TWiV 635: Mask hysteria

July 5, 2020

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical update on COVID-19, then we review SARS-CoV-2 shedding in children, how to resume school safely, the need for widespread testing and wearing face masks, and much more, including listener email.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Brianne Barker

Guests: Daniel Griffin and Chuck Knirsch

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Download TWiV 635 (92 MB .mp3, 153 min)
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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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12 comments on “TWiV 635: Mask hysteria

  1. Markus Niederberger Jul 5, 2020

    On compressing cabin air: They use bleed air from the compressor section of the jet engines.

  2. Carol Shoshkes Reiss Jul 5, 2020

    Aln indicated that there was no evidence that children spread SARS-CoV-2 in schools. In Israel, which reopened schools, there was a need to close many schools as virus spread among students, teachers and other staff. They had testing, maybe not universal and often, but testing.

  3. The best part here, for me, is the response to a letter asking for clarity on exercising outdoors without masks.

    Bottom line: we don’t know yet.

    This is an indulgence to stay on the couch for me. I so appreciate that.

  4. rowan Jul 5, 2020

    Hello, gents.

    I was listening to your podcast on Sunday, 5 July 2020, 635, maybe, but I am referencing the part of your discussion about the Return to School. I ask as a quite recently retired teacher from an alternative school for children with emotional/behavioral disorders. I would like you to spend some time sharing your thoughts about teachers returning to school in the fall. Specifically, it would be great if you could be very clear about the risks both personally as well as the medical concerns. I absolutely love your show and turned to it when I became completely disillusioned with most news coverage about the virus, the SARS-2 yadadada. I ask with the utmost respect for my comrades. Thank you in advance.

  5. Worth listening to this update by NIH conversation between Collins and Faucci

  6. Hi, this news from Regeneron looks promising and will contribute NOT to put all the eggs in the vaccine basket.

  7. Richard Cornell Jul 6, 2020

    Wearing a mask is not optional.
    When I was in Grad school. Everyone who enter those science labs had to have their own lab coat, safety glasses and gloves. A chemical mask would be worn when handling chemicals. If you decided that you would not wear them then you could not enter. The doors were always lock so that outsiders did not enter.
    It is the same when riding a bicycle you wear a helmet. Wearing a seat belt in a car. Googles when chopping wood.
    People are foolish they will do the most stupid things. Not wearing a mask when this virus could kill you is not wise.
    Not wearing a mask when your with people all it takes is one friend who has under lining health problems to spread his virus to you.
    By the way the audio potion of your TWiV series is 35 Gb of storage.

  8. David Wemple Jul 6, 2020

    Dr. Seuss Goes Viral

    COVID is here, COVID is there
    COVID, they tell me, is everywhere!

    We must flatten that curve!
    We must sit on it firm
    We must not let that curve release more of that germ!

    How could we do it?
    How, do you ask?
    We will spend many hours on our TWiVer task

    We will hear all the guests
    We will hear where they live
    We will hear all their weather, and they’ll do it on TWiV!

    They will speak of antigens
    They will speak of spikes
    They will speak of such things where I will shout YIKES!

    Hydroxy-something and Lysol, to
    They’re certainly serious when they cry PLEASE DON’T DO!

    Of pigs and mice and ferrets and such
    My brain is too full, it’s much much too much!

    They will speak to me of things I don’t know
    I will Google their terms and learn as I go

    They raise the bar of my learning each day
    Will I give in to hard work?
    To that I say NAY!

    Each TWiV is a challenge to learn something new
    To learn of the new things
    Things like ACE2!

    They give me some Hope
    These nice TWiVer folk
    That all’s really not lost
    When they give me straight dope!

    You’re a bunch of nice folks
    And you’re having some fun
    I’m laughing and learning and tired when you’re done

    To Vincent and Rich and guests all around
    For all us TWiVees
    ‘Tis gold that we’ve found!

  9. chris kaiser Jul 7, 2020

    Cornell can’t do testing but testing is free in NYS.

    So what is the issue? Why can’t the schools coordinate to have results provided either from the state concurrent with the release to the tested subject, or simply have the student provide evidence of testing and results?

  10. I love your show and so appreciate Daniel Griffin sharing his experiences and expertise. TWiV is an excellent resource, and the world benefits from your collective knowledge and inquiry.

    That said, I felt frustrated by Dr. Griffin’s adamant statement that schools must open in the fall. I get that school is important for children for many reasons. But no one is talking about the teachers, administrators, and staff — many of whom are older or have underlying conditions that put them at greater risk.

    I believe we’re asking school workers to risk their literal lives on an experiment. “Let’s open and see what happens” seems to be the plan in most states.

    Dr. Griffin did mention that adequate testing would make opening schools safer, but the fact remains adequate testing is not available, across the country.

    I’d love to hear your group address this. If you maintain that schools (and colleges, for that matter) must open, how do you reconcile the risk that instructors and staff must take?

  11. Michelle Jul 14, 2020

    re Daniel’s comments: As a result of all the troubled states’ cases going up, the US overall cases has stopped “leveling off,” as it had been since early April, and is now back on an exponential growth path (although significantly slower than in April). This “reverse” (upward) knee in the exponential curve began about 6/22 (it’s pretty obvious in the data). The new growth rate is 3.9E5 exp(0.018D) ; D = days since 3/14/20. Since the new upturned slope is exponential, it’s a fairly safe prediction to say that at this rate, the U.S. cases will reach 4 million before the end of July – although the JHU data on some states (AZ and FL) suggests some very odd perturbations in the last week or two which may make the science more difficult.
    (see semilog plots: )