9 thoughts on “Social Distancing”

  1. I disagree. It is not junk science, it is political science, and they played a losing hand brilliantly.

  2. I have yet to see a single paper devoted to air sampling in enclosed spaces where the sampling devices are equipped to capture SARS-Cov-2 viruses. Such sampling devices exist, but apparently it has never occurred to anyone to actually use them. Instead, everyone relies on “models” whose pedigrees are unknown, and the range of opinions (and that’s all they are) emerging from them spans the space of “everything is okay” to “we’re all going to die.”

    This article refers to using CO2 concentration in enclosed spaces as a proxy for virus concentration. It’s not a good one, IMHO, but it’s the first one I’ve seen that even addresses the question. It’s only a teeny, tiny step further to measure the actual viral concentration. But that would be, like, work, and who wants to do that? Better to destroy the economy than leave our computer keyboards.

    My wife and I are fully vaccinated, so according to rapidly accumulating data, we are incapable of receiving or transmitting SARS-Cov-2. Yet we still have to wear these life-destroying masks and “maintain social distance.” We’re both getting fed up with it.

    1. The over reliance on non formally validated computer models as a substitute for experimental evidence is killing Science. To perform formal validation on a computer model is more work usually than performing the equivalent experiment.

  3. Sorry, I don’t buy this. There was more than a month of 20+% increases in reported covid infections per day (ending on March 28, 2020) in the first stage of the covid epidemic in the US. In a little over a month by May 4, cases had dramatically shrunk to under 2% per day. The same goes for deaths from covid.

    The only thing that changed during that period was the introduction of social distancing and masking wear mandates in much of the country. Given that there’s been two surges in infections later, this also rules out herd immunity as the explanation.

    Mask wearing, I can see a case for claiming it’s not that effective, though I think otherwise. But social distancing has been a key factor in reducing the spread of the disease by an order of magnitude. It’s time to recognize that it has worked very well.

    1. Well FWIW and on a strictly anecdotal basis, I suffered nary one, NOT ONE SINGLE, common cold last year. And fortunately, also quite by accident, prior to March 2020 I had been buying toilet paper by the 48 roll bale as an economizing step prior to the shortage. Enough to get me by for weeks and weeks until some stores had begun restocking and rationing. And proving, as an aside, I’m not as full of it as some folks on this blog have suggested in the past….

      1. No common colds:

        Before the lockdown did you go into the office 5 days a week? I’ve been working from home for over a year and I haven’t gotten a cold either. But I haven’t been around lots of people with kids who bring in colds on a daily basis – I used to get them a lot when I went into the office.

        1. Yep sure did, yesiree… And lots of co-workers with colds given to them from their little incubators….

    2. Please correct me if I’m getting this wrong, but this strikes me as an example of the motte-and-bailey fallacy.

      The article we are discussing has a main point: “Bazant and Bush question long-held Covid-19 guidelines that recommend 6 feet of distance between people.” “The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors can be as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet in a room where the air is mixed.”

      You say of the March to May 2020 decline in new cases “The only thing that changed during that period was the introduction of social distancing and masking wear mandates in much of the country.”

      I’m thinking by Social Distancing you mean cancellation of public events, closure of schools, businesses, and places of worship; travel restrictions, in short the whole panoply of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

      Bazant and Bush aren’t saying that the whole panoply is ineffective in sum, they are saying that one specific guideline — 6 feet distancing — is too simplistic and doesn’t account for time spent in proximity and effectiveness of indoor ventilation.

      So those who say “social distancing is ineffective” are using perhaps this CDC description of social distancing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html; whereas you are using a different definition and there is actually no contradiction between you claiming your panoply of NPIs is effective in aggregate and them claiming that one particular one is not.

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