March 3, 2020

"You walk into a crowded grocery store. A shopper has coronavirus. What puts you most at risk of getting infected by that person?"

"Experts agree they have a great deal to learn, but four factors likely play some role: how close you get; how long you are near the person; whether that person projects viral droplets on you; and how much you touch your face.... Whether a surface looks dirty or clean is irrelevant. If an infected person sneezed and a droplet landed on a surface, a person who then touches that surface could pick it up. How much is required to infect a person is unclear.... As long as you wash your hands before touching your face, you should be OK, because viral droplets don’t pass through skin."

From "Surfaces? Sneezes? Sex? How the Coronavirus Can and Cannot Spread/What you need to know about how the virus is transmitted" (NYT).

Now is the time to learn how to be one of those ultra-disciplined individuals who do not touch their face.

I went to Whole Foods the other day, and I was resolved to be a person who does not touch her face. It's hard! The reflexive, casual touching of the face is so much a part of life. It's not as ingrained as breathing, but it's on the level of flicking your hair back or crossing and recrossing your legs.

I googled "how to stop touching my face," and I got another NYT article: "Stop Touching Your Face!/It’s a quirk of human nature that we touch our eyes, noses and mouths all day long. It’s also a major way we pick up infections like coronavirus," by Tara Parker-Pope.
Only humans and a few primates (gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees) are known to touch their faces with little or no awareness of the habit. (Most animals touch their faces only to groom or swat away a pest.) German researchers analyzed the brain’s electrical activity before and after spontaneous face touching, and their findings suggested that we touch our faces as a way to relieve stress and manage our emotions.
So... reduce stress? But if we're motivated by worrying about a diseases, we're adding stress. And thinking about not touching your face makes you want to touch your face. Parker-Pope offers some practical advice: Have a tissue to use instead of your bare hand. Wear makeup that forces you to think about not smearing it. Use moisturizer and eye drops to fend off itchiness. Wear glasses to make it harder to get at your eyes. Wear gloves. That made me think of one of my own: Rub your fingers on a hot pepper.

Here are some additional ideas at HuffPo: have some other things to do with your hands (like holding a little object to fiddle with), put Post-It notes on your computer screen ("Do not touch your face"), get together with co-workers and others and monitor and call out each other ("You're touching your face!"). That last idea made me think of this: Convince yourself that touching your face is disgusting, like picking your nose. Gah! I wrote that and immediately leaned the entire left side of my face into my hand.

Another idea from HuffPo: If you catch yourself touching your face, you stretch out the fingers of the offending hand and hold them like that "for no less than 2 and a half to three minutes." That's so much trouble that you'll want to avoid it.

And here's an idea from L'Oreal, the skin-care company (concerning itself with acne, actually): When you feel tempted to touch your face, substitute another activity, like snapping your fingers or folding your hands. This inspires my variation: Play Here is the church, here is the steeple...

147 comments:

rhhardin said...

Don't walk into a crowded grocery store. Also bag your own stuff.

Sydney said...

I’ve been trying to avoid touching my face this week at work. It is hard! I tend to do it when I am concentrating hard on something. I even have signs all over my office to remind patients and staff not to touch their face, which also serve as a reminder to me, and yet, I find myself doing it several times throughout the day.

tcrosse said...

How do you know the shopper has coronavirus. Are they required to wear a sign?

Ann Althouse said...

"How do you know the shopper has coronavirus."

It doesn't say that you know.

I think this is like safe sex. If you really knew the person had the virus, you wouldn't have sex at all. But where you don't know, you go ahead and do what you want, but you protect yourself. The question is how.

Char Char Binks said...

Just put a shopping bag over your head, paper or plastic.

Ann Althouse said...

The person who is carrying the virus doesn't necessarily know. Indeed, if the person knows, the requirement should not be to "wear a sign" or some such thing. The requirement is to completely self-quarantine. Do not go out at all!

Nonapod said...

I'm currently afflicted with what I assume is a pretty mild case of the flu. I had a sore throat a few days ago. That went a way, but now I have a stuffy nose and a low grade fever (my temperature reached 100.6 last night, it's currently 99.0). I acknowledge that it's possible that I have the coronavirus, but if that's the case I can say with a high degree of confidence that normal, healthy adults have nothing to worry about.

At any rate, I've been keeping my distance from people and washing everything I've touched that other people may touch as well.

Ann Althouse said...

As you go out and think about protecting yourself, you should also remember that you could already have it and you could be the one that other people need to be protected from. Your self-protective habits can also be things that protect other people. Keep your distance. Don't touch. Stay home!

henry said...

Failure to wash your hands, plus touching your face / nose / eyes put you at risk. Same as flu or cold.

Ann Althouse said...

"I acknowledge that it's possible that I have the coronavirus, but if that's the case I can say with a high degree of confidence that normal, healthy adults have nothing to worry about."

Allow me to shake your confidence. All you can say is that you had a mild case. If 20% of the cases are severe enough to require hospitalization — which is what I read — then you should infer that you were in the other 80%. 20% is a good basis for worry, especially if there's also the possibility — which I've read — of 70% of Americans getting the disease. That's a hell of a lot of people who want and won't be able to get the kind of hospital care that we tend to expect.

Charlie Currie said...

A cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other will make it difficult to touch your face.

Ah, the good ol days...smoke em if you got em.

Chuck said...

Are you hoaxing here, Althouse? Cuz I get the impression that you are just creating fear in order to bring down the stock market and hurt PDJT's re-election campaign. He's out there kicking butt to keep making America great.

Meade said...

"The sample’s overall case-fatality rate was 2.3%, higher than World Health Organization official 0.7% rate. No deaths occurred in those aged 9 years and younger, but cases in those aged 70 to 79 years had an 8% fatality rate and those aged 80 years and older had a fatality rate of 14.8%."

Freeman Hunt said...

My husband is extremely careful about germs. Never touches his face when he's out. Also touches no handles, seats, tables, etc.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Substituting behaviors is how I stopped smoking in 1991. Took up sugar free mints... laxative effect was the downside. I was glad to be rid of tobacco. Still and all, one is not likely to die from Corona Virus.

clint said...

Wearing a mask -- even one that's otherwise ineffective -- could help, if it reminds you every time your hand goes to your face.

Fernandistein said...

Just put a shopping bag over your head, paper or plastic.

Speaking of plastic heads, chimps have an amazing short-term memories, far better than humans.

Bay Area Guy said...

The foolish NYT continues unabated in their foolish ways.

Whey don't they quote the CDC on actual Flu cases in the US:

Flu in the US, years 2017-2018:

1. 45 Million cases
2. 810,000 hospitalizations
3. 61,000 deaths

It doesn't take a math wizard to see that 61,000 US flu deaths over 2 years is about 2,500 flu deaths per month.

That's the baseline.

So, why the freak out over a handful of new cases?

Charlie Currie said...

I was at the grocery store yesterday. They had hand sanitizer at the end of the checkout counter so you could sanitize your hands before picking up your bags.

I bought those little alcohol wipe packets and carry one in my pocket - and keep more in my car - so when I'm out, I can wipe my hands if I've touched something.

Ounce of prevention and all

Michael K said...

Thought about this in Costco yesterday. The clerk told us that the Costco in Issaquah, WA Sunday had 1400 checkouts in the first half hour.

BUMBLE BEE said...

CDC this season flu deaths, 18,000.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think this is like safe sex. ...you go ahead and do what you want, but you protect yourself. The question is how.

How long can the coronavirus survive on vinyl? Asking for a friend...

stevew said...

Does it mean anything that I haven't had the flu in nearly 30 years?

I have travel (by air) every week for the next several weeks, including overnight hotel stays. Some of my colleagues are speculating that we will be encouraged to cancel travel and conduct meetings virtually. I'll be ok with that so long as I can get the customer to turn on their cameras.

Seems to me all this stuff is reflects an over-abundance of caution.

Dave Begley said...

Her first problem is that she shops at Whole Paycheck.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How to stop touching your face

Wear gloves.

I don't mean surgical gloves. Wear those white gloves that "ladies" and proper young girls wore in the 50's and early 60's when going to church or to a fancy occasion.

This or This stylish number

Wearing gloves will remind you to not touch your face. Safer to touch the key pad on the atm machines at check out. You can wash the gloves when you get home.

PLUS you look so very fabulously retro.

Everyone. Get back to the 50's!!!

BUMBLE BEE said...

Money could easily be a transmission vector. Door handles and railings. When my wife switched workouts from a small storefront venue to a large supermarket venue, her respiratory problems really lessened. Storefronts weren't set up for 40+ people huffing away simultaneously. Exercise machine sanitation doesn't begin to address air quality.

Meade said...

"So, why the freak out over a handful of new cases?"

The average incubation period for the flu is two days. Coronavirus has an incubation period of up to two weeks. Younger people, who are more active and mobile than older people, symptom-free but infected, are potentially secret super spreaders.

Still— panic, hysteria, and freak outs should be suppressed as much as possible.

stevew said...

Of course, right on queue from reading this post my face is demanding me to touch it.

Fernandistein said...

A cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other will make it difficult to touch your face.

"[A]necdotal evidence suggests that smoke may play an important role by providing protection from biting insects and that efforts to reduce smoke may increase exposure, particularly to mosquitoes and malaria" and perhaps the Chinese Horrible Infectious Non-necrotizing Killing Syndrome disease.

Darrell said...

Ignore the human waste on the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco and Portland. The NYT doesn't want you to make those connections.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Fernandistein,,, when our project manager flew to China, he was thrilled to see the No Smoking sign turn on because EVERYBODY going to China was lighting up. Densest fog he'd seen on an aircraft!

mockturtle said...

The only expert I trust in this matter is Dr. Fauci and he is honest enough to admit that there is not enough known yet about how the virus is spread to assure totally safe guidelines on prevention.

Also, just try keeping a six-foot distance between yourself and others in line at the checkout. And observe all the people who still cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch everything.

My daughter and my sister have both reported knowledge of positive tests in other parts of WA state that have yet to be reported. These delays are going to result in more people being infected when timely information to possible contacts could have stemmed the rate of contagion.

rhhardin said...

Radio Japan, long ago, explained that the wearing of masks wasn't to avoid getting sick but to avoid spreading sickness. Different culture.

dbp said...

One doesn't have to reduce face touching to zero to make a difference.

Back when I was a teenager, I had acne. When I tried to keep my hands away from my face, my complexion would clear up very noticeably in a few days. If I got complaisant, it would come back. If I washed my face with soap, it would be easier to go a few hours without touching it again.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"Thought about this in Costco yesterday. The clerk told us that the Costco in Issaquah, WA Sunday had 1400 checkouts in the first half hour."

There seems to be a correlation between affluent liberalism and a propensity to panic. Surprising? Not to me.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Snapping your fingers, won't that put some of the germs on your fingers into the air for you to inhale? And what about eyeglasses, if you touch your eyeglasses and then your eyeglasses touch your face? Or do the lenses help protect you from airborne germs entering through your eyes?

I wonder how good the science is on this not touching your face advice. How do they do the testing and establish the control groups? Are there stats on people with eyeglasses having higher or lower cold and flu rates than the general population?

Fernandistein said...

Speaking of cigarettes, cigarette lighters have been giving out free yet very useful medical advice for many years:

"WARNING! KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Michael K. The clerk told us that the Costco in Issaquah, WA Sunday had 1400 checkouts in the first half hour.

Yes. The ATM pad are crawling with germs, even on a good day.

I have an old pencil stub with an eraser that I use to touch the screen and the key pad. Even before the current virus scare. You can also wrap your finger in one of those grocery store sanitary wipes either and using that.... or one of those rubber finger protectors that bank employees use.

Then again, there is cash. But...money is one of the filthiest things you will ever handle. Hence the rubber finger protectors

I still remember that sentence in Stephen King's ..The Stand....where the virus was spread by people in the laboratory where there was an accident and before they even knew that they were infected. One of the infected lab people went to a lunch counter and " He left a two dollar tip crawling with death." May not be an exact quote but that is the gist of it.

It is that easy.



Skeptical Voter said...

A friend sent me a long piece written by a microbiologist at UC San Diego who had been involved in the first sequencing of the DNA of a corona virus back in the 1970s.

He outlined how he protects himself during the annual flu season. Lots of disinfectant wipes on every surface that someone else might have touched, washing hands frequently, use of antibacterial lotion etc.

With the coronavirus scare he adds a surgical mask and latex gloves to the arsenal--the gloves when he touches anything that someone else might have. The surgical mask is not there to keep aerosol virus out. It's rather to keep your "dirty" hands from touching your face. He said the average person touches their face 90 times a day.

Fernandistein said...

Here's more free advice that should be on cigarette lighters:

"TOUCH SOMEONE ELSE'S FACE INSTEAD OF YOUR OWN."

"BEWARE OF SAFETY"

Yancey Ward said...

"If 20% of the cases are severe enough to require hospitalization — which is what I read"

Sigh. This means 20% of the people who showed at the hospital required hospilization. It tells you nothing about the people who didn't show up at all.

Bob Boyd said...

Corona Virus
I think of you, little one
When I touch myself

stlcdr said...

Now is no different from any other time. But at least it's an opportunity to educate people on touching themselves...

Bay Area Guy said...

Hi Meade:

The average incubation period for the flu is two days. Coronavirus has an incubation period of up to two weeks. Younger people, who are more active and mobile than older people, symptom-free but infected, are potentially secret super spreaders.

I have no reason to dispute this, and I appreciate your insight. But here's my larger point, which is simply an exercise in common sense and connecting a few dots:

1. In 2017-2018, 45 Million Americans were getting the flu. Source: CDC.

2. Most people have no idea how widespread the flu already is. Also, it's fair to assume, that none of these 45 Million Americans were tested for a virus; rather, the diagnoses were based on symptoms.

3. Coincident with these 45 Million Flu cases, 3 Million Chinese visit the US each year. If you add tourists from all Asian countries, you get several million more.

So, given the huge number of existing of yearly flu cases (45 Million) and large number of yearly Chinese visitors (3 million), isn't it more likely that coronavirus is already here percolating, already part of the large overall flu incidence, but simply hasn't been tested among the public?

Not arguing, could be wrong, just offering inexpert opinion.



Fernandistein said...

But at least it's an opportunity to educate people on touching themselves...

I'll just do it until I need glasses.

Like that old AT&T commercial says, "Reach out and touch someone's face."

JAORE said...

Signers are DOOMED!

Andrew said...

I haven't seen anyone mention beards yet. I think for those of us with beards, it's that much harder not to touch our faces. I stroke my beard all the time, especially while I'm working. That will be a hard habit to break. Is there any commenter here with a beard who doesn't stroke or scratch it every day?

In Biblical times, lepers had to shout out "Unclean!" We should bring that practice back for colds and flu viruses.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Radio Japan, long ago, explained that the wearing of masks wasn't to avoid getting sick but to avoid spreading sickness. Different culture.”

But they are also correct. With the normal surgical type masks that we see, the air you breath mostly comes in around the mask. What you best use it for is to keep your germs to yourself.

If you really want to keep from breathing in the air around you, you need a closely fitting mask. I have a 3M half mask with replaceable filters that I use for painting, and other similar pursuits. I was looking for P99 filters for it last night at the neighborhood Home Depot, and every mask, AND every mask filter had been sold out. Every one, except for an empty box of P95 3M replacement filters (I checked the box, because they would have fit that mask).

And, yes, I undemocratically have hoarded P95 surgical masks. Bought a box of 100 online, but when they appeared to have gone to MT, instead of here in AZ, I ordered another box. Then, I picked up my mail, and found the first box in the box. Amazon uses USPS to deliver most of its products to rural America, and my normal forwarding kicked in, with the first box of masks moving from one town in MT, where Amazon dropped them off, to the post office in MT where I have a box, then down here to AZ. Funny thing is that Amazon showed them delivered a week earlier - because they determine delivery to be when they drop the package at the first Post Office, better than an hour from ours in MT.

Ralph L said...

Wear a veil.

Iman said...

"You walk into a crowded grocery store. A shopper has coronavirus. What puts you most at risk of getting infected by that person?"


I would have to say having sex with the infected shopper would be my bet.

daskol said...

The film Contagion has a bit early on how we touch our faces a lot. I watched it on a place, hearing every cough and sneeze, and realized I was rubbing my chin, and that the rest of my face was suddenly feeling itchy.

rhhardin said...

Japan, according to Radio Japan, is closing all the schools for a month. To solve the resulting daycare problem, they are opening up day care centers in those same empty classrooms.

Problem and solution by the best and the brightest.

Iman said...

coronabola
puts the c*nt back in country
they cry like babies

Sam L. said...

Who has sex in a grocery store? Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

tim in vermont said...

Is there any anti-Trump hoax that Chuck won’t swallow whole? He’s like one of those corn fed trout in one of those pay to fish ponds.

Meade said...

"So, given the huge number of existing of yearly flu cases (45 Million) and large number of yearly Chinese visitors (3 million), isn't it more likely that coronavirus is already here percolating, already part of the large overall flu incidence, but simply hasn't been tested among the public?"

I think it is more likely. Absolutely. My point was just that this virus seems to be behaving in some ways that are very different from most influenzas.

walter said...

Use your dominant hand (fingers) for most public surfaces.
Use your other arm, as far away from fingers as feasible to itch your face when needed.
I think having sensible options beats weird behavioral modification training.

tim in vermont said...

There is no reason to think that it can be stopped based on what we know now. That’s not scare mongering. It’s logic. Game theory. To paraphrase Jurassic Park “The virus will find a way.” If you are really asymptomatic and contagious for a week. No amount of quarantine is going to do much good beyond buying a little time.

tim maguire said...

The moment I decided to see how long I could go without touching my face, my cheek started itching.

Yancey Ward said...

Aunty Trump is correct. If the COVID-19 really is as contagious as claimed, and has a long incubation period as claimed, then all these efforts at quarantine and such are just security theater. In the end, you will have as much success, or less, of evading the virus as you do evading the common cold. If I responsibility for allocating funds to fight this, I would probably devote most if not all to, (1) making sure you can actually treat the most serious cases, (2) finding a vaccine, and (3) educating the public with solid information as you learn it.

I think Bay Area Guy is right- the virus is already well spread in the US public, we just didn't know it until a couple of weeks ago. It has probably been here since sometime in the middle of last year. This belief that it was identified within days of its appearance in China is just fucking ludicrous.

Yancey Ward said...

The real danger of feeding panic here is that everyone with a cold or the regular flu is now going to show up in the ER. It should be a wonderful example of a clusterfuck.

Bleachbitandhammer said...

If you’re sick . Self quarantine just in case.

walter said...

DENVER– Denver Councilwoman Candi Cdebaca is getting major blowback over a controversial tweet sent on Friday.
Cdebaca quoted a tweet that said, “For the record, if I do get the coronavirus I’m attending every MAGA rally I can.”
Cdebaca responded and quoted the tweet by saying, “#Solidarity Yaaaas!!”.

Morkoth4682 said...

So here's my conundrum... I just got back from a business trip to San Francisco, which has one of the highest concentrations of Asians in the country, and have now come down with something... aching joints, sore throat, a little bit of a cough, mild fever... Do I go to the Dr and ask to be tested for the Coronavirus, or do I wait to see if it gets better / worse? I don't want to feed into the hysteria, but at the same time, i don't want to put my family at undo risk... Thoughts? Suggestions?

Morkoth4682 said...

Also, for additional context, I'm 46 and have Type 2 Diabetes, so unfortunately I'm in a slightly higher risk demographic. I was in the bay area for 6 days and flew to/from.

tcrosse said...

At my neighborhood supermarket there's a dispenser of sanitizing wipes at the door, which people use to wipe down their hands and the handles of their carts. It occurred to me today that it might be more effective to wipe down my hands on the way out rather than on the way in.

Meade said...

@Morkoth,
I'm pretty sure I would calmly call my doctor without hesitation.
Be well,
Meade

ALP said...

For anyone interested, Dr. John Campbell (from the UK) is THE MAN to watch on this subject. Daily updates gleaned from credible sources:


https://www.youtube.com/user/Campbellteaching/videos

Michael said...

My bet is that the denominator is much larger than reported thus diminishing the mortality percentage.

Meade said...

"It occurred to me today that it might be more effective to wipe down my hands on the way out rather than on the way in."

That's what I've done. But recently, I've begun putting on leather gloves. I leave them in the car, put them on after I park, and take them off after loading up.

Michael said...

Morkoth

Probably should fly back to SFO and report yourself for Asianblaming. Small fine to remove yourself from hate crime list.

Andrew said...

@Mork,
Go to the doctor asap. Let the professionals tell you whether you have something to worry about. That's not panicking, that's being mature and responsible for your health.

Andrew said...

There are new underground videos from Iran showing numerous dead bodies not yet processed. Very horrific. You can find them on Twitter.

tcrosse said...

But recently, I've begun putting on leather gloves.

Good idea, but I'll try it with those disposables that doctors use. Then there's the gas pump....

stevew said...

Have there been any cases identified in India? On a con call and a colleague, who is from India and has family there, said she hasn't heard of any in that country.

Richard said...

I just came back from the AIPAC Policy Conference at the Washington, DC convention center. There were over 18,000 people in attendance. There were huge crowds entering and leaving each of the sessions. Even worse there were gatherings of people in the evenings where there were large trays of food that was being shared. Except for a pro forma announcement at the beginning of the conference to avoid shaking hands (which was ignored by the people attending the conference) there was no concern on the part of the participants about the coronavirus. Considering that a good percentage of the participants were Democrats I guess there was no fear on their part that Trump's incompetence would cause them to catch the virus.:) However, if you find that there is a breakout of coronavirus among the Jewish population or members of congress and the administration in the next two weeks, then you will have cause to panic. By the I will be attending the ACC Basketball tournament next week, so I will have another chance to contract (or spread) the coronavirus.

gerry said...

It is a variant of the freaking flu. Calm down.

stevew said...

Mrs. stevew and I are headed to Disney in a couple of weeks with our son and his family. Might turn out well in that the lines will be shorter than usual. If the place stays open.

Meade said...

"Then there's the gas pump...."

Same—gloves.

mockturtle said...

Stevew asks: Have there been any cases identified in India? On a con call and a colleague, who is from India and has family there, said she hasn't heard of any in that country.

Six confirmed cases as of this morning.

jimbino said...

Finally a use for Greek worry beads and rosaries.

stevew said...

Thanks.

mockturtle said...

South Korea has a better strategy:
"South Korea has the second-largest national caseload of coronavirus, and has tested far more than most nations. As of Monday, South Korea had tested a total of 105,379 people, and 4,212 people were confirmed to have the disease. Some 200 designated health centers across the country can test up to 15,000 people daily.

Newly developed test kits that show results in six hours gained emergency approval by the Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and were distributed to testing facilities on Feb. 7.

The world's first drive-through testing facilities were also introduced last week, further cutting testing time and minimizing contact between patients and medical workers."
from South Korea Net. Emphases mine.

Meade said...

@ALP—great resource. Thanks.

Etienne said...

Since I'm taking biologic's, I am at risk from everything. But it is a risk weighed by quality of life. I'd rather have quality for 1 year, than suffering for 10 years.

If it kills me, so be it. It's not like I'm trying to get laid with loose women anymore. A cup of hot cocoa before I go to sleep is my new orgasm.

My wife keeps moving my money to her IRA Trust Fund while I sleep...

Hell, with the S&P going south, the only people making money are the Jews building homes in the West Bank with American Debt certificates.

Etienne said...

I buy Hygea Towlette's and use about 10 a day, since I have been taking biologic's for five years, and I have to stay sanitized when in public.

You can buy a box of 100 on Amazon. They have an expiration date, so don't buy 200, as you will end-up with crappy towlettes next to your unused condom from 1987 when all the Queers were dying.

Get the Benzalkonium Chloride kind.

Michael K said...

Pence shook hands with a bunch of kids from a military school in Florida last week. Now one of the kids has tested positive for COV-19.

Nonapod said...

An Iranian cleric said that applying essential oil to your anus will cure coronavirus. So all these high tech super labs tirelessly struggling to come up with a vaccine are wasting their time, all you have to do is put a little violet leaf oil up your butthole.

Inga said...

Average incubation period is 14 days, but there have been known cases where the incubation period was as long as 27 days. Lots of time in which to walk around shedding virus.

Jupiter said...

"The requirement is to completely self-quarantine. Do not go out at all!"

And hold your breath.

Etienne said...

"all you have to do is put a little violet leaf oil up your butthole."

I have one rule, the butthole is an output port, not an input, nor a three-state.

FullMoon said...

The clerk told us that the Costco in Issaquah, WA Sunday had 1400 checkouts in the first half hour.

46.66666 per minute. 1.555 seconds per transaction .Surprisingly efficient. Way better than my local..

JaimeRoberto said...

"Who has sex in a grocery store? Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww."

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Think of the possibilities in the produce section.

reader said...

I live in an area with a significant number of elderly because this area has several 55 and up neighborhoods and retirement communities. When shopping at the market I have noticed that some elderly women (not all but at least one or two every time I shop) will lick their fingertips and use the dampened tips to open the bags provided for produce. They then dig around in the produce with their spit covered fingers.

LYNNDH said...

No mentioned the air blow dryers in public washrooms. I avoid them. Use a paper towel when leaving the WC's too.

Scott Patton said...

Hands and face and another place - that's where the nerves are. If you touch the other place in public, people look at you funny.

Francisco D said...

Forget about trying to find anti-bacterial soap or other disinfectants here in Tucson. All the stores I visited are sold out.

I also noticed people stocking up on water in huge amounts at Sam's Club. A better idea is to purchase Brita filters if you don't like the tap water. (I don't).

I found a couple of boxes of nitrile disposable gloves that may come in handy.

When the crisis passes I wonder what people are going to do with all the supplies they hoarded.

tim in vermont said...

If you are worried about the virus, help is on the way!

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1249990/Asteroid-warning-NASA-tracks-4KM-killer-asteroid-hit-Earth-end-civilisation-asteroid-news

tim in vermont said...

If the diagnosis criteria includes pneumonia, then the fatality rate could be greatly exaggerated, on the bright side. If you looked at the flu that way, only calling it "the flu" once it put your life in danger, then the newly defined malady would be far more dangerous, because all of the people with mild cases simply do not have “the flu.”

mockturtle said...

The latest [that I can find] data on WA state cases. Looks like there are now 8 deaths. These cases only refer to King and Snohomish Counties but I've heard that there are positive test results in other counties, as well. WA State COVID-19 Cases

tim in vermont said...

Maybe Trump needs to think about ending the rallies.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Don’t think it is a good idea to go swanning into a doctors office if you suspect you have this virus. Call first and describe your symptoms. Doubt it is a good idea to go into a waiting room and infecting the lot.

FullMoon said...

Nonapod said...

An Iranian cleric said that applying essential oil to your anus will cure coronavirus. So all these high tech super labs tirelessly struggling to come up with a vaccine are wasting their time, all you have to do is put a little violet leaf oil up your butthole.


Local Arab grocery all out of violet leaf oil. Walmart also. Coincidence?

bagoh20 said...

I think I'm relatively safe. My hands are so dirty all day that I never touch my face. I have to wash my hands BEFORE I use the toilet, which is actually the smartest way for anyone. The corona virus is afraid to touch me, and that's a common reaction by many around me.

mockturtle said...

Nine deaths now in WA.

Jim at said...

When the crisis passes I wonder what people are going to do with all the supplies they hoarded.

Put them in their Y2K bunker?

Iman said...

I live in an area with a significant number of elderly because this area has several 55 and up neighborhoods and retirement communities. When shopping at the market I have noticed that some elderly women (not all but at least one or two every time I shop) will lick their fingertips and use the dampened tips to open the bags provided for produce. They then dig around in the produce with their spit covered fingers.

“Get your old man fingers outta the peanuts!”

—- Frank Riles Thick as Thieves

Kai Akker said...

The mean incubation period seems to be much shorter than the early headlines and the numbers quoted above in this thread. An Asian virologist has data on 1,099 Wuhan patients -- mean incubation period 3 days. Another study of about 500 cases found the mean was 5 days. While it can be longer, that is rare. The numbers in the 20s may even be cases where a first exposure didn't cause infection and there was a second exposure much later. That is why CDC is still sticking with 14 day quarantine. And that means there is some good news in this, that the idea that many infected people are walking around for a couple weeks without symptoms but spreading the virus like mad -- that does not appear to be common. Possible in rare cases, but not common. This is from what I've read.

Freeman Hunt said...

Buying extra water is a strange choice. The faucet is not going to get pneumonia and die.

It was annoying last week when I tried to buy the usual five gallon jug for the cooler, and they were sold out.

tim in vermont said...

My net neutrality bunker is still well stocked with enough irradiated food and a huge cistern of purified water buried beneath it to last for thirty years.

Phidippus said...

Etienne @2:22 PM makes a tristate buffer joke. It was appreciated by this fan of the 74F24x series devices.

Separately, the bobbleheads on GMA today were telling us to quit shaking hands and start doing elbo bumps instead now, or something. Whatever that is; I wasn't watching, I was a passive overhearer. Well I'm not doing it, and anybody who offers me an elbo bump instead of a handshake is going to hear about how pathetic they are.

Live like a man, die like a man. You're going to die anyway, your choice about how (to some extent at least).

Phidippus said...

Aunty Trump: I keep my supply of nitrile gloves and distilled water in my currently underused Y2K bunker.

Phidippus said...

AA asks: "What puts you most at risk of getting infected by that person?"

Licking the handle of their shopping cart is definitely a bad idea.

https://www.opindia.com/2020/03/iran-coronavirus-shrine-qom-fatima-masumeh-lick/

Michael said...

Meade
Curious how you get leather gloves on and off and on again without touching them barehanded.

Lucien said...

Sam L: Exactly! Grocery stores are for foreplay, like the cucumber scene in Animal House.

FullMoon said...

Meade
Curious how you get leather gloves on and off and on again without touching them barehanded.


Simple, use your teeth. That is how OJ did it.

FullMoon said...

I think I'm relatively safe. My hands are so dirty all day that I never touch my face. I have to wash my hands BEFORE I use the toilet, which is actually the smartest way for anyone. The corona virus is afraid to touch me, and that's a common reaction by many around me.

And, the greasier your hands are, the worse you have to pee...

wildswan said...

"Nonapod said...
I'm currently afflicted with what I assume is a pretty mild case of the flu"

Is it safe to read this comments? Can comments transmit the virus? or is that only if they go viral?
Comments cause the coronavirus only if you touch the screen and then drink Corona beer from your hand. You cannot affect other commenters by flicking at their comments with your hand so learn to lean back and laugh in affected way for thirty seconds and or else drink Corona beer from a glass.

Or is it just your computer that gets the virus?
Computers don't get viruses with names like COVID-19. Computers get boastful viruses like Hahahacker and invincibletrojan

Nichevo said...

all you have to do is put a little violet leaf oil up your butthole.

Local Arab grocery all out of violet leaf oil. Walmart also. Coincidence?


Now is the time for American marketing dominance to show its hand. How long should it take Johnson & Johnson to get a new Violet Leaf Oil flavored KY Jelly out in stores?

Ann Althouse said...

“Curious how you get leather gloves on and off and on again without touching them barehanded.”

You should say “glove.” Not “gloves.”

It’s easy to get the first one off.

But then you can keep your hand a little inside that first glove and get enough of a grip on glove 2 to pull it off without touching it with your hand.

Nichevo said...

How long should it take Johnson & Johnson to get a new Violet Leaf Oil flavored KY Jelly out in stores?


With Farsi and Arabic labels, of course.

tcrosse said...

“Curious how you get leather gloves on and off and on again without touching them barehanded.”

Use your teeth.

tim in vermont said...

Just wash your hands after taking off the gloves.

bagoh20 said...

“Curious how you get leather gloves on and off and on again without touching them barehanded.”

Like any other civilized person. I have my valet remove and sanitize them with a bow and clicking of the heels.

Leora said...

One of the things that keeps your hands away from your nose and mouth is wearing a surgical mask even if it doesn't filter viruses. Still need red pepper for your eyes though.

Kai Akker said...

Buying extra water is a strange choice. The faucet is not going to get pneumonia and die.

Freeman Hunt! That is what my son said to me too. How ignorant can you get? I ask you. Is water a necessity of life? Do you live in a major city, as I do? Can you connect those two dots??

Sheesh.

wildswan said...

As an older person, should I keep touching my face and seek to get corona now, because now if I get really sick I could get treatment?

Realistically, I find that I am trying not to get this virus with its somewhat unknown effects. So use I'm using life experience for this novel situation. It's my opinion it will spread and I will be exposed whether I touch my face or not but I should wash hands before and after going out. At this moment I would check with a doctor whether I had have corona when I felt like the flu because that might help slow down the spread or help warn people. Later we will all have to self-quarantine and take care of ourselves because this is a virus and there is nothing to do except what you would do for the flu. And if you rush the hospitals the system will break down but they still won't be able to do anything about a virus. But I'm going to keep track of how many days I've been sick because this flu is OK for about nine to thirteen days and then suddenly goes bad on some people, especially older people.

The government checklist for the quarantine is the same as the list for hurricanes and other disasters where power and water go off. That's wrong. I don't need jugs of water, candles, batteries, dried peas. I am going to stay at home with all mod cons except no one will want to come near me and I don't want to go out and spread this thing. I think I need two weeks of a lightweight version of what I usually buy in stores. And also I need flu medicines and cough drops, kleenex, juices, Coke which I regard as a cure-all for flu, and medical alcohol to make handwipes. I need soap, cleaners and laundry bleach that specifically kill viruses.

For most of us this is going to be just the flu but we should watch out for and help those on whom it goes rogue.

tim in vermont said...

I figure that the local food pantry will appreciate donations of whatever I lay by when this blows over.

rcocean said...

I think its pretty clear that we're all going to die. Its the black plague - Mark II. This will of course, increase the demand for funeral directors and burial crews. Its a job creator!

rcocean said...

We've already stocked up on Rice, Chicken breast, toothpaste, and powdered milk. We also have our shotgun, so don't come here if you run out of toilet paper.

rcocean said...

is the entire media full of panicky idiots, or it just me?

mandrewa said...

I think China is lying big time. Clearly it's difficult to track something like this, but nonetheless I think they know that the number of people in China that have this virus can be counted in the millions. It's possible to estimate the number infected by checking small subsets of the population and estimating the true number infected from that and they have probably done that.

Not only is China lying about the number of people infected they are lying about the number of people killed. They are misattributing deaths to other causes when they know very well it is more likely to be Coronavirus 2019.

Despite this and even though the eventual death toll in China may eventually be in the hundreds of thousands if not millions I suspect that China is exaggerating the fatality rate. I don't know whether this is an unintended consequence of trying to pretend they have a handle on things or whether this is a deliberate attempt to spread panic in the world.

Regardless we still have little real data on this disease.

Etienne said...

My Aunt died of Spanish Flu in 1918 after my grandfather returned from the Great War. She was 8, my dad was 4. My dad said it was a good thing.

Good??

Yes, she didn't have to suffer through the Depression, World War 2, or Income tax.

Mary E. Glynn said...
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Mary E. Glynn said...
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Mary E. Glynn said...
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Mary E. Glynn said...

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Your turn...
;-)

Mary E. Glynn said...
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Etienne said...

I think it was mid-70's and one of the dance crazes was the "rump-bump" I bet kids today would find it disgusting, but what else are you going to do with Disco music??

So my solution is to replace hand-shakes with rump-bumps.

Iman said...

is the entire media full of panicky idiots, or it just me?

You haven’t appeared to panic yet, but I’ve got my eye on you 👁

Etienne said...

PS, Phidippus, I gave up on TTL projects after the 74LS series :-)

cf said...

I am with Dust Bunny Queen, ready for the white gloves. the 50s have a lot to inform us now.

cf said...

My Fred Meyers market is bare of the 12 feet of gallon jugs of water today.

We are just across the Willamette River from the first Oregon patient that hit the news last week. We all figure its everywhere so act accordingly.

Thankfully i have been gathering our goods the last few weeks, AND practicing Good New Actions with my fingers, and how very wonderful! You must hold to a fine mindfulness, a soft-focused broad attention.

Not a natural emergency preparedness person, but this got me serious.

kleenex helps immensely with the fingers thing, and I am keeping my box of medical blue gloves handy, totally ready to look like a geek and put em on as soon as I leave my car and throw away as soon as I need to.

My wine&whine girls were gathering anyway Friday, and it was a serious delight, we savored each others' full faces across the table, the squeeze of hands, our hugs at the end, theorizing the possibility that we might have a season without such gifts.

May all be well.

Etienne said...
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Bruce Hayden said...

“Forget about trying to find anti-bacterial soap or other disinfectants here in Tucson. All the stores I visited are sold out.”

None here either in W PHX. Or at least hand sanitizer. I did buy antibacterial soap in Home Depot yesterday, but not sure of its effectiveness, since it is a causing COVID-19, and not bacteria.

Friend sent me this yesterday: How to Make Hand Sanitizer

His additional comment were: “Get alcohol that is this close to 100% as possible. When you mix it with the Alevera, you get the right proportion of water to kill bacteria which is around 70%. If you start with 70% alcohol, you won’t have a high enough concentration of alcohol.” (He is essentially saying that the article suggests at least 70% alcohol, but since the alcohol gets diluted during preparation, you really should start with 91% alcohol, which is harder to find).

Paul Snively said...

25 years in LA and the previous post on string implants lead me to read the headline as "A stripper has coronavirus. What puts you most at risk of getting infected by that person?"

I mean, too many lapdances, right? But how, exactly, does that change anything?