New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve. It’s squashing it. It took only 10 days for signs that the approach here — “elimination” rather than the “containment” goal of the United States and other Western countries — is working. […] The health minister was caught mountain biking and taking his family to the beach. He was publicly chastised by Ardern, who said she would have fired him if it weren’t disruptive to the crisis response. […] “Other countries have had a gradual ramp-up, but our approach is exactly the opposite,” he said. While other Western countries have tried to slow the disease and “flatten the curve,” New Zealand has tried to stamp it out entirely. [Washington Post | The Conversation
Carl T. Bergstrom: letting the epidemic go through to herd immunity is worse than it sounds and Some nations may simply lack the economic resources, technological capacity, and political will to contain the virus until a vaccine can be developed. Should this happen, I think it is important to consider how more modest control efforts could yield major benefits.
In January, at a restaurant in Guangzhou, China, one diner infected with the novel coronavirus but not yet feeling sick appeared to have spread the disease to nine other people. One of the restaurant’s air-conditioners apparently blew the virus particles around the dining room. […] There were 73 other diners who ate that day on the same floor of the five-story restaurant, and the good news is they did not become sick. Neither did the eight employees who were working on the floor at the time. All of the people who became sick at the restaurant in China were either at the same table as the infected person or at one of two neighboring tables. The fact that people farther away remained healthy is a hopeful hint that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted through larger respiratory droplets, which fall out of the air more quickly than smaller droplets known as aerosols, which can float for hours. [NY Times | Study: COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020]
There’s no guarantee, experts say, that a fully effective COVID-19 vaccine is possible. There’s never been a vaccine for a member of this family of viruses, and even if one is found for COVID-19, it may be imperfect — like the flu shot. [NY mag]
Unusual tactics to fight Covid-19 from around the world (gender-based lockdowns, weekend-only lockdowns…)
Suppression of COVID-19 outbreak in the municipality of Vo, Italy (43.2% of the confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections detected were asymptomatic)
Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper? (You’ll feel better after reading this.)
The Pentagon has extended its freeze on domestic and international movement of troops through June 30 due to the coronavirus crisis. The freeze was originally set to expire on May 11.