SARS CoV2 has pantsed the Centers for Disease Control. Not an uncommon problem for a bureaucracy pretending to be a competent agency. One of many (too many) waddling about with a coffee in one hand and a cruller in the other, suddenly wide-eyed at the sound of the alarm.
Feeling the need to justify its huge budget and tapped as experts because the name on the door does say “Centers for Disease Control,” they start saying things without knowing much. In their defense, the fact that their primary source of intel is a brutal, lying, Communist regime does not help. But a review of the early recommendations paints a very different picture from the one we have today.
That should make sense. As we learn more, we share more. Sometimes that “more” is better and sometimes not. One example is the suggestion about the transmissibility of the Coronavirus on surfaces. In early guidance, the CDC suggested that we could be cross-contaminating each other with wild abandon.
Cardboard, metal canned goods, you name it, they had a guess as to how long the virus could survive on any random surface and warned you not to touch your face after handling anything.
That’s not practical, but the nation tried or at least pretended to comply. You can probably stop.
[T]he CDC now includes “surfaces or objects” under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.
Other ways in which the virus does not easily spread is from animals to people, or from people to animals, the federal agency said on its updated page.
This follows guidance released in April by the FDA on grocery shopping under the COVID-19 Cloud.
And while it is still suggested that you could wipe down the handle on your grocery cart, carriage, trolly, whatever you call it, there is no evidence that plastic or metal cans, bottles, or any grocery or store shelf items require wiping, washing, purification, or blessings.
Check your own state’s website to see if they have updated the guidance.
Here in New Hampshire, the Department of Health and Human Services FAQ is not very specific. Under How it is Spread, we find, “Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.”
In the ‘How do I protect myself’ section, we find, “Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.”
I was in food service for decades, from fast-food to full service. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces (your tools and worksurfaces) along with frequent hand washing are automated operations to me. Reminding folks outside that experience is a good idea in general. We have Flu Season every year, and those simple practices significantly reduce transmission of everything, which lowers infection rates. But the washing and sanitizing of every object is unnecessary and may be detrimental.
Our internal army of virus-fighting beasties needs constant updates. Perhaps more often than a Windows Operating System. Interaction with the world gives our bodies valuable intelligence about the environments in which we are wandering. Activity that trains our bodies to defend us from all sorts of things. Cutting that interaction off can make us vulnerable.
As it stands, very few people get symptomatic, and even fewer get sick or die—tragedies all, but not grounds for destroying lives by other means as a response.
People are unreasonably freaked out. Some are probably still bleach-wiping every can, bag, and bottle. This is unnecessary. The CDC clarified it’s talking points on surfaces in April. It’s almost June. NH DHHS should update its FAQ guidance for clarity.
Check your own state as well. See if they are up to speed or behind the times.