North Carolina woman gets coronavirus despite staying home

A North Carolina coronavirus patient said she was infected despite staying home for the three weeks leading up to her diagnosis last Thursday, a report said.

I know some people think I’ve lost the plot a bit for washing my groceries, but it appears it is a feasible transmission route.  

It is worth considering for anyone who is older or vulnerable or has family members who are.  


  • Davedave
    April 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I was thinking about the huge rate of infection in NY only yesterday and it’s just a theory but I was thinking about all the apartment blocks with air con there and was wondering if that could be a factor for the spread? I’m usually wrong about these kind of things mind.

    • ben
      April 14, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      over 10 years ago I spent a very uncomfortable night in a Snotengham city hotel with no opening window, far too hot and slept with the airconditioning on all night to keep the temperature bearable. I came home with bronchitis and was bed bound for more than 2 weeks. No sign of illness before the “team building” trip.

    • Irked
      April 14, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      It depends if its shared aircon or individual to each flat. There are also shared heating ducts I believe.

    • matt123
      April 14, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      My understanding of heating and ventilation systems is that air is extracted from each room into the extract system, pulled through the extract fan and exhausts outside the building. Similarly each room has its own air supply fed from common ductwork which will be heated or cooled as required. In other words air does not get drawn out of one room and passed into another. So a properly designed system shouldn’t be spreading infections.

    • Ian
      April 14, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Most AC systems are a combination of recycled and fresh air. You need a minimum amount of fresh air per person. Around 10 l/s. In summer you want to recirculate the air you have already cooled and in the winter you want to recirculate the air you have heated. In the spring and autumn you can use the outside air to heat or cool the space as required with the minimum of additional chilling or heating.

      Viruses don’t survive long between 40 and 60% RH, which is why flu is seasonal. In the winter we are inside in high humidity environments and outside in low humidity environments. In the summer the humidity is pretty much in the middle. In hot countries their flu season is during the rainy season.

      Bacteria likes warm humid conditions.

      Recirculated air is filtered.

    • Gaz
      April 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      The was a report of SARS being spread through AC systems in large buildings in a number of different cities around the world.

  • ben
    April 14, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    I think you are absolutely right. Precautions need to be as disciplined and detailed and consistent as if we’d suffered a Cold War biological attack. All the precautions you do shopping are worth nothing if you don’t keep the home completely safe. Precautionary principle we adopted weeks and weeks ago was to treat anything coming in from any space other than the garden to be contaminated and therefore quarantined for 72 hours or washed if needed for immediate use.

    I really blew up with our 17 year old after we’d started this regime (inculding a warning sign at the back door reminding us all to wash hands on entry from anywhere where we’d had physical contact. He accepted a parcel he’d ordered without telling us at the front door from a random courier of unknown cleanliness and history and plonked it on the kitchen table. As well as arguing that he didn’t need to wash hands at the back door as the bathroom upstairs was fine.

    It is easy, very easy to organise life to be a lot safer and it is equally easy to undermine the greatest efforts outside by carelessness coming into the habitation unit which should be safe.

    You need Cold War NBC levels of discipline.

    It’s not paranoia at all. In a Covid Ward is not the place to regret not having been more careful to protect the home. I also started washing money weeks and weeks ago and putting anything I got back from the assistants in a plastic bag, not wallet or pocket for later decontamination. Changing gloves between shops for my own security and to avoid carrying virus from shop to shop. The more people who actively break the chain of transmission the better we all do.

  • scats
    April 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    You’re not paranoid, I wash my groceries and I’m not in a vulnerable group. For most things I clean them the lazy way, with time. I just stick them in the quarantine cupboard for 3 days and clean things that can’t be left like that. The cleaning takes me 20 mins per week so why not?

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