“Condoms” are more important than tests right now
The core of America’s backward response to the coronavirus may not be Trump or anti-maskers. It might be modern germ theory as a legacy from the Victorian era. Back then, they thought all diseases came from bad air. Once creepy germs were discovered, “miasma” or the bad air theory became obsolete. Unfortunately, they threw the baby out with the bathwater. Turns out there are times when “bad air” really is to blame.
How many times do people around the world have to smack our heads instead of yours (Americans) when you’re still treating Covid-19 like a fluid-transmitted disease instead of an airborne disease?
Distancing yourself is good, but unless you have an invisible shield, air can travel as far as it wants. The six-foot mindset without a mask is mired in a don’t touch others mentality. Instead you should think about a don’t breathe with others new normal.
Another way to put it? Social distancing without masks is like depending on the withdrawal method for birth control. It’s an effort that might make a difference. Eh, worth a shot. But shouldn’t this strategy be down the list? Condoms and birth control should be the main priority.
Even pregnancy and STDs are not an adequate analogy because they are fluid-based transmissions. If you keep your clothes on and stay six feet apart, you’re almost 100% guaranteed you won’t get an STD or pregnant. But airborne diseases can be caught even with all of your clothes on with a six-foot gap. You literally cannot say you’re safe because you ‘haven’t had sex’. You are practically ‘having air sex’ with people you don’t know any time you are breathing in a common space.
Therefore, in this covid-19 environment, you have to assume that everyone can be infected including you. You also have to consider yourself a hermaphrodite. You can impregnate (give others covid) and get pregnant (become infected with covid). So everyone needs condoms (masks) because you’re literally having sex with everyone you meet. You may even be having sex with their phantom presence if they just sneezed or coughed or even sang into air and left the room.
Handing out covid test kits is like trying to prevent pregnancies by handing out at-home pregnancy tests.
Remember: when you take off your mask with someone else, consider it unprotected sex. And in a group? Well, that’s an unprotected orgy. You get the picture.
Here in Korea, not only have we dealt with toxic air pollution, we’re only about a generation past massive tuberculosis infections, which is airborne. All those old English novels where people died of consumption? That was tuberculosis. I had to look up both words as I’m sure many Americans do too because airborne diseases, thankfully, are so remote that we can’t really imagine how it works.
Sure, we know salmonella and other germs that we get through touch. And we also have modern germ theory to thank. (Instead of bad air, the French apparently believed in diseases from bad water and therefore did not bathe regularly.)
Well Americans need to dust off their Victorian-era paranoia over ‘bad air’ leading to sickness because it’s exactly what would be useful now.
And instead of pumping hundreds of millions into home testing kits for covid, it’d be better to invest in a national production and distribution system for cheap, surgical grade masks. Handing out covid test kits is like trying to prevent pregnancies by handing out at-home pregnancy tests. Instead you should invest in condoms if your aim is to lower the pregnancy rate.
If you’re pregnant or get covid, you will see symptoms. That’s when a test is appropriate if you’re still lacking masks. If everyone is masked up, then at-home covid tests are a great next step. But for now, the emphasis should be on imagining everyone is a carrier that needs a high quality mask.
The goal shouldn’t be to shoddily test and have people walking around with the green light for unprotected air sex. Once you take the test and leave the room, you can catch covid and thereby void the result of the test. Are you going to test yourself after every person you pass by? Instead, we all have to keep the air as clean as possible to prevent any “unwanted pregnancies”. And the easiest and most economical way is to mask people up in KF-94, N95 or KN95 protection.
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