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Would you get a haircut outdoors?   The Consumer You: Marketplace

Started Jul-21 by Showtalk; 398 views.

Poll Question From Showtalk


Would you get a haircut outdoors?
  • Yes, I will get any haircut I can find5  votes
  • Yes, if it's given by someone I normally use5  votes
  • Maybe, if it seems safe enough1  vote
  • No, it's still too dangerous0  votes
  • No, I want a haircut inside a salon or shop0  votes
  • I am skipping haircuts until COVID dangers are gone1  vote
  • Other1  vote
Yes, I will get any haircut I can find 
Yes, if it's given by someone I normally use 
Maybe, if it seems safe enough 
No, it's still too dangerous 
No, I want a haircut inside a salon or shop 
I am skipping haircuts until COVID dangers are gone 

If I hadn't grown accustomed to cutting my own hair for the past 20-odd years, I'd certainly get it done outdoors. From an epidemiological standpoint and what is known about the way the virus spreads the combination of sunlight and air movement would very quickly sweep any aerosolized viral particles away.

It would take tens of minutes for the small amount of UV-C that reaches the surface to likely disrupt virus particle RNA and proteins to make them completely non-viable (they technically aren't really "alive" or "dead" in the sense that full blown cells or more complex organisms would be designated).

But the effective top of the atmosphere is orders of magnitude greater than the ceiling inside most buildings, ranging from 8 feet in many houses to 24 to 40 feet for many large warehouses WalMarts, etc.

Let's say it's effectively about 40,000 feet that most meteorological processes can circulate airborne particles via convection. Essentially if the haircut were done inside a walled area that extended that high the dilution of virus would be 1000x more air to virus ratio than in a warehouse, and 3000x more dilute than in a typical residential room..

Now let's look at horizontal dispersion, and further assume that the open air space is a full acre of so separating from the nearest other people. That is 43,560 square feet, or taking the square root, we get 208.710325571 feet on a side. This means virus has to travel nearly 209 feet to reach anyone other than you and the person doing your hair and it has to stay confined vertically to within a narrow range for you to inhale aerosols.

Thus the density of viral particles drops off exponentially when outdoors most likely at least a million-fold compared to indoors.

Also UV intensity rises sharply with altitude, which is why mountain dwellers develop cataracts at a much younger age than those living near sea level. But air currents can carry these particles to high altitude, and it will take longer than their natural expiration time to circulate back to the surface to potentially be inhaled.

So the outdoors acts like a natural disinfectant for all sorts of pathogens.

Even if the person doing my hair were infected, if there was even a light breeze, the odds of him or her passing it to me would be quite low, as the air re-circulation ratio is nearly zero. I remember an incident about 25 years ago or so where a horse died across the road, and it was quite "ripe" and required a rare wind direction change before I ever smelled anything. Now once getting up close the stench was overwhelming, but it illustrates just how fast tiny particles essentially are diluted well below the threshold of detection over a surprisingly short distance outdoors.


From: Showtalk 


Yes they are diluted.  

Not just diluted a little bit, but diluted by a factor of possibly over a million to one.

That significantly reduces the initial viral exposure to below a threshold required for an initial infection for many diseases.

Evidently it takes more than just one virus getting into the system to cause an infection in most cases. For some viruses a single virus particle can theoretically cause infection but it's pretty uncommon:


The experiment showed that exposure to a low dosage of virus particles resulted in a small number host infections (20%). The majority of these hosts (86%) turned out to be infected by a single virus genotype. In contrast, exposure to a high dosage of virus particles resulted in virtually all the hosts (99%) becoming infected, where most of the hosts were infected by both types of virus. Only 14% were infected by only one of the two variants.

Then there's this:


... The amount of virus necessary to make a person sick is called the infectious dose. Viruses with low infectious doses are especially contagious in populations without significant immunity. The minimum infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is unknown so far, but researchers suspect it is low. “The virus is spread through very, very casual interpersonal contact,” W. David Hardy, a professor of infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told STAT. ...

... People with higher viral loads may also shed more whole viruses, which makes them more contagious, compounding the danger of spreading disease more widely. If exposure to higher doses, or even frequent low doses, of SARS-CoV-2 does lead to worse health outcomes, there are significant implications for health care workers who are routinely exposed to Covid-19 patients.


From: kizmet1 


What happened to the dead horse? Anyone bury it?

Evidently it did get buried or disposed of because one morning it was gone.

Now there is a house right on top of the spot. I wonder if the inhabitants have a clue.

It has certainly been extremely hot several times this past 4 weeks.


From: kizmet1 


Take a walk on the hottest and see if you smell anything.

Like in Boston by the harbor on a very hot day, where you can still smell faint traces of molasses more than 100 years after the great molasses flood.