Links for 2020-07-16

  • ‘Only those with plastic visors were infected’: Swiss government warns against face shields – The Local

    Via Zeynep Tufekci: ‘A study of an outbreak in Switzerland found that only those with plastic face-shields were infected, and everyone wearing masks was protected. Face shields may still help with source control, but masks may well also be protecting the wearer to some degree.’

    (tags: switzerland covid-19 facemasks masks aerosols transmission epidemiology)

  • ‘Blitz spirit’ was a myth

    The report, The Mental Stability of Hull, was based on interviews with hundreds of survivors. These case studies showed that people developed serious psychosomatic conditions, including involuntary soiling and wetting, persistent crying, uncontrollable shaking, headaches and chronic dizziness; men were found to indulge in heavy drinking and smoking after a raid, and prone to developing peptic ulcers. One woman was bombed out of three different houses, and watched the death of her sister and her five children. Her symptoms indicated an exceptional level of nervous collapse. Nevertheless, the conclusion from Hull was that its mental stability was nothing to worry about. The government papered over the evidence of the physical and psychological effects of being bombed and focused instead on the stories of British resolve. The propaganda film London Can Take It! reinforced the view that British people were not to be terrorised into submission. The famous photograph of a milkman picking his way through the ruins to deliver the milk was widely distributed, but it was a fake – the milkman was in fact the photographer’s assistant, wearing a white coat. The public face of the “blitz spirit” concealed the awful reality of being bombed.

    (tags: coronavirus epidemic fear pandemics blitz covid-19 ptsd propaganda)

  • Test sensitivity is secondary to frequency and turnaround time for COVID-19 surveillance | medRxiv

    this makes a whole load of sense to me — Michael Mina, one of this paper’s authors, is interviewed on TWIV, https://microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-640/ , talking about frequent, cheap, fast-turnaround COVID-19 tests, suitable for countrywide, daily testing. Less accurate than the RT-PCR swab, but good enough for this purpose

    (tags: epidemiology covid-19 testing swabs rt-pcr twiv virology models papers)

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