Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

For Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), guidelines.

I read today’s prompt, and it did indeed prompt me to look again at the WHO web site, in case anything had changed re COVID-19. The link I found was

I paid particular attention to their Mythbusters page, but I have to admit I was quite disappointed. Because the myths included things like you can’t catch the virus in hot countries, which I though had been debunked long ago. By now the answer to that is pretty obvious.

I was also quite disappointed by some of the things that weren’t there. I’m reading that people have been advised not to sit on seats in public areas, and am wondering just how probable it is that an infected person would sit of a seat, sneeze, leave the virus on the seat, then an uninfected person would come along (within a certain time period), sit on the seat, pick the virus up, then transfer it into their eyes or mouth. I’m sure it must be possible, if improbable, but unfortunately the WHO do not attempt to quantify the risk.

I’m looking at articles from March, which say that close contact was a problem. In March, less than 2m for more than 15 minutes was considered close contact (probabilities again!). Today, the WHO web site says that we should keep 1m distance from anybody showing signs of the virus. No time period mentioned any more, but they introduced that bit about people showing symptoms. So, I’d like to read something definitive. I’m reading anecdotally that people are afraid to pass each other in the street. That sounds like nonsense, (in that, I’m sure it is happening but the risk seems like nonsense), but all the same I’d appreciate if the WHO could bust that particular myth.

Before you jump in and tell me, I’m sure there is a reason why they are afraid to publish anything that might not be cast in stone, because they don’t want to publish things that might be subsequently found to be wrong. But they are the WHO, after all. People look to them for guidlines.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

9 thoughts on “Mythbusters”

  1. People look to them for guidlines.

    That’s so odd. When I began reading this post, I was reminded of my late father, who always referred to ‘guidelines’ as ‘guidlines’; so I was primed to see your typo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. In fact, the word guid does have meaning in the field of computing – a globally-unique identifier. It is seemingly random but is generated so as to be guaranteed to be unique. A typical guid (if there is such a thing!) looks like: {765D4FB4-7ADC-4A45-8566-A2120471099C} (in hex). Your father was way ahead of his time, obviously!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet your insurance co has a number. They will know so they can add it on to your premium next time around.
      Sure, a lot of it will be guesswork, but don’t forget they can calculate the risk of all sorts of weird things, like you going out and getting struck by lightning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been conscious for the past few weeks that although I have had no symptoms, I saw an unusually high amount of patients during February and March and since have been in contact with patients with Covid-19. So I will admit, the thought has often crossed my mind that even though I have not been ill, I could be carrying the virus. So outside of work I do try to keep a distance from people I pass, especially anyone in their older years. I am avoiding people, not because I am afraid to get sick, but because I am afraid I could make someone else sick.


    1. Right now (well, yesterday) the WHO say 1m, so it kinda makes sense that people in the UK said 2m. You know, just to be double sure. This 15 minutes interests me, though, because they imply that brushing past somebody for, like, half a second, the chances are negligible. But somebody who has a better idea than me about transmission should do the math and come up with a number. If people knew it was less than the risk of being struck by lightning, say, then it might put it into perspective. It’s a shame that all the people who’ve caught it, we’ll never know how they caught it, because that’d be a gold mine.


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