Coffee heat rising

Happy {sigh} Hallowe’en…

Hallowe’en is hands-down my favorite holiday. I just love seeing all the cute kids (and teenagers…and grownups) decked out in their costumes and handing out candy from our post in the neighbor’s driveway. Which makes this covid-plagued holiday…well…just depressing.

My neighbors, one of whom has a potentially life-threatening case of chronic asthma, agreed with me that we should refrain from participating. Given that I have a bizarre vulnerability to respiratory infections — a good case of the flu can lay me out for two months — I’m unhappily going along with this. Soooo… Instead of partying by the sidewalk, we’re all hunkered down inside our houses with the front blinds shut and the lights in the front of the houses shut off.

{sob!}

To forestall a doggy frenzy, I took Ruby the Corgi for a short walk. A big block party is going on down the street. (Who, us? We don’t need no steenkin’ virus protection!), and the usual hordes of cuties and crazy teenagers are milling around. We crossed the street whenever we saw another gaggle coming along, but…I hope we didn’t stroll through any clouds of viruses. The principal mode of contagion is respiratory: picking up the virus on the air. (sigh) So I risked my life, just by walking the dog around the block this evening.

But oh, my! WHAT a beautiful evening it is. Venus floats in the western sky, the deep azure west deepening to black as your gaze moves toward the zenith. All the cuties are charging around, just too adorable to be believed. Grown-ups lurk on their front yards in lawn chairs. And…

Yeah: …and all their germs are floating in the air.

Have I exposed myself to the disease by walking the dog when mobs of kids and teenagers and parents were roiling around?

Probably not. Says the CDC: “The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory fluids carrying infectious virus.”

Yipes!

However. that august source continues, “The risk for infection decreases with increasing distance from the source and increasing time after exhalation. . . . Although infections through inhalation at distances greater than six feet from an infectious source are less likely than at closer distances, the phenomenon has been repeatedly documented under certain preventable circumstances.10-21 These transmission events have involved the presence of an infectious person exhaling virus indoors for an extended time (more than 15 minutes and in some cases hours) leading to virus concentrations in the air space sufficient to transmit infections to people more than 6 feet away, and in some cases to people who have passed through that space soon after the infectious person left.”

So…

  • Nope: never got within six feet of any passers-by or sidewalk candy-hawkers.
  • Nope: definitely not around anyone for more than 15 minutes…or even for anything like as long as 15 minutes.
  • Nope: absolutely not indoors with anyone.

Looks unlikely that the dog and I exposed ourselves tonight.

Ah…paranoia in the time of pestilence…