Experts are saying Covid has gone airborne. What must we do to stay safe? Concerns grow as workplaces and schools are set to reopen. But many Canadians, impatient for this pandemic to be over and gone, are beginning to let their guard down hoping that the worst is over, and some, are not observing the suggested safety protocols at all.
CBC News asked pandemic expert Dr. Lin to address some of the concerns from their viewership about how an airborne virus could impact our recovery.
What Does Airborne Mean?
According to some of the top world health advisors, the Covid-19 virus is hanging in the air like when a smoker exhales smoke. If they do so outside, it tends to blow away. But inside it's a different story.
Like smoke, the virus can hang in the air like a cloud, remaining there for several minutes. In an unprotected work, school or social environment, it could spread from one person to another.
Schools And Work
Clearly, we ultimately need to get parents back to work and children back to school for social and financial structure, but how do we do it safely?
Public health and governments have been recommending as much freedom as possible but as many restrictions as necessary.
Whether it's a return to work or return to school situation, experts are saying that even with masks, sitting next to someone for 6 or 8 hours might not be safe since the virus has been reported to have gone airborne.
Ventilation, AC and fans could simply increase the risk by blowing the air, or the cloud around from person to person. Window air conditioners in portable classrooms could blow the air across the class from student to student.
Public Health must be vigilant to monitor potential cases in schools and the potential impact. If a teacher or a student test positive, what will it mean for their classmates and their families?
As much as the numbers seem to be lower, children do get sick from this virus. We don't want to put them in harms way, and we don't want them to bring it back home to parents and grandparents or other vulnerable individuals.
Parents too, must set the example and teach their children the importance of maintaining and observing distancing and mask protection protocols.
People need to be very mindful in elevators. Fewer riders, hold your breath if you can, turn your back on fellow riders to be safe so you aren't in the line of fire.
If necessary, make a quick trip to the mall. Get in and get out. Don't hang around and keep your distance from others especially in cashier lineups. Pay with debit or credit, try not to handle cash.
Learn form the virus surge in the USA
As we've seen in the United States, the loosening of protocols and their return to work, is causing thousands of new infections daily. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are places to avoid because of closeness and mask removal to eat and drink. When alcohol is involved people forget about distancing.
Now that we know that the virus is airborne, we need to digest this new information and take more steps and more precautions to prevent its spread.
Areas requiring masks as of July 13, 2020 include:
- Buses, bus shelters, ION trains and ION platforms
- Stores and shopping malls
- Indoor areas of restaurants and bars, with the exception of patrons consuming food and drink
- Professional services such as counselling, personal care, funeral homes and repair and rental services
- Lobby areas of commercial buildings
- Hotels and motels, with the exception of rented rooms
- Indoor areas of fitness centres, gyms and recreational and sports facilities
- Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Arcades and other indoor amusement facilities
- Museums, galleries, historic sites, etc.
- Places of worship
- Municipal buildings
Dr. Lin provides answers and advice for staying safe