Diary: I keep thinking about Indoor Air-Flow

In February 2021 The Conversation wrote: “Catching COVID from surfaces is very unlikely. So perhaps we can ease up on the disinfecting.”

https://theconversation.com/catching-covid-from-surfaces-is-very-unlikely-so-perhaps-we-can-ease-up-on-the-disinfecting-155359

And then in May, The Conversation wrote: “The pressure is on for Australia to accept the coronavirus really can spread in the air we breathe.”

https://theconversation.com/the-pressure-is-on-for-australia-to-accept-the-coronavirus-really-can-spread-in-the-air-we-breathe-160641

I ask myself, Is there any acknowledgement in Australia that this is the case?

In this Conversation article it says: “The role of airborne transmission has been denied for so long partly because expert groups that advise government have not included engineers, aerosol scientists, occupational hygienists and multidisciplinary environmental health experts.

And then they explain the difference between aerosols and droplets.

In November last year the Conversation published an article with this heading:

Many of our buildings are poorly ventilated, and that adds to COVID risks.

https://theconversation.com/many-of-our-buildings-are-poorly-ventilated-and-that-adds-to-covid-risks-149830

It says: “Poor ventilation raises the risks of super-spreader events. The risk of catching COVID-19 indoors is 18.7 times higher than in the open air, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Why has indoor airflow not been a bigger part of the conversation?

Airflow inside buildings and other enclosed areas like public transport has received less attention than other prevention strategies, in part because of debate within medical and scientific circles about the role of aerosols in the transmission of the virus, with some experts focusing on bigger droplet particles as being more important in transmission.

Here another interesting point about the airflow in buildings:

“Airflow inside buildings and other enclosed areas like public transport has received less attention than other prevention strategies, in part because of debate within medical and scientific circles about the role of aerosols in the transmission of the virus, with some experts focusing on bigger droplet particles as being more important in transmission.

But in recent weeks, the World Health Organization, the American Centers for Disease Control, the European Commission and Canada have acknowledged airborne aerosol transmission has a significant role in the spread of coronavirus. . . .”

Here another expert opinion:

“All major buildings where people congregate should be assessed for ventilation, according to Professor Mary Louise McLaws, an expert in epidemiology, hospital infection and disease control and a member of the WHO’s expert panel on COVID-19.

She said confined spaces need ventilation rates of 3 litres of air per second per person.

“It’s [the ventilation message] not getting nearly enough traction because it costs money,” she said.

“It will cost money for every single building to go back and ensure it can do 3 litres per person per second and that is an enormous undertaking.

“They can do it in a hospital and some of the older-style hospitals are now being required to improve their airflow: they’re becoming woke to the importance of this.”

The Victorian Health Department’s Building Authority has commissioned engineering assessments of the HVAC systems within wards dedicated to suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients at 20 hospital sites over the coming weeks.

Some countries are already taking substantial action, with Germany recently investing 500 million euros to improve ventilation systems in public buildings.”

The above was already said in November last year! Now we have July, that is some eight months later. And what has Australia done in the meantime, I would like to know.

For instance, can anybody tell me, how much Australia is spending right now to improve ventilation systems in public buildings?

Does Australia even discuss this issue?

Good, improvements like this cost money. But wouldn’t this be money spent the right way?

Does anyone know, how much government spends on vaccinations? Yes, I agree, vaccinations are necessary. But it seems to me to improve ventilation systems in public buildings is absolutely essential, no matter how much it costs!

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