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calendar   Thursday - July 02, 2020

The MERV Of Them!

Next Reopening Stumbling Block Will Be Indoor Air Quality

ONE instance in China where an air conditioner is suspected of spreading COVID by blowing droplets around. One. The thesis was not tested or replicated in a lab, but it seems to make a bit of sense. So let the panic and the kneejerk and the political weaponization ensue. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of Dem. We must all live in a sanitized bubble from now on, or else we’ll die. Riiight.




Cuomo says malls may need to improve air filtration before they can open

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo contended Friday that ventilation systems in malls and theaters could spread the coronavirus, an assertion immediately disputed by the largest operator of shopping plazas in upstate New York.

Pyramid Management Group, in a statement responding to Cuomo, said, “There is no documented link between HVAC systems and the spread of COVID-19 in malls.”
...
Cuomo said the state is trying to determine if there are any ventilation filters on the market that can trap the coronavirus.
...
Other venues with HVAC systems that have remained open or have reopened at reduced capacity include office buildings, subway stations and retail stores outside of malls. Schools were closed in March, though the reason given was concern over the density of people in classrooms, not ventilation issues.

Pyramid said it has been working with HVAC technicians to increase fresh air flow into the buildings it manages and install new filters. The company said it has complied with all guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency, as well as by the state government led by Cuomo.

“This week, we have spoken with dozens of HVAC companies who have shared that Pyramid has done considerably more than other businesses that they represent who are open,” Pyramid said.
...
Cuomo said the state Department of Health, led by Dr. Howard Zucker, is overseeing the effort to determine if there is a filtration system available to remove the virus from air circulation.

As for gyms, Cuomo said he is concerned that people could exhale the virus into the air while vigorously exercising.


This sort of reminds me of the old Beatles song Taxman; government controlling every aspect of your life right down to the air you breathe, through taxation and regulation.
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet


Pushed just a tiny bit further, this is a Catch-22 hurdle put in the way of businesses. Not only would an effective HVAC mitigation be very expensive to install and maintain, not one of them exists that is Officially Approved to capture or kill this specific virus. That seal of approval will take years and cost millions. And what are businesses and offices to do in the meantime?


~~~


I saw this coming a couple months ago and posted about it. While dining and working in the great outdoors is probably the best and least expensive solution, the whole point of civilization is to get as far away from nature as possible. Away from the wind and rain and bugs and dirt and cold. That’s what indoors is all about.

Yes, there are possible solutions. HEPA filters are kind of like the N95 masks of the HVAC world. They do a pretty good job, but they cost more and usually require a stronger ventilating system. It takes stronger fans to pull the same amount of air through a tighter filter. How do you know it’s a “good” filter? That’s where MERV comes in. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a metric for filtration effectiveness. A MERV rating below 13 isn’t going to do the anti-viral job. HEPA filters are generally in the MERV 17 - 20 range.

There are also air washing systems to which disinfectants could be added. Humidity control plays a significant role here. Electrostatic precipitation filters may also be effective, and adding a significant amount of UV-C lights inside the HVAC system may kill enough germs and viruses to make a difference. Airflow itself is a factor; a vertical air path, bottom to top, will strongly mitigate lateral droplet movement, the issue that all this social distancing and mask wearing is all about. But almost no buildings are designed for vertical air movement. You’d be living on a fan screen with a ceiling made of vacuum cleaners, and a high volume of airflow would have Marilyn Monroe effects.

image

results of vertical air channels

OTOH, you’d smell the pleasing aromas of your food more easily, although it would get cold quickly. Which could encourage you to eat fast and get out, which limits your virus exposure and gives the restaurants a higher turnover rate (assuming more customers are in the queue). Win win? Or suck suck?

Most recently, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all large malls in New York will have to install “air filtration systems that can filter out the COVID virus” before reopening.

This requirement comes as infectious disease experts start more aggressively studying the ways in which the virus can spread through inhaling small particles that could hang around in the air for hours—otherwise known as aerosolized particles.
...
This risk of infection through these small particles is especially high in small enclosed spaces like offices, and restaurants, where the air is not being circulated as often and many people are spending prolonged, direct contact with one another. Experts agree that efficient ventilation may likely be an important part in safely resuming indoor activities.

“Obviously cleaning surfaces is still important but cleaning the air that recirculates through buildings is now a huge focus,” according to Nancy McClellan, an industrial hygiene specialist.

Effective ventilation can clean the air through recirculation while filtering out small, potentially infectious particles. Experts are also evaluating special technologies that can disinfect incoming viral particles, like UV light.
...
The performance of a filter is characterized by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, otherwise known as MERV rating. On the MERV rating scale, HEPA filters are rated anywhere between 17-19.

“The higher the MERV rating the more efficient and effective that filter is,” said Krause.
...
Most HVACs found in homes or small workplaces, however, cannot accommodate these fine HEPA filters, since they do not have motors that can produce a strong enough pressure to pull air and push it through a HEPA filter. Krause said some HVACs may be able to
accommodate a filter with a MERV rating of up to 13 but that still would not achieve the necessary number of air changes per hour that would effectively reduce the viral particles in the air.

Health experts agree that indoor spaces are higher risk than outdoor spaces when it comes to the virus’ spread, which is another reason New Jersey has paused indoor dining, Murphy said. Health experts specifically warn that dining indoors, where there’s less air flow, can be a higher risk since people can’t wear face coverings when they eat.

“We know that this virus moves differently indoors than out, making it even more deadly. We have seen spikes in other states driven in part by the return of patrons to indoor dining establishments where they are seated and without face coverings for significant periods of time,” [ NJ Governor ] Murphy said.

More info on air filtration can be found here.

All of this is ramped up even further by the risk-free utopian world people have come to expect over the past couple of decades. They are just going to have to accept some reality. Indoor businesses will do what they can, but the cost has to be taken into consideration. Or you can go live outside in the dirt, roasting in the summer, freezing in the winter, sharing your food with every insect and critter that comes along. In other words, go back to being a caveman. Which would make the greenies very happy, so no thanks.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/02/2020 at 08:05 AM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseasesThe New Normal •  
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calendar   Friday - June 26, 2020

help wanted: Karen /Juanita to be annoying pool slave

Our condo park is trying sooo hard to get the pool open this season. It used to open Memorial Day weekend. We used to hire some high school kids with their newly minted lifeguard certificates. All that has changed. Becasue COVID.

Now nobody wants to be a lifeguard, the Red Cross is way behind with the training, and now the glorious State has decreed that there must be a paid gatekeeper and enforcer of the rules . Oh, and you get to muck out the bathrooms several times a day too.

This showed up in my email today ...

Hi All,

One of the requirements set by the State in order to open a pool is that there must be a designated “Ambassador” who will be responsible for enforcing COVID-19 protocols, and that an Ambassador must be on-site at the pool for the entire time the pool would be open. The pool management company is unable to provide this Ambassador, and the Ambassador cannot be a volunteer. Therefore, any Ambassador would need to be hired by the Association to fulfill this requirement. Attached please find a job description for this position. Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel might be interested.We would need a minimum of 2-3 persons to fulfill this requirement.

Another challenge is the ability to find lifeguards, and to complete the proper training and certification that is required for the lifeguards - the Red Cross is still limiting the certification classes, and so it is taking longer for training to be completed. These certification classes were not able to begin until mid-June due to the prior stay at home orders. Additionally, many people who would be/have been lifeguards, are no longer comfortable doing so. The pool management company is attempting to complete the training and assign guards, but at this time we do not have a definitive date for this.

Swimming Pool Ambassador 2020 Pool Season

We are looking for a detail-oriented, responsible person to serve as an Ambassador for our private community swimming pool.  Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in English.

The Ambassador is tasked with keeping the entire pool area and bathrooms in compliance with all COVID-19 regulations and protocols.

Duties will include, but are not limited to:

• COVID-19 awareness, cleaning and sanitizing, to perform assigned duties in a manner that promotes the safety of attendees and staff
• Monitor entry points to avoid congregating; stagger access as needed
• Maintain capacity limit to 30 persons and monitor sharing of personal property
• Maintain records of staff screening
• Monitor and encourage social distancing of bathers on the pool deck
• Serve as a COVID contact person, maintaining log book of pool attendees to coordinate potential tracing efforts
Contact local law enforcement in the event of non-compliance of Executive Order No. 153
• Maintain adequate supply of required sanitizing products& PPE
• Fulfill outreach plan including communication and signage regarding restrictions, expectations, hygiene

Candidates must be available weekdays, weekends and holidays through September7. Ideal candidates must be punctual and reliable.
Candidates must complete Competency-Based Training for infection prevention & control, and provide certification of completion.
Pay is bi-weekly, $13.50/hour.If interested, kindly email or fax letter of interest along with resume to the management office as noted above.Contact me with any questions.



So the job is to be a Karen, wagging your finger at all your neighbors and making sure they don’t have any fun. And call the cops on them if they do anything naughty ... you know, act like normal people. Make yourself the instant enemy of all your neighbors!

And you also get to be a Juanita, cleaning everything all the time, including the bathrooms. Probably after every use.

And you have to wear the kit, sitting out in the sun in mask, gloves, plastic face shield, and maybe even a bunny suit, while everyone else goes for a swim.

Hours unspecified, but they want you whenever they want you any day of the week and you’d better be on time.

Pay is $13.50/hr. And they want a resume.

Good frickin luck. You’re not even going to find a kid to be a lifeguard.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/26/2020 at 10:33 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseasesThe New Normal •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - June 22, 2020

the battered barber

Shave And A Haircut, Screw This

NJ has another Big Re-Opening today. woo woo. You can actually go to the barber and get a haircut, but the list of rules is insane. Also, our Governor is pushing anybody who has been anywhere to get a COVID test.

For getting a haircut, barbers and hair salons must:

•   Install physical barriers, if feasible, to minimize client contact with staff in the reception area.

•   Utilize floor markers (such as signs or tape) to designate 6-foot distances in common areas of the premises, including the reception and/or waiting area, client service stations, bathrooms, and employee break rooms.

•   Seating in the reception and/or waiting area shall be rearranged or removed to ensure that people are seated at least 6 feet apart.

•   Reconfigure the premises to ensure that staff-client pairs maintain at least 6 feet distance between any other staff-client pairs at all times, unless separated in private closed-rooms or by physical barriers.

•   Utilize pre-payment or remote, contactless payment options, when possible.

•   If the exchange of cash is unavoidable, cash should be placed on the counter and not exchanged hand-to-hand.

•   Staff accepting cash shall wipe the counter between each transaction and wash their hands with soap or utilize hand sanitizer after each transaction.

•   Establish an isolated area for delivery of supplies and materials.

•   Clean all surfaces at the premises with hot soapy water or cleaning wipes prior to reopening and before disinfecting.

•   Hard non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal, and plastic, as well as all tools should be disinfected even if they were cleaned before the premises was closed.

•   Remove items that are intended to be used by multiple people, such as magazines/books/newspapers or other publications.

•   Install hand sanitizers for use by clients and staff.

•   Decline to provide services to any clients without a pre-scheduled appointment that has been arranged by telephone, text messaging, or online.

•   No walk-ins shall be permitted.

•   Screen no more than 24 hours prior to the appointment all clients scheduled for appointments.

•   The screening must be done via a telephonic or online consultation or questionnaire that includes the screening questions.

•   Clients are required to submit to a no-contact forehead temperature check.

•   Clients must wear, at a minimum, a cloth face covering at all times, except where doing so would inhibit the person’s health or the person is under 2 years of age.

•   Space appointments to allow adequate time for cleaning and disinfecting all nonporous surfaces.

•   Those with a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees, along with anyone accompanying them, should be denied entry.

•   Stagger work hours of staff or adjust operating hours to limit the number of people on the premises at any given time, and accommodate social distancing.

•   Require all staff immediately prior to the initial re-entry after the reopening of the premises to respond to screening questions.

•   Require premises owners, managers, staff, clients, and anyone else in the premises to wear, at minimum, a cloth face covering at all times before, during, and after performing services.

•   Provide clients with, at minimum, cloth face coverings, if they arrive for an appointment without a face covering, or decline to provide services.

•   Direct staff to wear gloves when required to handle dirty linens or laundry.

•   Allow for break time for repeated hand washing between clients throughout the day.

•   Staff must maintain an appointment book with contact information regarding clients served, as well as a daily log of staff, and submit such information if requested to the Department of Health or the local board of health.

•   Notify the local health department immediately if it is suspected that any person who is known to have contracted COVID-19 was on the premises while COVID-19 positive, and cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

My barber is right down the street. He and his wife run the place. There’s one hair chair area for him, and one for her. The waiting area has 4 chairs and some magazines. I finally couldn’t take it any longer, and had my wife cut my hair 2 weeks ago.

( Remember magazines? That’s another thing you’ll probably never see again in any waiting room for anything anywhere. Because, eww, viral contact. So buh bye. )

If this is what barbershops have to go through, I can’t imagine what bowling alleys will be forced to put up with. It just doesn’t work. Or maybe our commie governor wants to put them out of business entirely.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/22/2020 at 11:24 AM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseasesThe New NormalPandemic Pandemonium •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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