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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 24th Apr 2020, 06:22
  #5521 (permalink)  
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I have an FFP3 / N95 mask. Allegedly these masks, when properly fitted, are much better than simple cloth face coverings. When breathing in, it filters the air through a thick layer of filtering material so could be expected to provide a deal of protection which is, of course, what it was designed for. However, when breathing out, the expired air goes out through a simple flap valve with no filtering at all. So as I see it, an N95 mask will do nothing to to stop the spread of a virus from an infected person into the environment and are worse than simple cloth face coverings which should trap at least a proportion of the expired infected droplets. Am I right?
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 06:36
  #5522 (permalink)  
 
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The N95 is designed to protect the wearer.

It is not designed to prevent expired material. Any suggestions that it will are conjecture as there aren't good studies.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 06:42
  #5523 (permalink)  
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That’s what I figured. Mine was acquired as a dust mask. If we all end up having to wear masks when we go out, they would not be the ideal choice if the objective is to stop the spread of infection into the environment however beneficial they may be for the wearer.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 06:51
  #5524 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Islandlad View Post
The Oxford team is lead by Prof Sarah Gilbert, at the Jenner Institute.

Info from Wiki.

The Jenner Institute is a research institute on the Old Road Campus in Headington, east Oxford, England. It was formed in November 2005 through a partnership between the University of Oxford and the UK Institute for Animal Health. It is associated with the Nuffield Department of Medicine, in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University.


The link information looks very out of date. I am alerted to the request for funding aid! It may be ligitimate but the UK Gomernment has already allocated £20 million pounds to this project. They are not short of funds today.

DONATE WITH CAUTION! if you are tempted to.
I am sorry to say that your responses are now heading toward the pointless and even silly. Anyone who has paid any attention to the news here in the UK recently knows of Prof Gilbert and her work. We could gather from your last line that you suspect Prof Gilbert and her team are a bunch of con artists. And, if you believe that "the government has already allocated £20 million to this project" translates into "The Jenner Institute has now received £20 Million" then you have a blind faith in this government than few others may have. I would like to see the accounts, showing that the Institute is awash with funds and are "not short of funds today".
Alternatively, we could see the Institute's funding cut off and the money diverted to buying millions of litres of disinfectant so we can follow the Trumponian logic and inject everyone with bleach or disinfectant. Then, when the bodies are piled up in the millions having been killed by that twisted logic, you (and he) can say "See! Told you so. These charlatans at the university didn't need all that cash!"
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:05
  #5525 (permalink)  
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https://phys.org/news/2020-04-inexpe...s-minutes.html

Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes

Most viral test kits rely on labor- and time-intensive laboratory preparation and analysis techniques; for example, tests for the novel coronavirus can take days to detect the virus from nasal swabs. Now, researchers have demonstrated an inexpensive yet sensitive smartphone-based testing device for viral and bacterial pathogens that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The roughly $50 smartphone accessory could reduce the pressure on testing laboratories during a pandemic such as COVID-19.The results of the new multi-institutional study, led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign electrical and computer engineering professor Brian Cunningham and bioengineering professor Rashid Bashir, are reported in the journal Lab on a Chip.

"The challenges associated with rapid pathogen testing contribute to a lot of uncertainty regarding which individuals are quarantined and a whole host of other health and economic issues," Cunningham said.

The study began with the goal of detecting a panel of viral and bacterial pathogens in horses, including those that cause severe respiratory illnesses similar to those presented in COVID-19, the researchers said. "Horse pathogens can lead to devastating diseases in animal populations, of course, but one reason we work with them has to do with safety. The horse pathogens in our study are harmless to humans," Cunningham said.

The new testing device is comprised of a small cartridge containing testing reagents and a port to insert a nasal extract or blood sample, the researchers said. The whole unit clips to a smartphone. Inside the cartridge, the reagents break open a pathogen's outer shell to gain access to its RNA. A primer molecule then amplifies the genetic material into many millions of copies in about 10 or 15 minutes, the researchers said. A fluorescent dye stains the copies and glows green when illuminated by blue LED light, which is then detected by the smartphone's camera.

"This test can be performed rapidly on passengers before getting on a flight, on people going to a theme park or before events like a conference or concert," Cunningham said. "Cloud computing via a smartphone application could allow a negative test result to be registered with event organizers or as part of a boarding pass for a flight. Or, a person in quarantine could give themselves daily tests, register the results with a doctor, and then know when it's safe to come out and rejoin society."

There are a few preparatory steps currently performed outside of the device, and the team is working on a cartridge that has all of the reagents needed to be a fully integrated system. Other researchers at the U. of I. are using the novel coronavirus genome to create a mobile test for COVID-19, and making an easily manufactured cartridge that Cunningham said would improve testing efforts.








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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:13
  #5526 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
I had this forwarded to me on social media, any idea if it's correct ?
Completely unproven, I'm afraid. The numbers have just been made up by someone, as there is zero evidence that I've been able to find to support them at all (and I've spent hours looking for it). What evidence there is around non-filtration mask wearing by members of the public as a risk reduction measure is weak, and pretty hard to say whether there is or is not a measurable benefit.

The really big issue here is the focus on airborne transmission, at the expense of other, perhaps more significant, methods of transmission. Sure, that happens in enclosed spaces, with people in close proximity, but almost certainly not outside in the open air (for obvious reasons). The biggest overall risk seems to be contact transmission, from any surface touched by several people, which is who discipline and hand hygiene has been proven to reduce the transmission risk.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:20
  #5527 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
The N95 is designed to protect the wearer.

It is not designed to prevent expired material. Any suggestions that it will are conjecture as there aren't good studies.
Originally Posted by Andrewgr2 View Post
That’s what I figured. Mine was acquired as a dust mask. If we all end up having to wear masks when we go out, they would not be the ideal choice if the objective is to stop the spread of infection into the environment however beneficial they may be for the wearer.

With respect, there are two types of N95 mask, one is designed solely to protect the wearer, and has an expiration valve that makes it more comfortable to wear for long periods, the other is designed for two way protection, has no expiration valve and is very effective at preventing droplet and aerosol spread from the wearer. The downside with the N95 mask that has no expiration valve is that it is hard work, and tiring for the wearer, as the effort required when expiring makes them uncomfortable. The stock of KN95s I have are without an expiration valve, and I can verify that they aren't fun to wear for more than an hour or so, and definitely not fun if you're doing any form of exercise.

CDC have a Q&A that covers the key differences between the two types of N95 mask: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...r-use-faq.html
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:29
  #5528 (permalink)  
 
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Re: the last post, I've found a couple of images to illustrate the difference between the two types of N95 mask, that may help identify them.

This is the N95 with the expiration valve (so offers little protection to others, it primarily protects the wearer):



This is the other type of N95 mask that has no expiration valve and offers pretty much equal protection to the wearer and others (provided it's properly fitted and leak tested):




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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:29
  #5529 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...tals-lddtfs6vz

Black coronavirus patients are dying at double the rate of white in hospitals

It is supposed to be the great leveller. Covid-19 infects prince and pauper alike. A virus that attacks porters and prime ministers is indeed indiscriminate. Unless you are black.

Widespread fears of disproportionate coronavirus infection rates in Britain’s ethnic minority communities have not yet been confirmed by statistical evidence. When it comes to deaths, however, an analysis by The Times of NHS mortality figures has found that black people are dying with Covid-19 in English hospitals at almost twice the rate of white Britons.

Death rates per 100,000 population as categorised by NHS England and the Office for National Statistics were 23 for white British, 27 for Asians and 43 for black people. There was a greater variance within smaller ethnic groupings. The mortality rate for Bangladeshis was 20 per 100,000, less than for white Britons; among those of Caribbean heritage it was 69.

Trevor Phillips, the former head of the equalities and human rights commission, said that the findings were startling: “This data stops you in your tracks. Anyone who maintains that this virus doesn’t discriminate is either not looking at the numbers or doesn’t want to admit the truth.”......

People of Bangladeshi descent are dying at a lower rate than white Britons, but as a proportion of their overall population three people of Caribbean heritage are dying for every white person.......


The statistical confirmation of excessive death rates in the black community is likely to heighten calls for swift progress to be made on a review ordered by the government last week into whether people from Bame (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Mr Phillips said that anyone citing structural racism should note death rates in the Bangladeshi community, among the poorest English households by average weekly income, were lower than those among white Britons........

Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association, said he was particularly concerned by indications of excessive death rates in the black community. “There are various factors that could be behind such a worrying trend but without in-depth data it’s difficult to make any definitive conclusions,” he said.......

England is not an isolated example. Somalis in Sweden represent 0.5 per cent of the country’s overall population but almost 5 per cent of confirmed hospital Covid-19 cases. Disproportionate mortality rates among black and Hispanic people have also been recorded in several American cities including New Orleans, Detroit and New York. In Chicago, more than 70 per cent of deaths related to Covid-19 are of black residents, who make up a third of the city’s population. African-Americans account for 14 per cent of Michigan’s population but more than 40 per cent of its coronavirus-related deaths.........


Analysis
It seems beyond dispute that those from minority ethnic backgrounds are suffering disproportionately from Covid-19, but there are also differences between minority groups.

On both sides of the Atlantic, some have blamed the disparity on the “structural racism” that in some neighbourhoods breeds deprivation, social exclusion and a lower life expectancy.

In the Asian community, however, the NHS England figures show that the hospital death rate from the virus per 100,000 population is lower for Bangladeshis (20) and Pakistanis (26) than for Indians (30). A 2018 government survey found that 42 per cent of Indian families had an average monthly household income of £1,000 or more, far higher than any other ethnic group in Britain. The comparable figures were 26 per cent for white British families and 20 per cent each for Bangladeshi and Pakistani households.

The figures also show that within the black community, deaths per 100,000 population among people of Caribbean heritage (69) are more than double those of African ethnicity (27).

Explaining these differences will require taking account of variables such as average age, common occupations, urban living and household sizes. Genetics may also feature. That there is no easy explanation does not mean such statistics cannot offer useful pointers.



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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:38
  #5530 (permalink)  
 
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A sort of an alternative view on potential infection from touching various surfaces from someone prof. Streeck in Germany:

https://www.businessinsider.com/death-rate-german-laboratory-city-5x-less-than-national-average-2020-4

".... Streeck went on to say that though the virus could "live" on various surfaces for up to seven days, he believed there was little chance that someone could become infected via surfaces, contradicting both the Center for Disease Control and National Institute of Health guidelines.

Streeck posited that in order to contract the virus via a surface like a doorknob, "it would be necessary that someone coughs into their hand, immediately touches a doorknob, and then straight after that another person grasps the handle and goes on to touches their face," Streeck told reporters.
...."

It seems that even experts do not have a solid consolidated view on every aspect of this thing...
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:46
  #5531 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/o...irus-920vg6dtp

Only a tenth of New York ventilator patients survive coronavirus

Little more than a tenth of Covid-19 patients who have been put on ventilators survive, according to the largest and most comprehensive study of sufferers in the United States who were admitted to hospital.

Ventilators have been held up as the last hope for the sickest patients and shortages of the breathing machines last month prompted a desperate scramble by state governors and contingency plans in which one machine might be rigged to serve two patients.

However, as New York hospitals began dealing with a surge of critically ill patients, there were warnings that about 80 per cent of those placed on ventilators died.

Now a study tracking 5,700 patients admitted to 12 hospitals has showed that 282 out of 320 patients placed on ventilators died — just over 88 per cent. The data, from Northwell Health Hospital System in New York, had results for only 2,634 of the patients as the others were still being treated.

The researchers also found that 70 per cent of patients who needed to be admitted did not have a fever.

A doctor working in an intensive care unit in New York said: “The big push early on was to intubate early. Even young patients with no co-morbidities were doing very poorly. We are trying to change the way we approach these patients, to not rely on putting a tube down their throats . . . This is such a new virus, it’s so complex.”.......
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:50
  #5532 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Explaining these differences will require taking account of variables such as average age, common occupations, urban living and household sizes. Genetics may also feature. That there is no easy explanation does not mean such statistics cannot offer useful pointers.
As a geneticist, my instinct is always to look for a genetic basis to such things. In this case I am cautious because "BAME" is such a genetically heterogenous grouping. I would expect to see differences between different groupings within the BAME mix - and at first glance that does not seem to be the case.

I am sure people are right now doing genome-wide association studies on infected healthy vs infected sick and if the genetic effect is real, it should jump out of the data very quickly. It is essential that proper records and genetic samples are being kept in all this chaos, assuming that is done then a very powerful analysis will be possible. Unfortunately, as of today, the only analysis I am aware of is based on the members of the UK biobank, that's a start but much less powerful than a targeted study.

And of course remember that such studies are incredibly important for all of us, not just BAME people. The question being asked is really NOT 'why are BAME people dying from COVID?", but "what determines outcome from a COVID infection". Whether the answer is primarily genetic or primarily social/environmental, it will be of great importance to us all. If the difference is genetic it may point to a treatment approach or a genetic test.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:50
  #5533 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by A_Van View Post
A sort of an alternative view on potential infection from touching various surfaces from someone prof. Streeck in Germany:

https://www.businessinsider.com/death-rate-german-laboratory-city-5x-less-than-national-average-2020-4

".... Streeck went on to say that though the virus could "live" on various surfaces for up to seven days, he believed there was little chance that someone could become infected via surfaces, contradicting both the Center for Disease Control and National Institute of Health guidelines.

Streeck posited that in order to contract the virus via a surface like a doorknob, "it would be necessary that someone coughs into their hand, immediately touches a doorknob, and then straight after that another person grasps the handle and goes on to touches their face," Streeck told reporters.
...."

It seems that even experts do not have a solid consolidated view on every aspect of this thing...
To put this into perspective, consider the size of this virus (between 50nm and 200nm) and then look at how many viral particles might be contained in tiny area.

An area the size of a small pin head (~1.5mm diameter) could easily contain over 3,000,000,000 viral particles.

Best guess at the moment is that somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand viral particles are needed to cause infection.

If we assume that 10,000 viral particles are needed to cause infection, then the number of viral particles that could fill an area the size of a pinhead could possibly infect roughly 300,000 people.

Perhaps that puts the risk from surface contamination into some sort of perspective (although we also have to factor in that each expired, infective, droplet will probably not be as concentrated - this is just an illustration of the scale of this thing).
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 07:57
  #5534 (permalink)  
 
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I already posted similar information re the benefits of everyone wearing masks. The information came to me via a well respected professor of medicine here in Germany. I find the attitude of some posters curious that this might lead to a false sense of complacency and additional risk taking. The point is that everyone has to wear the mask as the main benefit is protection from people who don't know or maybe don't care that they might be infectious. Whether the numbers are completely accurate is missing the point. It is also a lot easier to monitor whether people are wearing masks than whether they are far enough apart, which as has been discussed on other threads is almost impossible on most public transport. We are required to wear them in shops and public transport here in Germany. It is generally accepted that the government here has got some things right here and this may well be one of them. By the way self made masks are perfectly acceptable, so the argument that hospitals and other priority users will miss out should not apply.

Last edited by lederhosen; 24th Apr 2020 at 08:11.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:01
  #5535 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Islandlad View Post

The Oxford team is lead by Prof Sarah Gilbert, at the Jenner Institute. Google and YouTube are your friends here. Loads of info. BBC Andrew Marr interview with Prof Gilbert is particularly interesting.

Info from Wiki.

The Jenner Institute is a research institute on the Old Road Campus in Headington, east Oxford, England. It was formed in November 2005 through a partnership between the University of Oxford and the UK Institute for Animal Health. It is associated with the Nuffield Department of Medicine, in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University.


The link information looks very out of date. I am alerted to the request for funding aid! It may be ligitimate but the UK Gomernment has already allocated £20 million pounds to this project. They are not short of funds today.

DONATE WITH CAUTION! if you are tempted to.
Interesting response .....doesn't answer the question however as to how the poster is so familiar with the trials, and the methodology / vaccine, being used.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:24
  #5536 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by lederhosen View Post
I already posted similar information re the benefits of everyone wearing masks. The information came to me via a well respected professor of medicine here in Germany. I find the attitude of some posters curious that this might lead to a false sense of complacency and additional risk taking. The point is that everyone has to wear the mask as the main benefit is protection from people who don't know or maybe don't care that they might be infectious. Whether the numbers are completely accurate is missing the point. It is also a lot easier to monitor whether people are wearing masks than whether they are far enough apart, which as has been discussed on other threads is almost impossible on most public transport. We are required to wear them in shops and public transport here in Germany.
It's all about total risk, rather than just looking at one possible risk reduction device in isolation.

Although there is no doubt at all that a properly fitted and worn filtration mask offers a lot of protection from airborne infection, the risk from airborne infection needs to be put into the context of the overall infection risk.

There's a fair bit of evidence (enough to be pretty convincing) that hand to face contact is a major transmission route. Studies into hand hygiene and ways to reduce hand to face contact prove that this can significantly reduce the infection risk in any particular set of circumstances.

Studies on mask wearing aren't as conclusive, there is some good evidence that good filtration masks reduce the infection risk (both ways) in a close-contact, health care, setting, but no real evidence that they offer any reduction in transmission outdoors (the latter's not surprising, as even slight air movement will rapidly diffuse any expired droplets or aerosol particles).

There's plenty of evidence that mask wearing can tend to increase the incidence of hand to face contact, and evidence that masks provide little protection from this, when worn without something like a face shield (that has the accidental additional benefit of making it harder to touch the face).

So what anyone that wishes to wear a mask has to look carefully at is whether the likely airborne infection risk is greater than the likely hand to face infection risk, for any given situation.

For example, walking outside the airborne risk is so small as to be pretty much insignificant. Not only will natural diffusion dilute any expired viral particles, but the chance that someone happens to be passing close to someone that coughs, at the time when they are facing them, and they are breathing in, is pretty small. The biggest risk is likely to be from touching things that others have touched, and may have contaminated, then hand to face transfer.

However, if indoors, in forced close proximity with others, then the airborne risk may well be a fair bit higher, especially in situations like shop queues, where people are standing in the same place for some time. Wearing a properly fitted and leak checked respirator-type mask may well give a significant reduction in infection risk in this situation, as long as doing this does not result in additional hand to face contact. Wearing a surgical-type mask may provide a small amount of protection to others, if the wearer is infective, but no one has been able to put number on how effective this may be. I suspect that just wearing a scarf may be as effective in reducing the risk to others, and may also cause less direct hand to face contact, but again, this hasn't been proven, and there is always the risk that damp cloth might make infection more, rather than less, likely (just as a damp surgical-type mask will).

FWIW, I now wear a non-valved KN95 mask in shops, along with gloves, and I carry a spray bottle of surface disinfectant and small microfibre cloth for disinfecting things, including the outside of my gloves. I don't wear a mask when walking outdoors, both because it offers no useful benefit, and because it's hard work breathing through the thing for any period of time. The discipline needed to not touch my face, and to remember that my hands may be contaminated (unless they have just been disinfected) is pretty tough to stick with, despite it having been banged into my head in the lab years ago. It's very, very easy to slip up, and one slip is all it takes to make all the other precautions pretty pointless, especially if wearing gloves, as they tend to transfer stuff a bit more effectively than skin. The main benefit of gloves, IMHO, is that they are easy to disinfect without causing skin irritation. Alcohol based hand sanitiser is vicious on the skin after repeated use.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:32
  #5537 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Interesting response .....doesn't answer the question however as to how the poster is so familiar with the trials, and the methodology / vaccine, being used.
This does seem to be a storm in a teacup. I half-heard about this on the on the BBC last night, and 30 seconds with google brought up:

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage | University of Oxford
Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage
University of Oxford researchers have begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers in Oxford today. Around 1,110 people
will take part in the trial, half receiving the vaccine and the other half (the control group) receiving a widely available meningitis vaccine.


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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:38
  #5538 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Peter H View Post
This does seem to be a storm in a teacup. I half-heard about this on the on the BBC last night, and 30 seconds with google brought up:

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage | University of Oxford
Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage
University of Oxford researchers have begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers in Oxford today. Around 1,110 people
will take part in the trial, half receiving the vaccine and the other half (the control group) receiving a widely available meningitis vaccine.
Thank you.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:38
  #5539 (permalink)  
 
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I am in total agreement that facemasks is only one of many things that need to be put in place. However there is a lot of resistance to this particular measure. I can say from personal experience it takes a bit of getting used to and is not very comfortable for long periods. But the main benefit is to everyone else. So if we all want to do our bit I would suggest this is a good place to start. The data on transmission from surfaces is currently as inconclusive as everything else so does not seem a strong reason against doing this.
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Old 24th Apr 2020, 08:39
  #5540 (permalink)  
 
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VP, a suggestion on safety wear, when outside I have started routinely wearing some safety glasses that have a small magnifying reader section if nothing else they stop me touching my eyes.
Normaly I would be taking on and off reading glasses whilst in a store which is of course not good I can leave the safety glasses on all the time and just look down for the reader section.
These are the ones I find best, (originally bought for workshop use they are comfartable and are adjustable for angle)
Bolle glasses Bolle glasses
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