Idiots in the UK risk their community for the sake of socialization and bouncy castles

Those people who have been stockpiling bouncy castles - and other inflatables - during this time of crisis are just making life harder for those of us with a medical need to bounce.


It can be hard to tell, it does seem to be common for people to switch out asocial for antisocial.


The local news stories on this topic show people spaced much more closely than guidelines recommend. It also spreads the belief that this is no big deal.

There are plenty of opportunities for outside exercise without going to the same location as hundreds of other people.


The answer will be honest either way, but an honest answer from an idiot is still idiotic.

Are you also of the opinion that social isolation is ineffective/overreacting/not applicable to you?


Don’t know if this is confirmed or not, but there is evidence that 6 feet is not sufficient distancing for walking, running or biking.


Dude, I‘ve started socially isolating with my family from the day it was recommended here, so for more than a month now. Been working from home longer than that. I go shopping for my elderly neighbors, so they don‘t have to expose themselves unnecessarily. I do all that, and support others doing it, even though I am not sure all of it is necessary.

Maybe instead of calling people idiots, we could try and find ways to help them see the bigger picture and fulfill their need for social interaction, exercise and fun in a way more sustainable for society as a whole.


well except…

FOX 13 Tampa Bay: Simulation research shows COVID-19 can spread farther by those exercising outdoors.

ETA: oops, shoulda read the whole thread…


Yeah, yeah. Just like how easy access to guns which results in frequent school shootings “doesn’t seem to threaten” kids. Yep yep, we get it.


I’m as reasonably concerned about COVID-19 as anyone, but a disease with a ~2% mortality rate – and that’s of tested cases, which as we know probably represent a fraction of overall cases (globally, anyway) – is not likely to kill an entire town.


One thing to consider, is that Manchester has a history - a real history - of being ignored, sidelined and generally disregarded by UK governments. Take the gathering at St Peter’s Field - known now as “The Peterloo Massacre”. This was a major conurbation with no representation in Parliament. It didn’t get any representation until decades later. There is a solid sense of “These bastards don’t care about us, and I don’t care about them.” If the government announced to Manchester that the sky was blue, well, it isn’t in Manchester, very much. Shooting onesself in the foot is just one of those things that happen. It was going to happen anyway. In the long run, we’re all dead.


I think that’s what @lizard-of-oz was getting at. Sometimes what appears to be just irresponsible idiocy is actually completely justified nihilism.


The notion that we should stop people from EXERCISING OUTDOORS because “it spreads the belief that this is no big deal” is the same “we’re lying to you for your own good” bullshit that brought us the lies about masks being dangerous until a week ago.

I’m glad you have plenty of opportunities for outside exercise without going to the same location as hundreds of other people. Sadly not everyone has the same privileges you do.



You freakin’ extraverts are going to kill us all


Right, it’s theoretically possible for you to catch COVID19 by running past a carrier. However it’s also theoretically possible for you to catch COVID19 at a liquor store which remains open or while flying domestically which is still legal and possible.

But it’s extremely unlikely. In today’s NY Times: “I think relatively little Covid-19 transmission would occur outdoors, except perhaps in large crowds,” says Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong and the senior author of a study published in Nature this month that looked at breathing, viral shedding and masks. “Running is good for health,” he says, “and transmission risk should be minimal, both for others, if a runner were infected, or for the runner, if they passed by infected people.”"

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“Should be minimal”

Man, those sound like great odds.


Dealing with this is about making rational choices not demonstrating our capacity for performative self-abnegation. There are massive benefits to exercise and getting people out of the house where we know the virus can spread much more easily than outdoors. So we have to weigh the chance of transmission outdoors against these benefits + the benefit of making long-term quarantine tolerable and politically possible.

Also, that blog post (not peer-reviewed study) about the aerosol transmission experiment doesn’t take into account several important factors such as the viral load necessary for infection. Great overview from Dr. Jennifer Kasten MD, a pathologist, has been circulating, here it is in case you missed it:

"There was an ominous-sounding blog post stating that any form of outdoor exercise where you pass within 30 feet of another person will lead to transmission of COVID-19. It was written by Jurgen Thoelen, a Belgian expat in Russia who works in cloud computing, and who also founded a sports training agency. He got the information from an interview given to a Brussels newspaper by Bert Blocken, an engineering researcher interested in wind tunnels and the aerodynamics of sports (involving concepts like athletes drafting off each other).

Bert Blocken, wind tunnel sports guy, decided to get into experimental virology and then decided his conclusions were too important to submit for publication or any form of peer review, so immediately posted them on twitter and contacted a newspaper for an interview. [Since the Medium piece, he has submitted a pre-print]. He did not consult a virologist, clinical physician, or epidemiologist in his research. Since we’re all used to only having vetted, peer-reviewed research put out in the public square like this, readers- including Thoelen- took it as scientific fact.

Even though Thoelen didn’t have it available to him, let’s look at the Blocken pre-print (non-peer-reviewed) paper. He made a wind tunnel and installed some spray nozzles, with the holes in the nozzles set to sizes which somewhat line up with human droplet and droplet nuclei particles. He set different temperatures, and different levels of humidity, and different windspeeds. He decided that whether or not the particles evaporated was a good proxy for whether or not they’re infectious. And he simulated runners and cyclists side-by-side / behind each other /diagonally, and calculated how many non-evaporated droplets hit them. He concluded if ANY droplets hit the trailing athlete, they’d get infected; and came up with the 30-feet rule, implying all of the guidance on social distancing was laughably ineffective.

Several immediate problems are obvious:

  • Humans aren’t spray nozzles generating a continuous mist of droplets under steady pressure
  • Droplets are infectious if they contain live virus, and denaturation occurs prior to complete evaporation. A LOT OF PARTICLES ARE DEFECTIVE IN HUMAN RESPIRATORY VIRUSES- the particles “fail to infect” (this in virology is called the particle-to-PFU ratio, and the coronaviruses make a bunch of useless ones).
  • No attempt to use SARS-CoV-2-specific infectious particle size was made
  • Unless you’re heading straight into a gale, particles from a cough/sneeze spread out in front of you and disperse laterally
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY BY FAR: there was no attempt made to simulate an appropriate infectious dose. How many virions do we need to inhale in order to reliably become infected? How much virus does an infected person generate, anyway?

The answer is: we don’t exactly know (unless you want to volunteer for a controlled experiment snorting different concentrations of virus up your nose and waiting to see when you become infected, we might have to rely on mice). But we DO know, definitely, it’s more than 1, AND:
-We know asymptomatic people have very high concentrations of virus in their respiratory tree and nasopharynx, on the order of 700 million viruses per 1000 cells-- BUT they aren’t successful at getting all that virus out in the world.

  • At 8 inches away infected people generate only about 6000 copies/ mL (from that facemask study yesterday).
  • The infectious dose of the MERS coronavirus is between 1000-10,000 virions, to produce symptoms. Estimates are SARS-CoV-2 will be in the high 100s/low1000s.

SO: At 8 inches, you’ll get 2-3x the infectious dose, with a dispersion effect showing very rapid trail off-after that. 6 feet = 72 inches = 9 separate iterations of “trail-off,” taking our 8 inches-from-the-face Petri dish as a standard unit. That’s a lot. We also know most everyone out exercising has an innate immune system, too. So run like the wind, everyone, Inhale some virus, you can still beat it.

Summary: if you’re closer than 6’, you’r have a good chance of getting an infectious dose of virus. Farther than than, you don’t. But of course, risk is never actually 0… it’s just very improbable.

And much, much, much more importantly- we know there is a HUGE difference between “viral RNA detected” on a surface and at a distance, and actual live infectious virus."


puttin’ the DUH in FloriDUH

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We don’t really know the infectious dose at this point, last I read. So I think you’re overstating your conclusions.


Thank you for posting this. While I think it’s too nuanced for those are stuck in fear mode, for the rest of us this way of thinking about SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission and likely vs. highly unlikely scenarios for how that can take place is useful.