Note: These are in alphabetical order, not priority.
Anti-social Distancing / Schools. Common sense says to stay away from sick people and if you have been exposed, to isolate. However, since people who do not have symptoms may not know that they are infected and can spread the virus, it makes sense to avoid being close to people who are not in your household. Big parties and crowded indoor bars can be “superspreader events,” so it is probably smart to avoid them if you are not vaccinated. (Even if you are, wear a mask because you can still be infected.) Be outside when possible, even if visiting with family. The 6′ separation rule was reduced to 3′ for schools. However, it has also been said that since the real infectivity is not from the large particles in sneezes and coughs but rather the virus in fine mists, 16 feet might not be enough. (!)
School. This sure is a tricky one. Children suffer greatly in many ways (educationally, nutritionally, abuse, emotional issues, etc.) from not being in the classroom and it is also a big problem if it keeps the parents from going to work. On the other hand, kids are not immune to coronavirus. Although they typically have stronger immune systems and do not usually get as sick, kiddos can at least theoretically bring the illness home or infect teachers and staff. So, the more the protections are in place, the better—especially improved ventilation systems and spacing. Apparently, most school districts were not paying attention to the science when they kept kids home so long.
Gloves / hand washing / sanitizer. Gloves are absolutely necessary for healthcare works to keep from spreading contagions. It is crucial that they change them often—hopefully before going from one patient to the next. However, I am unsure about their value for the general public. Too often, I have seen people touching their face while wearing them. That defeats the purpose. I just use a napkin or sanitizing wipe to open doors or to touch handles on the coffee urn in a restaurant.
Washing hands may not be a major prevention factor with covid-19 because it seems to be spread mainly by breathing in the virus, but it cannot hurt and will cut down spread of other communicable diseases like stomach flu.
Sanitizers are generally fine, but do keep them away from small children who can get alcohol poisoning. The FDA has recalled some sanitizer brands because they contain toxins that can be absorbed or do not have high enough alcohol levels to be effective. I want to mention something that drives me nuts when I hear it repeated in the “news”, because it is not correct or fair. I watched the TV pandemic briefing when it supposedly happened, and I swear that President Trump never said to drink or inject bleach or disinfectants. After hearing the scientists say how quickly viruses can be inactivated by sanitizers on surfaces, he merely asked the doctors if there was something like that for internal use…just showing intellectual curiosity. Actually, it was not a ridiculous question. Most sanitizers are oxidants. So is ozone. Practitioners have been using ozone in many ways (including saunas and IV’s) to kill pathogens. Ultraviolet light works to sanitize surfaces—treating blood with it has been called “The Cure That Time Forgot”. Then there is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which is a bleaching agent. Read in the remedy page that breathing H2O2 from a nebulizer might just be the smartest, safest, least expensive remedy we have available. Ironically, diluted bleach (chlorine dioxide) is being as a therapy in Bolivia and was successful in controlled studies. Read the shocking story about that but do NOT try it at home. (The hydrogen peroxide protocol is much safer.)
Lockdown. In the ideal situation, only sick people and those at highest risk would be quarantined. However, there seem to be many factors at work here, including perhaps a deliberate agenda to curtail our rights. Read this in-depth article, COVID-19 Lockdowns: Liberty and Science. Also, Lockdowns Tanked People’s Immune Systems, Putting Them More at Risk for COVID.
Panic lockdowns have their own serious health risks such as child malnutrition, alcoholism / addiction, abuse and suicidal depression. Plus, there is lack of sunshine indoors and communicable diseases like TB can spread in households. Before the current crisis, many in officialdom were not in favor of lockdowns. Read what “they” said back then. Thousands of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists have gone on record in The Great Barrington Declaration as saying that the lockdowns have caused at least seven times more deaths than the disease! Others estimate the relative damage as much higher than that and there are grave concerns about schools having been closed. Using common sense protection seems a better alternative.
Andrew Kaufman, MD a professor of psychiatry, molecular biologist, and expert witness spoke out in London about misleading information about covid-19 and his objection to the shutdown. YouTube took the video down, but it is still available AT THIS LINK.
Masks. You can find respected experts, studies, and charts on both sides of the debate about the usefulness of masks. A study (not yet peer-reviewed) conducted by the University of Louisville concluded “Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread during COVID-19 growth surges.” (Note, they said “are NOT”.) Authors of a recent study concluded: “Our results suggest that the recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the incidence of COVID19 infection in mask wearers in a setting where social distancing and other public health measures were in effect…” I discussed earlier thoughts both pro and con in a blog,” To Mask or Not to Mask, That is the Question. Bottom line, maybe wear a good one (see below) properly in crowded indoor situations…but not alone in your car or when isolated outdoors, for example when jogging.
Good masks (This Duke University study ranks the effectiveness of various types) worn correctly over the nose and mouth do offer at least some benefit. I think the dangers of oxygen depletion have been exaggerated. A listener told me of a person who did not want to wear a mask for fear people might think that she was a democrat. That seems a particularly stupid reason to avoid a mask. Speaking of dumb, wearing a mask plus a plastic face shield to protect the eyes is fine. Wearing a plastic face shield to avoid someone spitting at you is okay, but not if it is instead of a mask to protect from airborne contamination. That is pointless. Oops, University of Florida Lab Finds Dangerous Pathogens on CHILDREN’S Face Masks