• Health
    Eat This, Not That!

    CDC Says You Can Catch COVID This Way After All

    As scientists learn more about COVID-19, their findings take a while to make their way to the general public. Now, months after being discovered, one important observation has made its way into CDC's list of ways you can catch coronavirus—and it will change the way you protect yourself. "The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on its website to say coronavirus can commonly spread 'through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols,' which are produced even when a person breathes," reports CNN. This means the virus can hang in the air indoors, waiting for you. Read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.    COVID-19 Can Remain Suspended in the Air"Previously, the CDC page said that Covid-19 was thought to spread mainly between people in close contact—about 6 feet (approximately 1.8 meters)—and 'through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks,'" says the network. Now the page reads: "There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.""How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary," the CDC goes on. "Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious. In general, the more closely a person with COVID-19 interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread."Earlier in June, a large team of international doctors around the world issued a game-changing statement to the World Health Organization: COVID-19 is, in fact, airborne. The World Health Organization confirmed then that airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols—and in other closed settings, including bars, restaurants, and places of worship, aerosol spread "cannot be ruled out."RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID Risk How to Avoid COVID-19Jaimie Meyer, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine, explains that experts have understood for a while now that COVID-19 can be airborne but there had been debate earlier in the pandemic about how important this was in terms of infection spreading in the community. To appreciate the debate, it is important to understand exactly what airborne spread means and why it matters."When viruses are carried on droplets, these particles are relatively large, so they can't pass through even cloth facial coverings very well," she explains. These droplets are also relatively heavy, so they fall to the ground quickly. This is why droplet-borne viruses are primarily passed from person to person when they are in close contact (i.e. within 6 feet). "Most scientific evidence supports that COVID-19 is primarily carried on droplets, which is why social distancing and mask-wearing work," she maintains. In contrast, truly airborne diseases—like tuberculosis or measles—are carried on much smaller particles that can hang in the air for longer periods of time, known as aerosols. "Aerosols are produced, like a spray, when someone coughs or sneezes, or during procedures like inserting a breathing tube or giving a breathing treatment. These smaller particles more easily pass through cloth face coverings but do not pass as well through surgical masks or N95 respirators, though these are often in limited supply and thus reserved for healthcare workers," Dr. Meyer explains. RELATED: COVID Mistakes You Should Never Make Outdoors Is Better Than IndoorsThe CDC's new addition makes something Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, has been saying for months even more important: "outdoors is better than indoors." Avoid indoor spaces with people you aren't sheltering with, and avoid crowds. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.

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  • Politics
    Bloomberg

    Republicans Would Regret Replacing Ginsburg Before Election

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, immediately announcing their intent to nominate and confirm a replacement. Tempting as it is for Republicans to install a third Supreme Court justice during Trump’s first term, it would nevertheless be a serious mistake — and potentially a historic one — for Senate Republicans to go along. The result would not only likely be the long-term erosion of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as a third branch of government, but also a backlash so strong it would hurt the Republican Party itself.The reason for Republicans to hold off isn’t the extraordinary hypocrisy they’re showing by pushing a rapid confirmation now, despite holding Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open in 2016. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where voters will punish a party for arrant hypocrisy. Republicans and Democrats alike all understood that McConnell was making a specious argument when he claimed the March nomination of Judge Merrick Garland was too close to the November election to deserve a vote. We all knew it was power politics then; and we all know it is power politics now.To be clear, Trump has the constitutional authority to nominate a new justice right now and the Senate has the authority to vote — or not vote — on that nominee. The arguments pro and con are moral and political, as I’ve noted before, not legal.In a rational version of Senate confirmation politics, the party in the majority thinks about how its actions will affect the other party when it takes control. Ideally, that norm leads to balance and some fairness: I don’t take advantage of you so that in turn, you won’t take advantage of me. In our current world of power politics, the norms have eroded to the point of near-disappearance. What that leaves is medium-term self-interest about what the other side will do immediately, as opposed to what both sides would do if norms of fairness applied.The self-interested reason Republicans shouldn’t confirm Trump’s nominee in short order is that it will create a potential backlash that could have disastrous effects for Republicans. If a conservative fills Ginsburg’s seat, and then the Democrats win the presidency and both houses of Congress in November, an outraged, left-leaning Democratic base will pressure Democratic leadership to do things leadership would never otherwise have considered.The most obvious is that left-leaning Democrats will push their leadership to pack the Supreme Court by adding new seats and filling them with progressive justices. Until now, when the left of the Democratic Party has talked about court packing, moderates have pushed back strongly. They may change their tune if Ginsburg is replaced by a conservative before the election. That will place enormous pressure on Joe Biden, who — before Ginsburg’s death — made it clear that he opposed packing the court, because it would lead to an arms race in which the legitimacy of the court would ultimately be undermined.So say Biden caves to the pressure and installs two, or three, or even four new justices on the Supreme Court. This would delegitimize the Supreme Court, which would be bad for the country as a whole. But it would also be bad for conservatives, who might find themselves stuck living under three Democrat-dominated branches of government for some time.The other danger to Republicans is probably even deeper. Democrats enraged by a quick confirmation of a conservative might be motivated to admit Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states — each with their own (presumably Democratic) senators. Constitutionally speaking, this can be done with a bare majority of both houses and the presidency. Four more Democratic senators (or even three out of four, if Puerto Rico elected one Republican) could change the balance of the Senate over the long term.Of course, admitting D.C. and Puerto Rico as states would represent a significant change from the tradition of maintaining some Senate balance by admitting Democratic- and Republican-leaning states at the same time. And to do it, Democrats would have to eliminate the filibuster. But progressive Democrats are already angry enough to do that, and a quick vote to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement could enrage moderates enough to join them.Senate Republicans therefore have to calculate whether they would be better off confirming a conservative justice and risking these consequences or delaying until after the November election and confirming a Trump nominee only if Trump wins re-election.In our current political moment, only rational Republican self-interest can stop the Trump-McConnell juggernaut. Republicans had better start thinking about whether the road they’re walking is taking them to a destination they really want to reach.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist and host of the podcast “Deep Background.” He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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