On Aerosols

I wouldn’t link this if it was just another COVID piece, but it’s got a lot more going for it. There are lessons from scholars of the 1930s and 40s that were lost, from the beginning of germ warfare and the efforts to protect the lungs of miners. Much that we once knew might have helped, but some ideas become unpopular and are thus dismissed— even in hard scientific fields. 


J Melcher said...

Fascinating! Thank you.

Douglas2 said...

In an essay titled The Curse of Labels, GK Chesterton attributed to American humorist 'Artemus Ward' (1834 – 1867) the following quote:

“It ain’t so much men’s ignorance that does the harm as their knowing so many things that ain’t so.”

It's hard to argue that the tardiness of international and national health bodies in grokking that COVID is airborne wasn't 'harm', and by this account it really was the stubborn stickyness of incorrect 'knowledge', (coupled perhaps with annoyance at people 'outside the field' thinking that they knew better) that delayed the acceptance of the fact.

Present readership was probably all involved in discussing mask use in March 2020 over at AVIs blog, so we were well ahead of the authorities. Pretty much as soon as there was new-availability I ordered KN95 masks in bulk, as it seemed to me that if one was going to mask (voluntarily or otherwise), it might as well be with a mask that would be somewhat effective for airborne pathogens. at issue.

Grim said...

We were discussing N95s here as early as January 2020.


ymarsakar said...

unpopular and thus dismissed. Ignoring single randoms online is easy. But not when your civilization collapses due to ignoring warnings.