A weekly blog which we hope might include some useful information
Covid-19 Lock down – week one
It goes against human nature to avoid people, meet their pets and perhaps feed the birds. Maybe go for walks and enjoy the great outdoors. As a result, this first week has gone down very hard for all of us. We try to imagine the Covid-19 emergency lock down as something like a nuclear holocaust film and behave accordingly, for everybody’s safety.
- Every second spent outside is a risk
- Any thing you touch might be contaminated
- Wild creatures you approach might be contaminated
- You must wash down and wipe everything that comes into your house, including your hands!
Shopping and social distancing
Thanks to having some really lovely neighbours, we have been able to minimise shopping trips during the Covid-19 lock down. Clubbing together for MINIMUM shopping orders helps, delivered by SAFE delivery options. There has been some unfamiliar stuff, as well as stock meant for guests, to avoid wasting it if it goes out of date. (eg. milk, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, cheese etc). People on diets may find they have to compromise in these circumstances. Not everything is available and collective group shopping means you may have to sacrifice some items so others can have a turn, especially vulnerable groups.
Useful Links and References
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bird-flu/ (yes, I know it’s bird flu not Covid-19 – it’s just for comparison)
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/safety/resources/safetynews/whatsnew/Coronavirus (useful, clear posters for your premises available free from BBC)
(Many sources of information out there – we shall try to look out for them. We shall also try to correct anything in these blogs that turns out to be wrong)
Some science stuff – please bear in mind some of this may be disproved as studies proceed –
Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus
The SARS-Cov-2 virus has been identified as causing the Covid-19 disease in humans. It is unknown but unlikely to cause the same disease in other species. Nevertheless, little is known about the virus, origin, spread, epidemiology, etc, although work is proceeding frantically Worldwide, including testing kits (antigen and antibody), potential vaccines etc. Since writing this, a zoo tiger has died from Covid-19.
Possible source reservoir of the Virus
This particular coronavirus may have a reservoir in horseshoe bats in China. It is possible it transferred to humans via masked civets, pangolins or other animal vectors. The point of irign seems to have been a “wet market” in Huahan. In wet markets, conditions involve humans and a wide variety of possible vectors crowded together in unhygienic conditions.
The virus may be able to survive on hard surfaces up to 3 days. It may last only about 4 hours on copper. It may survive short periods on animal fur and feathers, food and other “soft” surfaces. Scientific evidence is growing all the time and we cannot speculate here.
Transmissable diseases – animals to humans
- Black Death,
- sleeping sickness,
- green monkey disease,
- Chaga’s syndrome,
- ‘Mad cow disease’ (Kreutzfeld Jacob Disease, associated with Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis),
- Spanish flu,
- swine flu,
- bird flu,
- MERS and now,
- Covid-2 (effectively ‘SARS2’). Maybe not a great idea to be encouraging close approach to wild creatures by e.g. feeding birds at this time, especially not making special trips to do so?.
Allegedly, patients may carry the virus for some time before initial symptoms. Consequently, the full-blown disease may not appear for about 7 to 10 days. The disease lasts for perhaps 10 more days. Longer may mean a very serious, even fatal case. The virus has been said to survive up to 37 days after an infection – hence the 12-week self-isolation Government Guidelines
UPDATE: At least one report from China indicates long durations after the illness itself. Even after all traces of the virus have disappeared from a patient’s breath, lungs and mucous membranes, it was still detectable in stool samples for another 45 days (leading to worries in Ghana and India (etc) about potential for insect carriers of the disease – Not yet validated data so not attributed here)
– But, nobody knows for certain about all of this and advice may change. It is not certain how long an infected person may shed virus. (Along with skin flakes and moisture droplets, etc, either before, during or after the disease. Nobody knows if there is any risk at all from virus on particles of dust or sand. Allegedly, mosquitoes CANNOT carry this virus. Stay apart. Stay safe.
(Sorry about the science-y stuff – we are NOT experts, just relaying expert advice as far as we think we understand it – corrections welcome!)