Forget COVID-19 Tests; Assume Infection

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One of the most sobering pieces of information delivered during Wednesday’s Shasta County Health and Human Services media briefing was the fact that Shasta County Public Health currently has the capability to test somewhere in the mid-40-person range. That’s it.

Because of this serious test-kit shortage, until the north state receives more help and more testing supplies — especially extraction kits, which are on back order — public health is carefully prioritizing its few remaining kits, saving them for urgent situations, such as if a COVID-19 outbreak occurred at the Shasta County Jail, for example.

We can wish there were enough tests for every single citizen. But why? So we’d know for certain? Am I infected? Are you? Is that cute little kid a potentially lethal asymptomatic virus-vector, spreading disease wherever he roams?

There is no cure, so even if we do contract COVID-19, the only treatment is to self-quarantine, and then, we hope and pray we’re among the majority of infected people who only experience mild symptoms and recover sans medical intervention.

Here’s the deal. Forget about the tests. Forget about the numbers. Low numbers of confirmed cases only give us a false sense of comfort and security. Low numbers lull us into thinking that COVID-19 is rare here in Shasta County, because we’re not New York or Italy or China. Consider that our current low numbers could also correlate with the fact that we have limited tests. Limited tests equals limited results, limited results means “limited confirmed cases” – which is not the same as saying there are actual limited cases, if that makes sense. If we can’t test, we can’t know.

So for now, we are completely in the dark with regard to exactly how many people are actually infected. We do know that the precious few available Shasta County tests are being reserved for the very sickest individuals among us. My guess is that if everyone were tested, we’d be shocked to see how many of us are already infected, or have been infected and have fully recovered.

Going forward, I’m assuming you’re infected, and that I’m infected. I’m assuming that letting down my guard could mean the difference between living and dying. I vow to behave accordingly.

The more I sit in on Shasta County Health and Human Services media briefings, the more I have an appreciation for our local public health professionals’ challenge: maintain public health safety by providing information. With COVID-19, ignorance is the antithesis of bliss.

Lest you think I’m holier than thou, I’ll admit that I’ve slipped up, especially earlier in March. I’ve had moments when I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been, mainly with regard to my two local grandchildren more than a week ago for what I justified as “special circumstances” – a family member’s ER visit (warning, pressure washers are dangerous), and then, that same weekend, gosh, as long as we’d already been together because of the kid hand-off during the emergency, we had dinner at my house with my two sons, two grandchildren and daughter-in-law for her birthday. The plan was to have it outside in the gravel, but it rained, so we brought it inside.

The morning after, I felt regret, not for the time we’d spent together – because that was so lovely, especially considering that was probably the last family event I’ll have for a long time, but for the risk we’d all taken.

Since this isn’t a full confessional, I’ll stop there, but suffice to say I’m no coronavirus angel of righteousness, and for that, I feel ashamed.

But with each passing day I adhere more strictly to California’s stay-home order. I have groceries delivered, either to my home, or for curbside pickup, even when it means it might be days before they arrive. The only two places I actually go in person are weekly post office visits (I have a post office box because mail is stolen from neighborhood mailboxes), and drive-up bank windows, only when necessary. When I do go to those places, I wear gloves and a scarf around my face, bandit style. It’s not pretty, but it’s practical.  I sometimes order take-out food from my favorite restaurants (hello La Cabana).

I go for daily walks with my twin, keeping about 8-feet apart.

If it’s not raining, my twin and I walk every day in one of our neighborhoods, but we stay far apart from each other. (See Shelly in the far right hand corner of the photo.)

And weather-permitting I’ve met for coffee, tea, wine or cocktails a few times with loved ones outside, talking from opposite ends of my front porch. One friend even brings his own folding chair, and his own adult beverage.

I’m not perfect, but I am taking this stay-home order as serious as a COVID-19 virus, for the sake of myself and others.

I know. Isolation sucks. It sucked to miss my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday party and resort to mailing her kitty-cat birthday cake to another county.

It sucked to cancel my annual April trip to Amador County with dear women friends, two of whom we see just once a year, when they fly in especially for this special retreat from Montana and Arizona.

It sucked to miss my daughter-in-law’s girls’ weekend birthday celebration at an Airbnb in McCloud.

It sucks to not see my grandchildren, except via spotty internet for conversations and trying to read aloud from “Little House on the Prairie” books, which seems to bore my oldest granddaughter because the book has no pictures.

It sucks to hear my granddaughter, during one of those video calls, ask how we’re going to make her Frozen 2 birthday cake for her upcoming 7th birthday party, something we’ve been planning for months, and what about all the tea cups and saucers and decorations? I explain that her party won’t be cancelled, just postponed. I don’t think she’s buying it.

It sucks to not meet with and hug friends and family.

It sucks that our family’s annual Easter get-together at my son and daughter-in-law’s wonderful country home will not happen.

It sucks to have a small collection of un-redeemed gift cards for beloved local businesses that may never open again.

It sucks for people to have to attend virtual funerals.

It sucks for the 2020 graduating classes to miss all the traditional pomp and circumstances.

It sucks for kids to miss out on all the things they’ve trained and practiced so diligently for, like sports, musicals and competitions.

It sucks for all the people who are facing financial disaster because of unemployment and business closures.

It sucks for all the people who’ve cancelled weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, vacations, conferences, and non-elective surgeries.

It sucks for hospitalized people to be there without the comfort and support of family and friends.

It sucks for assisted-living residents to not have visitors, even for things like special occasions, like 91st birthdays.

You know what sucks worse than all of those things? Death. Death sucks.

We know what to do. We’ve got this. We can do it. Yes, we’ll do what we must while remaining physically isolated from one another, but we can do it together in love, resolve, spirit and courage.

To quote Doug Craig’s recent article, “Life is tough, but so are you.” 

And when we do come through the other side of this pandemic, we can celebrate together, with joy and gratitude, never taking so many seemingly simple things for granted again.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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43 Responses

  1. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Are you saying they have the ability to test approximately 45 people? Is that what I am reading?

    • Yes, dear Barbara, that’s what I’m saying. They have parts of kits, but only enough complete kits to test about 45 people.

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        That’s crazy. Humboldt has a capacity of has a capacity of approximately 700 tests and can process about 45 samples a day with an approximate turnaround time of 48-72 hours.

        • That’s how many the county has. It’s unknown what the situation is with private labs, like LabCorps.

        • Avatar Anita Brady says:

          Has Humboldt County had as many negatives as Shasta County? I am wondering how the strict criteria is used yet so many negatives show up?

          • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

            Stats on Humboldt as of yesterday:
            Total new positive cases confirmed on April 4: 4
            Daily COVID-19 case report for April 4
            Total number of positive cases: 44
            Total number of hospitalizations: 3
            Total number of people tested by Public Health Laboratory: 558
            Total number of people tested by all other sources (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health and commercial labs): 448
            The Public Health Laboratory currently has a capacity of approximately 600 tests and can process about 50 samples a day with an approximate turnaround time of 48 to 72 hours.
            Source: Lost Coast Outpost

  2. Avatar Common Sense says:

    Doni, I agree that it’s bet to assume we all have it or can get it and stay home and limit exposure! There will be consequences for those groups that still meet up and defy the orders not to gather. The Virus is an Equal Opportunity Killer that doesn’t know Religions or Political Parties.

    Of great concern is the chance that a Restaurant worker may have it and then the 400-3000 people that did take out,drive through or curbside get it. I sure hope they take temps every morning when workers show up and ask if they have list their sense or smell or their hearing is not as good as it was a month ago and try to prevent that from happening!

    The Attitude of we barely have it here and the false sense of security of living in a “Rural” area are what will make it really bad deal potentially here also.

    Listen to the Scientists and the Virology Experts…….the rest including the W.H is a bunch of Noise unless it’s Dr. Fauci talking.

    I was in the Ol Barber shop a couple weeks ago and a lady barber was telling me that a customer said to Wrap a Cabbage Leaf on your Arm with Castor Oil in it and that he says, that it’s Guaranteed to take the Virus right outta ya! Oy Vey!

    I must have looked like a dog with his head cocked over to the side! She says….Sir… don’t look like you believe that?…..hell no I don’t believe that was my response!……. You just can’t fix stupid.

    • I kind of wish Fauci were running for president ….

      Regarding transmission through food, that’s not supposed to be as great a risk … but what do we know? Who knows.

      Stay safe, Common Sense.

  3. Avatar Kris Hegland says:

    Covid-19 is most likely VERY prevalent in Shasta County and Redding as it most everywhere in the world. We need to do the best we can but no one is perfect and some circumstances require educated chances. I’m currently in Michigan helping my father-in-law recover from cancer surgery because he can’t take care of it by himself. My brother-in-law and I are trad ing off every couple of weeks as long as we can fly and then I’m not sure what we will do. All we can really do the best we can. Above all we need to be kind, be considerate and be as safe as we can.

    • Kris, you’re an angel to be with your father-in-law. I wish him a speedy recovery.

      And yes, all we can do is the best we can do, and be kind, considerate and as safe as can be. Well said.

      Stay well!

  4. Avatar ChrisSolberg says:

    First picture is end of Almond Ave just years of childhood memories . Long time Redding residents know of the “Rock Crusher” , a dug out area of carved rock leaving a half circle of cliff drop off just to right of shot. Just above it now is a modern day Hooverville camp of homeless just below Benton airfield, as a fire fuel break goes all around the property concentrating them in the center where brush and cover was not cut.

    The “Rock Crusher” is featured in a delightful local rap production including a absolute classic scene of dancing around holes for the big Fig Ave. Cannabis plant and harvest .


    Thank me later 😉

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I went to a retail store today for the first time in 3 weeks—Home Depot to pick up materials that I’d ordered online for several time-on-my-hands projects. I wore an N95 mask and gloves. I’d like to say I was amazed at the lack of precaution I witnessed, bit I wasn’t.

    One of the dudes working the doors (they’re only letting 150 people at a time into the building at a time) did wonder aloud about the lack of people taking it seriously. The gal employee he was talking to: “How long you lived in Redding?”

    • Yeah, I kind of wish it’s like the Czech Republic, where it’s mandated to wear face masks when you leave your home, so everyone wears one whether they want to or not. There’s a certain amount of peer pressure of sorts when you’re in the minority of people wearing masks.

      Your last line made me laugh, but just for a second. Kind of depressing.

      Stay safe, Steve!

  6. Douglas Craig Douglas Craig says:

    Thank you Doni for this. This is why I love ANC and why our community needs this resource. It is so easy to slip into denial and pretend we are safe or that we can let down our guard. We shouldn’t need constant reminders but we just do. My brain desperately craves to return to its default setting of what has been normal. Your words hammer home the point we all need to hear: “Going forward, I’m assuming you’re infected, and that I’m infected. I’m assuming that letting down my guard could mean the difference between living and dying.”

    COVID-19 is a massive reminder of how frail we are and how easily our systems can collapse. Humility is called for, demanded even as Michael Mann and Lawrence Torcello wrote in Newsweek, “Watching the COVID-19 outbreak unfold is like watching a time lapse of the climate change crisis. As with climate change, our response to COVID-19 requires intellectual humility. We must take the warnings and recommendations of science seriously; in both cases lives depend upon informed responses. In both cases, disinformation and doomism go hand in hand. What we do now necessarily will mitigate or exacerbate both crises.”

    They also wrote, “The need for an organized, fair, and well-equipped response to concerns and crises such as those we now face is the very reason we have governments. The liberal democratic tradition is too often misconstrued as the celebration of private enterprise. In reality, the liberal social contract is premised upon diverse groups joining together for common public goods—for advantages that promote communal safety and mutual flourishing. Large scale crises such as COVID-19 and climate change remind us that our government has the obligation to protect the welfare of its citizens. In responding both to climate change and COVID-19, modern governments have the responsibility to soften the blow of economic disruptions with direct aid and functioning social safety nets readily available to struggling households, employers, and regions. They also have the responsibility to address an obvious crisis in healthcare access, in a binding and structural way.”

    Meanwhile, as Doni said, we are in this together. What each of us does affects all of us. What all of us do affects each of us. Our choices matter. We are all creating our future now, day by day, one decision at a time.

    • Thank you, Doug. I derive such great comfort from you and our online community here. And you’re right: Our choices DO matter. Bless you for all you do to keep us informed and centered.

  7. Avatar Karin W. says:

    Take precautions, but don’t automatically assume you have CV19 if you show symptoms because 95% of pre-screened (“likely”) patients actually test negative.

    And if you have a beard please don’t waste an N95 mask on yourself because you’re just as well off using a makeshift cloth mask because facial hair is 30x thicker than the coronavirus.

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:


      April 2, 2020

      “An alarming new report by The Wall Street Journal suggests that nearly one in three patients who are infected with COVID-19 receive incorrectly negative test results. “A false negative is problematic because it tells the patient they don’t have the virus,” Dr. Craig Deligdish explained to the paper.”

      • Avatar Karin W. says:

        Even if so that would still mean over 92% of people tested are true negatives. The point being that while it is a fine to treat everyone as if they might be infected, it is probably unnecessarily anxiety inducing to believe everyone is infected.

        There is a lot of institutional dishonesty tolerated right now because exaggeration is more likely to get the masses to do what experts believe to be best. Case in point, these dishonestly presented “flatten the curve” graphs that proclaim to save hundreds of thousands of lives but cutting off the chart just before the new peak. Flattening the curve just delays the infection peak which might actually kill more people if the timing allows the peak to coincide with virus seasonality.

        Sure, the delay allows more time to procure things like ventilators, but a majority of CV19 patients that end up on ventilators are dead within 1 month anyway. Pushing back the peak a few months won’t buy enough time for a vaccination, so the real reason is to increase hospital capacity & possibly improve treatment protocols.

        Those are worthwhile goals, but far short of public expectations. If you promise impossibly rosy results (or dire consequences) you’ll have a very hard time getting the masses to do the right things during the next pandemic (like in the aftermath of the 1976 Swine Flu fiasco).

  8. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    I can just see my name in the paper declaring that I was the one who went around infecting friends, family and large groups of people because I didn’t take the “stay at home” order seriously…… A Typhoid-Joanne if you will…..just kidding. Gloves and mask at the grocery store, and standing away from other people. I have two friends with the virus and I’m sure I don’t want to get it or unknowingly share it. Great article Doni. thank you.

  9. Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

    Doni … I think you’re spot on. I’m taking this much more seriously now than I did just a couple weeks ago. On March 17th, I paid a visit to La Cabana and commented on your post that I felt more safe there than going to the stores. Candace then made a comment that was very insightful. However, my mind wasn’t quite there yet. I commented back to her with, “Let’s not go overboard.” I feel like a bit of an idiot now for saying that. My apologies to you, Candace. Yet, on that date, Shasta County had only 1 known positive result. Now we have 11 known cases. It doesn’t sound like much. But if 11 people we know of have it, it’s out there. I understand that only one person tested positive that didn’t travel or have person-to-person contact with a known case. So it’s out there. It’s in the community. It’s invisible. We could’ve been close to it without knowing. We could’ve contracted it without knowing yet, even if we were to test negative. And if it’s not in our community yet, it’s on it’s way.

    Candace, you said you didn’t know how old I am. I’m 70. I don’t have a spleen. So I do take this much more seriously now. I still walk my dog. I believe that’s a safe exercise. Exercising outdoors is alright, as long as we practice social distancing. When I’m walking Bodie, I don’t touch anything but my iphone, Bodie’s leash, and 2-3 poop bags – he’s a large dog. And no one touches those items. Also, being out in the sun is a good thing. The sun’s UV light deactivates viruses and bacteria including the Coronavirus. It might be a good idea for people to take a walk in the sun after shopping, or wherever they’ve gone, before going home. Weather-permitting. The sun is our friend.

    I watch Governor Cuomo’s briefings. He stated that even people in rural areas shouldn’t feel like they’re safe. Rural areas in upstate New York have cases that he’s worried will escalate.

    Governor Cuomo’s brother Chris has COVID-19. Chris is my favorite anchor on CNN. It saddens me that he has the virus and is self-quarantined at home. And he still does his show from his basement. He says, “Let me be proof.” Chris stated yesterday, that the night before he couldn’t sleep. He had a temp of 103+. Said his body felt like it was being beaten like a pinada, and he was shivering so bad it cracked one of his teeth. Talk about showing courage in the face of fear. He’s an inspiration to thousands who are, and will get sick. He wants us to know we all need to take this seriously and listen to the experts – the likes of Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

    It’s good to know this will pass. Stay safe. Be patient. Have courage.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Steve, no need whatsoever for an apology. You’re obviously nowhere near being an “idiot” and trust me when I say “told you so” is not on my mind these days. I was simply frustrated with people not seeming to understand the distancing thing and seeing the “writing on the wall” if they didn’t adhere to recommendations. I believe most of us are doing our best to get through this together. Anyway, I hope you’re healing well and taking easy walks with your dog while you’re doing so. Take good care.

      • Steve Du Bois Steve Du Bois says:

        Thanks, Candace. I appreciate your kindness. It sure is nice to see our community taking this seriously. Stores and banks are taking precautions. I see more and more people wearing masks. I had some made for me with filters. There’s still a lot of people out there us mask wearing people are helping to protect, who haven’t realized yet they can help protect us by wearing masks. Take good care. Stay Safe. Be patient. Have courage.

  10. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Takeaway shutdown: Will food delivery services be operating during the level 4 alert?
    Sarah Templeton

    It’s not good news for bad home cooks. Photo credit: Getty.
    Foodies beware: As the country moves into a level 3 and subsequent level 4 alert, it’s not good news for those who typically rely on Uber Eats for their dinner.
    Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern issued an address on Monday, declaring the nation had moved into COVID-19 alert level 3 and would rise to alert level 4 in 48 hours. The new status comes after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases shot to 102.
    Related News

    Beginning day #9 of strict self-quarantine after returning from NZ on March 25th, and as much as we wish to support our local restaurants via takeout/delivery, there is this to consider:

    “Supermarkets will stay open’: PM urges country not to panic-buy as we move to COVID-19 alert level 4
    As part of that address, Ardern iterated that “takeaway services must move to close their operations”.
    According to New Zealand’s Restaurant Association, all hospitality businesses including bars, restaurants and cafes must close their takeaway operations.”

  11. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    I am 78 and have four grandchildren living with me. The only way I could self isolate is to stake myself out in the desert for the coyotes. My day consists of making coffee, emptying the dishwasher, assisting with breakfast if needed, helping the seven year old with homework. My outside activity would be to sit with the garage door open and watch the kids.
    I am optimistic about the 100 year olds who caught COVI and survived. I am optimistic about the ones who have caught COVI, survived, and now donate blood for studies.
    Even before the COVI I have noticed a lot of people seem to have died in their late sixties but those who manage to make it into their seventies seem to have a less chance of dying. Maybe this is more mental then physical, Doug Craig probably would have more insight. Transitioning from work to retirement can be stressful with the loss of contact with others. I believe if one can make it into their seventies they are in a safer group.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Hang in there, Bruce. If you’re like me, the isolation from the outside world is driving you a little batty, as is the never-a-break proximity to those who are staying under your roof.

      I keep hearing about what people are binge-watching on TV. Not me—my TV watching has gone down. Every time I try to watch something I end up quitting. I can’t hear over the endless chattering.

      • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

        Steve, LOL, that’s why I use closed caption. Good time to watch Peasants Rebellion.
        It fits in well between Loud House and SpongeBob.

  12. Avatar Randy says:

    I am evidence based and seek out the best documented information I can find and take this virus extremely serious but there are people around me who fully believe and promote the notion that COVID19 is the result of the 5G network and believe social distancing is some kind of a plot. Just wonder how wide spread this belief is.

  13. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    Good post, Doni.

    “Assume Infection” is the basic rule for the duration, and that assumption needs to include ourselves.

    And that duration may be many months, perhaps even a year or longer until “vaccine day”.

    I want to add that as the virus spreads, unavoidable contacts will become riskier each day as the infection rate increases, until we pass the peak of the curve and begin to see the pandemic decline in our area.

    So it is probably a good idea to start to plan now for how you can reduce your own risk, and the risk you place on others, over this highest-risk period still to come (probably) a month or two in the future.

    This period will be when you will want your grocery runs to be as infrequent as possible.

    The emptier the grocery stores get, the safer they will be for the shoppers, the employees, and their friends and families they will be going home to.

    Those of us lucky enough not to have essential jobs, who may be able come through this with no more harm than the mother of all cases of cabin fever, really owe a lot to those who are continuing to go to work, quite literally risking their lives to provide the essential goods and services we need to get through this.

    The very least we owe these folks is minimize the risks we impose on them.

    So just STAY AWAY whenever you can. And if you have to get close enough to anyone to give the virus a chance, wear a particulate mask if you have one, a cloth mask or bandanna if you don’t, and always do your best to keep as much distance from from others as you can.

  14. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I hope the officials at the health department’s briefing will re-visit the ‘Triage’ methodology they’re talking about for the jail. I would think the Veteran’s Home in Redding would be more of a target to deal with. Not that prisoners aren’t human, but this is the “Life Boat Sinking Scenario’…who’s tossed over first ?
    Just so it’s widely known, there’s at least 50 local persons sewing from their homes, around the clock, masks, surgical caps and other needed medical supplies. Thanks to volunteers who take them to our medical facilities and sending them around the state. If you want to donate for fabric, thread, etc. call the Fashion Alliance in Redding, 530.263.2070. Other groups are engaged as well.

  15. Avatar Gracious Palmer says:

    Thank you, Doni.

  16. Richard DuPertuis Richard DuPertuis says:

    March 12, on my way home from Trader Joe’s on the bus, I suddenly woke up to the fact that I was riding with people coughing and sniffling. I looked up at the chrome steel pole riders use to steady themselves and saw it smeared with palm prints. Once home, I locked my door and declared a quarantine.

    I’m live in a senior HUD facility with more than fifty other residents, many of which are old enough to be my parents. Our apartments are independent, but our doors open to a common hallway per floor for three floors. We are cozy, and enjoy fellowship in a good-sized community room on the first floor.

    My immediate concern was that I could start an infection here. Among my friends.

    So I assumed myself infected and settled in for the longest estimated incubation period, 14 days. I remember how all priorities changed. My interest in the latest smartphone vanished, replaced by my need to disinfect my apartment and learn a new way of living. Had a lot of time to think for two weeks, and a lot of that was about dying.

    But I didn’t.

    I still carry myself as if I am as much a risk of infecting others as they are to me. I wear a respirator left over from the Carr Fire, and lug a backpack with two external water bottle bottle pockets, one filled with a bottle, the other with a SoftSoap dispenser, and clean towel in the front zippered pocket.

    I wash before and after entry and exit from any store. I don’t see a better way.

  17. James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

    In the beginning of February, I came down with a hell of an illness, of some kind. It started with a sore throat and cough, then a severe headache. It knocked me down flat for two days; I could barely get to the bathroom and stoke the stove. After about another week to ten days, I finally felt better.
    This was my first illness in a couple of years. I seldom get sick, and when I do, it is usually mild. Whatever this was, it was severe.
    A couple of days after I felt better, Darlene came down with it. Same symptoms, except she also had severe congestion in her lungs. Darlene is a dynamo; even when she is sick, she keeps going. She did not, with this illness. Knocked her completely down for several days, and hung on for another week or so. Then it came back a couple of days after she was over it.
    A number of our relatives and friends came down with this same illness about the same time. Everyone was impressed with its severity. Doctors did not know what it was; no real diagnosis.
    So, was this coronavirus? Maybe, maybe not. We would all like to know, though. Surely our bodies contain antibodies or other indicators, if it was coronavirus. Surely the U.S., with its vast medical technology, could find a way to determine this, if it wanted to.
    It seems like this would be a useful thing to know.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      James, it certainly sounds like that may have been what you had. My relatives in Carmel had the same thing happen (two adults, two young children) happen to them the beginning of March. They’re ok now. I’m happy to hear that both you and Darlene came out the other side and are feeling better. Take good care

  18. Douglas Craig Douglas Craig says:

    I listened to an excellent podcast today on Radio Ecoshock. Alex Smith interviewed UK nurse teacher Dr. John Campbell about his views on the virus. The Podcast is titled: Coronavirus: What can you do and how can it end? Campbell has a popular YouTube channel (500,000 subscribers) and is an expert on COVID-19.

    You can find the podcast here:

    And his YouTube channel is here:
    An article about him here:

    This is from Alex Smith:

    1. the COVID-19 virus cannot live very long outside the human body
    2. it can travel about 3 feet, 1 meter, in the air during normal conversation
    3. with a cough, a sneeze, an exhalation (like a big sigh), or a laugh, the virus can go up to 25 feet (8 meters) in a matter of seconds.
    4. in microscopic droplets, the virus can hang in the air for up to 3 hours (!!)
    5. when falling on to surfaces, the virus can last up to 24 hours on paper, and up to 9 days on hard surfaces like metal, or plastic.

    Those are guidelines I use, compiled from multiple sources and based on scientific studies. Sure the science is still fluid, the papers have not had time for peer review, and we are still learning. But most agree on the points above.

    Finally, everybody – even you! – should wear a face mask when out where other humans might be. While a medical-grade N95 mask is best, an ordinary surgical mask will help, and even a scarf or bits of clothing will limit the spread to others. People I know have a hard time getting the idea that they can feel perfectly fine, in great shape, and be carriers of the virus, spreading it unwittingly to friends, to everyone. That is one reason why this virus is so successful. We will learn that lesson the hardest way. It would take a miracle to avoid millions of deaths during this pandemic.