Covid 19 Continued

As I entered my favorite hardware store I saw multiple containers of hand sanitizer and cleaning agents on display.   Many boasted 99.9% kill rate for germs.  (The alcohol content is greater than the 60%.)   But Covid-19 is not a germ.  It is a virus.  A virus is an exceedingly small nonliving, oily particle that contains genetic material.   It must have a living host cell to reproduce.  

There are many unknowns about viruses.

   Without a host cell, they can exist on hard services surfaces for up to five days. They may be viable, for three days on plastics or stainless steel, one-day on cardboard, eight hours on aluminum, and up to four hours on copper surfaces.  There is not much research for their residual life on fabric or skin or hair.      Surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water first, then disinfected with a dilute solution of bleach that is allowed to dry.  This will keep the surface disinfected for up-to eight hours.   There is no evidence of infection from take-out or grocery containers. Fruits and vegetables should be washed with running water.   Meals cooked to a temperature greater than 133°F will destroy the virus.

Cleanliness rules

Hands should be washed for 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday to me”  2 times)   with soap and water.    Hand sanitizer can be used when there is no  access to soap and water.   The cleanliness rules today are basically the same as those issued for the 1918 influenza epidemic.     Wear a mask,  live a clean and healthy life, wash your hands with soap and water, avoid persons who are sneezing or coughing,  avoid crowds,  and keep your hands out of your mouth and eyes and nose.    If you are using air conditioning or heating in your home or business,  check the fresh air duct to make sure you are bringing in the design volume of fresh air. 

New Zealand eliminated Covid-19.

  Their first case was in February  2020.    After the first of March, they banned non-citizens from their country.   All incoming travelers were quarantined for 14 days with Covid testing on days 3 and 14.  They cancelled public events and gatherings, closed many businesses’, and issued a stay at home policy.     They also used extensive contact tracing for infected people and tested everyone with respiratory symptoms.      Some new cases are occurring since New Zealand opened their economy.   And the long-term effects on their economy are still under study.

For comparison, 

  the 2019 world annual mortality rate for all causes was between 7,000 – 9,000 deaths per million people.  As of August 15,  the mortality rate per million people for covid-19 only is:  World:  98,  United States:  520,   New Zealand: 5.      Others have reported that the mortality rate for covid-19 is about the same as for the 1918 influenza epidemic. 

In summary,   500 people out of a million is a small number unless one of those 500 is a friend, relative,  or you.   We can all reduce the impact of covid-19   if we take individual responsibility to wash our hands,  wear a mask, limit our circle of contacts and follow guidelines from local health departments. 

©   Larry Howlett     HTMD Engineering     2020        HTMD Engineering Provides Engineering Solutions for Todays Challenges.  We deliver new designs and / or improve existing processes and equipment.      We would like to bid on your projects.    815-766-3471   LDH@HTMDengineering.com

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