, puts a volley of balls onto my beach, rides into the danger zone and cooks my goose. Keep the ChiCom bug on ice, man and maybe it won’t become a maverick.

        Common sense and what Mama called common manners with the use of a hanky, or a tissue goes a long way to trap a germ. The cog pack pocket has become the small pak of kleenex pocket and the Zippo pouch holds a small bottle of sanitizer. Improvise, adapt, overcome. I still miss a menthol lit with a Zippo. Been over 2 years now.

        • AW1Ed says:

          Bad doggy! Swim lane- in. Stay! Otherwise I’ll post up Ham and MF’ers for Friday’s Recipe.
          You’ll need:
          Pinch of C-4…

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Not high enough for Lars and the Free Shit Army…

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Or, we can point out that you folks -way- exaggerated.


      • Commissar says:

        No, nitwit. 117,000 dead. And only in the first 5 months.

        • USMC Steve says:

          Cite your source for that number. We already know the blue states are overcounting anyone who dies as part of Coronageddon to get that Federal money. I have seen several other sources that say death count actually from the disease are well under 100,000. Even going with your number, that is roughly .00035 percent of the population.

          • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

            Don’t be throwing out numbers to Lars, USMC Steve… it will get him to “massage” his “empiric data”, IYKWIM

          • Mason says:

            Everyone who died from the kung flu had the kung flu. Let that sink in. There was a 100% infection rate among the dead from the virus!

            I’ve been led to believe that mass gatherings are acceptable only if you’re throwing rocks and bottles of urine at cops, fire bombing police cars and stations, and reallocating wealth from evil capitalists.

          • MI Ranger says:

            Yeah, Yeah…what he said! Just because the death rate for every other disease (cancer, traffic accidents, homicide, influenza, etc.) have all been cut in half or more thanks to this “well thought out lock down” to ensure no small business will be able to continue operations doesn’t mean we should downgrade our belief in our overlords (I mean government) and the established facts they have provided us!

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Yyyyeeeeeaaaaaaaah Commissar, like the rest of the leftards, you’re pretty much saying to STAY HOME unless you’re going to an Antifa/BLM/Anarchist riot!

    • Ret_25X says:

      It’s refreshing to see Kummissar here being wrong…again.

      To paraphrase from Space Balls…”and you, you’re always wrong”

      Of course, it is exceedingly hard to be right about anything when you get your news from MSNBC and your analysis from Donna LeMoan

      • Commissar says:

        Wrong about what?

        How many thousands need to die before you shut the fuck up about this not being real?

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          You mean like the manifold tens of thousands you predicted would die from the Great Zika Apocalypse®™ you predicted that never happened? Keep doing your handlers’ bidding, zampolit!!

        • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

          How many need to die before you get your free shit, Lars? You were the one wanting Boomers to take the blunt of the suffering from COVID.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      And, as always, Idiotstick Commissar is COMPLETELY INCORRECT AGAIN!!!!

      As of June 12, 2020:

      COVID-19 death rates in the United States as of June 12, 2020, by state – Published by John Elflein, Jun 12, 2020:
      As of June 12, 2020, there have been over 113,800 deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States. The death rate from COVID-19 in the state of New York is 157 per 100,000 people. New York is the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
      Source: Statista dot com

      117,000 alleged by Commissar minus actual 113,800 count results ins a disparity of 3,200 that did NOT happen, another false statement by Commissar.

      Commissar is consistent in being wrong about everything he posts, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS FAILS to provide any kind of source. Just pulls that stuff out of his pants – something like that.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Oh! Here’s the report through June 14, 2020 (today) for the USA, from Our World In Data:
        mortality rate as of 6/14/2020: 115,436 from CV-19. Still does NOT come to 117,000.

        So it looks as though CNN LIED THEIR ASSES OFF, as usual and that idiot just swallows it like some sort of candy.

        Please go ahead: keep embarrassing yourself, Taylor.

        • Commissar says:

          Your numbers are wrong. The total for today is over 117,000.

          Find a more up to date site.

          And what the hell do you mean CNN lies their asses off and “that idiot” just swallows it.?

          Do you think the 117,000 comes from CNN? And do your think 117,000 vs 114,000 is “lying their asses off”?

          • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

            Your predictions of a Zika virus doomsday STILL remain unfulfilled as well, o feeble-brained dunderhead!!!

          • USMC Steve says:

            Given that CNN has been caught red handed pulling made up shit out of their asses and passing it off as factual news, yes, they made it up. Entirely plausible given their fraudulent past performance.

          • Hondo says:

            Your numbers are wrong. The total for today is over 117,000.

            Not according to Johns Hopkins tracking site for the Wuhan coronavirus, Commissar Wumao (五毛) (AKA Koalemos AKA Poodle AKA Seagull AKA Cthulhu). As of 10:05AM EDT this morning, the JHU site was showing 115,732 US deaths as being reportedly attributable to the virus. (I say “reportedly” for the reasons noted by others elsewhere in comments. Given the economic incentives – e.g., a 20% boost over normal Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for treatment of the Wuhan coronavirus – I have my doubts that the real number is even 85% of that.)

            Perhaps you are the one who needs to find better sources. Ex-PH2’s numbers correspond far better with those currently shown by JHU than yours.

      • Commissar says:

        It’s over 117,000.

        And the fact that you are throwing a fit over your outdated source being 3000 off is just fucking pathetic.

        That is the best you have at this point?

        Why even bother?

        Does the 3000 difference make a substantive difference to what I wrote?

        And reread what I wrote…why the fuck are you having a fit over it?

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          HEY DOOFUS, let’s not forget that I have officially nominated YOU for the title of “Official Class Clown of TAH®™” and the motion has been at least seconded, DO YOU remember when you were screeching that a great Zika virus epidemic was going to be our doomsday? I and many others here do!

        • Hondo says:

          See my previous comment. As of 10:19AM EDT today, JHU said otherwise.

          And yes, I have a date/time stamped screen-print of that as proof.

        • MI Ranger says:

          Lars is right. Taking a quote from one of his idols “they’re dead…what difference does it make!- HRC”
          It is just numbers, what does facts matter in a few percentage points, when we are counting in the 100s of thousands. “I mean you can skim that much off of a payroll like we do any day and no one will notice!” (Quoted from most Democratic leadership of cities over 100,000 population).

      • rgr769 says:

        Let’s not forget that likely thousands if not tens of thousands of those numbers counted as deaths are people who did not die of the virus. Suicides, accident deaths, and murder victims have been included in the death figures. There is serious money to be made by healthcare facilities claiming people who don’t even have the virus are positive or died with the virus, even when their deaths aren’t related.

        • Mason says:

          George Floyd is the first person since March who was coronas positive that didn’t have his cause of death listed as COVID.

    • UpNorth says:

      That “doubling” that you fear will be because it became safe to attend a protest and/or a riot, just ask the supposed health care pros who said it was OK to protest racism and do away with the things that supposedly kept people safe. Will Minnemogadishu lead the country in new cases? Or, will it be either LA or NYC?

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        You could add Chicago to that if they hadn’t canceled the summer music fests.

      • Mason says:

        Seeing a lot of videos from the CHAZ that show that the new country doesn’t believe in social distancing.

        As with virtually everything the left demands, they demand it for others and not themselves.

    • OmegaPaladin says:

      No thanks to certain protests and riots that were endorsed by insane public health officials. (by the way, what does taking a knee have to do with COVID-19 preparedness? Was it a metaphor?)

      The virus does not care about politics, but all of the response has become political. For example, in a sane world, a president mentioning a medication would provoke discussion, not a full court press demonization as if it was cyanide. So many of the lockdown rules are arbitrary and not based in solid epidemiological justification.

      I actually have training in epidemiology and a degree in public health. This is like watching someone with legitimate military service claiming extra medals – so many public health professionals have torched their own credibility, for basically nothing.

  6. George V says:

    Rule 1: Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you are ready to shoot.

    Rule 2: Keep your bang switch finger out of your booger locker. Oh, and all the other fingers too.

    I’d guess you can touch your face away from your eyes, nose, or mouth without much danger of infection but the primary reason to touch your face is to rub your nose or eyes.

    When I am out I work real hard to ignore all those nose/eye itches until I can wash my hands at home.

  7. Slow Joe says:

    A CNN video in TAH?

    What is this world coming to?

    • Commissar says:

      Well, if Fox was not lying about this virus there would be no need to stoop so low.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        Although I fail to comprehend your abject cult stupidity, I still somewhat slightly admire your zealous, steadfast undying dedication to it!