Old 03-17-20, 11:26 PM
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Location: Chapel Hill NC
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Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Vortex Chorus 10, 1995 DeBernardi Cromor S/S, Nashbar 3sp commuter

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Good no-nonsense information - alas, it'll likely get lost in the noise. I'm not a virologist, but I have a doctorate in microbiology and worked for many years with an airborne pathogen (M. tuberculosis). Masks and face protection are useful for stopping droplets (which are orders of magnitude larger than the viral particles themselves) hitting mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes). They're also useful for stopping infected individuals from spraying the landscape when they cough/sneeze. They're also useful for preventing people unconsciously touching their mouth and nose. However, for the average person going about their day, they're of little use. For one reason, N95 masks don't work unless they're properly sized and fitted - just sticking a mask on your face does little to filter out particles in the air, as every inhalation pulls air in through the gaps around your nose and face, bypassing the filtration of the mask. An proper N95 fitting is a frequently long drawn-out process, where a professional takes the time to show you how to fit the correctly-sized mask so that there are no gaps, and then tests the integrity of the fit. That's why professional healthcare providers might benefit from the use of such masks - they're using them properly. For the average Joe Blow with a mask he bought on Amazon or Ebay, the mask is little more than a feel-good crutch. For another, as the OP says, all the evidence suggests that the virus is spread through contact with viral droplets, which are too large to hang around in the air. They contaminate surfaces and are then transferred by touch to susceptible mucous membrane surfaces. Watching where you put your hands, and frequent surface decon and hand washing, are the key.
For myself, I avoid crowds, go to the grocery store off-peak, and work from home. I carry a small spray container (repurposed lens cleaner sprayer) with 70% isopropanol which I use to douse the handle of the shopping cart, we all wash our hands thoroughly when we enter the house from outside, and I give frequently-touched surfaces (eg door handles & light switches) a spray of lysol maybe once a day. Coronavirus is what's called an enveloped virus, in that the viral particle is sheathed in a lipid membrane, which is essential for infectivity. Solvents (like alcohols), detergents and dilute bleaches disrupt the membrane and render the virus inviable. Viruses like these are pretty easy to kill when they're "on the outside". By all accounts, if left alone, it will survive for up to 2-3 days on a hard surface, but regular decon makes that moot.
My cycling has been affected in that our club has cancelled all rides for the foreseeable, so I'm riding in small informal groups, and all of the coffee shops and restaurants in my state have been closed, so I have to plan my longer rides around the few grocery stores that also have coffee (any >40 mi ride without a coffee stop is a miserable affair!). My isopropanol sprayer goes in my jersey pocket in case I need to decon something - or I might just spritz my hands if I think I've touched something high-traffic or potentially contaminated. Short of one of my fellow riders hacking up in my face, I'm comfortable that the chances of someone infecting me while on a ride are negligible - that being said, if we're gasping up a steep climb, I'll try to be ahead of my fellow riders ...just in case

Last edited by Litespud; 03-17-20 at 11:40 PM.
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