More Covid-19 FAQs

  “Shared expectations lead to predictability.” 

  1. Disinfecting a room or interior space

Q:  How does one disinfect interior areas?

A: There are several situations where an interior space needs to be disinfected.  Among these are:

  • School and university classrooms and common areas;
  • After someone completes a 14-day quarantine;
  • At home after an infected person recovers from COVID;
  • After a group of people meet in a facility such as church for an activity or meeting.

The CDC provides the following guidance for cleaning and disinfecting a school, an office, or just a room, hallway, bathroom and other interior space:

  1. In advance, limit the spaces the individual of group will use.  This will limit the areas later needing to be disinfected.
  2. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and ensure good ventilation
  3. Wash with soap and water then wipe dry all tables, chairs, shelves flat surfaces and “high touch” areas including door knobs, handles. light switches, toilets, faucets and sinks.  Washing removes quantities of virus. dirt, and any debris.
  4. Go back and apply a disinfectant such as Lysol to all surfaces.  Spray application is better than wiping.  Leave the surfaces moist and let them air dry.  (If a disinfectant is not available, use a dilute bleach solution – 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of bleach containing between 5.25% – 8.25% sodium hypochlorite added to 1 gallon of water.  On light switches, outlets and electronic devices, gently wipe – do not spray.
  5. Once disinfected, the space may be used again immediately.
  6. Note: If a space has not been occupied by anyone for 7 or more days after use, it does not then need to be disinfected.


  1. Vaccine safety – past and present examples  

Q: Why do we have to wait so long for a vaccine to be tested for safety?

A: It is natural to want an effective vaccine to be deployed as soon as possible – “Why wait for perfection while so many people are dying each day?”  A case study of a past problem illustrates the morality of scientifically determining a vaccine is safe.

In early 1976, hundreds of soldiers at Fort Dix contracted a new virus that many said resembled the one that killed at least 50 million people during the 1918 pandemic.  President Gerald Ford decided not to wait for the World Health Organization to develop its annual influenza vaccine.  It was an election year, and he wanted to develop a specific vaccine early to address this new threat.  In March, he publicly announced he was requesting $135 million to provide every person with a vaccine to prevent this impending crisis of what became known as “the swine flu.”  That fall, celebrities lined up to become vaccinated.  But as it turned out, the swine flu never made it out of Fort Dix.  Only one soldier become a fatality.  Also, it turned out the flu wasn’t a virulent as first suspected, and it soon died out naturally.   Of the 45 million who were vaccinated, 450 people became afflicted with a permanently paralyzing disease called Guillian-Barre syndrome.  More than 30 died.  By December, the vaccination program was stopped.  Many attribute this failure as causing the continuing reluctance by many to become vaccinated.

The Astra-Zeneca test vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial was recently suspended when one participant in England developed a rare inflammation of the spinal cord called a transverse myelitis.  This resembled a more common complication of COVID-19 – inflammation of various organs in the body.  Tests have been done to determine of the vaccine might be the cause by creating an over-reaction of her immune system.  Apparently not because it was reported last Saturday that the clinical trial for this trial vaccine has been resumed.

One has to bear in mind the average time to develop a safe and effective vaccine for past diseases has averaged 4 years.  There certainly are possible risks involved when less than this time is allowed for valid scientific evaluation.


  1. Large gatherings prove to encourage the spread of COVID – Sturgis, SD

          Q: How come we don’t hear about the outcomes of large group gatherings?

A: The IZA Institute of Labor Economics, based in Bonn, Germany, is a large collective of international scientists and              economists.  Four authors from this group undertook a study of the contagion of coronavirus during the motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, between August 7 and 16.  Nearly 462,182 people attended this rally.  Using anonymous cell phone data, local health and CDC data, the study estimated that 267,000 COVID-19 cases throughout the nation could be attributed to the rally.  The cell phone data indicated the highest number of attendees were from South Dakota, Arizona, California, and 4 other states.  Complex calculations were made to identify the increase in cases in the home counties of those attending two weeks after their return.  From these estimates, further calculations were made based on a 2020 study by Kniesner and Sullivan estimating the average cost of a single COVID-19 patient to be $46,000.  The estimated overall cost of this super spreader event was greater than $12.2 billion.


  1. Some COVID-19 patients have long-term consequences after recovery   

            Q: Are people are now recovering more easily from COVID?

            A:  It is true that many therapeutics are now available to more effectively treat COVID patients.  But this “novel” coronavirus continues to reveal new characteristics.  From as many as 40% of the patients who are infected being asymptomatic – showing no symptoms – to as many as 8% of Connecticut COVID cases resulting in death, a new phenomena are emerging.  Nationally, many of those who recover from the disease are finding a variety of near-chronic, long term symptoms and conditions remain.  A newly formed patient advocacy group in Great Britain is called “LongCovidSOS.”  King’s College scientists have developed a symptom tracker used by this group.  As many as 10% of recovered patients remain unwell after 3 weeks, and 5% remain sick for months.  Conditions include breathlessness, memory loss, extreme fatigue, headaches, brain fog. muscle pain and swollen joints.  And most recently, many healthy athletes who recover are now finding they have heart damage that may be long-lasting.  A common term used for this group is “long haulers.”  While it is known that for many people the severity of these conditions become less severe over time, studies are underway to identify if any eventually do not disappear, and what might be the various underlying causes.  This creates public ambivalence on addressing the seriousness of COVID-19.  Many deny the need for masks because it doesn’t appear to them to be an important disease.  Others are finding the fear, anxiety, and depression are at least as debilitating as the physical fragilities themselves.


  1. Science v. politics: HHS officials ask Fauci to downplay COVID in children.

          Q: Is Anthony Fauci still on the Coronavirus Task Force?

A:  The Coronavirus Task Force no longer meets regularly, and president Trump has turned to a different physician, Scott Atlas, MD, for medical guidance (detailed earlier in FAQ #110).  Dr. Fauci has been at the National Institute of Health (NIH) as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.  He has served with distinction and is internationally recognized for his past success dealing with other infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola.  He continues to speak out on the science of coronavirus-19

Paul Alexander is a political appointee to the DHHS hired to help the Trump administration on the science of the pandemic.  He formerly was an assistant professor of health research at McMaster University in Canada.  An article was published last week by the American publishing company Politico. After obtaining multiple e-mails from Alexander that directed Dr. Fauci to restrict giving press briefings, Politico stated Alexander continues “to have an issue with kids and university students getting tested repeatedly.”  He stated he “vehemently” disagrees with Dr, Fauci on this.  He directed Dr. Fauci to include the following talking points “There is ‘zero’ risk for kids to get COVID, kids should not wear masks, and testing asymptomatic people makes no logical sense.”  “There is no data, none, zero across the entire world that shows children especially young children, spread this disease to other children, pr to adults, or to their teachers.  None. And if it did occur, the risk is essentially zero.”   Obviously, these are the White House talking points.

Dr. Fauci replied when he learned of this pressure to modify his comments, stating, “No one tells me what I can say and cannot say.  I speak on scientific evidence.  Last week, president Trump at a rally openly stated his position on opening all schools right now because children are immune and they will be safe.  Dr. Fauci replied soon after directly refuting this claim by stating the need to judge the level of community infection before deciding to open school – that, indeed, children are not immune.  Many fear retributions against Dr. Fauci from his direct contradiction of the administration’s message.  The National Institutes of Health lies within the DHHS.

It is interesting to note that Joe Biden, the democratic nominee for president, has publicly stated that if he is elected president, he would ask Dr. Fauci to serve as his spokesman for all things coronavirus – that he has already asked him and Dr. Fauci has agreed to this role.