Thursday, September 17, 2020

When In Doubt, Lie

 9/16/20 Fox channel 17:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — The coronavirus cases on lower Broadway may have been so low that the mayor’s office and the Metro Health Department decided to keep it secret.

Emails between the mayor’s senior advisor and the health department reveal only a partial picture. But what they reveal is disturbing.

The discussion involves the low number of coronavirus cases emerging from bars and restaurants and how to handle that.

And most disturbingly, how to keep it from the public.

If bars and restaurants are not mass spreaders, why are churches?


  1. I wouldn't read too much into that report.

    There is ample evidence that bars and restaurants are higher risk locations, as are churches.

    There is an online database of mass spreader events, although it doesn't have all.

    Churches are a special problem because people are close together for an hour, and they sing, and they are indoors.

    Bars have people close together for a long time, and they are often loud so people are shouting.

    Restaurants have people eating, without masks. That can increase infectious droplets. The first spreading study I saw, way back in early March, investigated the case of one man who was infected in a restaurant. He sat near an air conditioning outlet duct. People downwind of him got sick. People not downwind, even at the same table, did not.

    Some of the largest mass spreading events have been at churches. Many were in Korea, probably because they have better contact tracing than here, so they could establish the cause - early in the epidemic.

    When they re-opened bars in Seoul, one guy went to two bars in one night, and he was sick. A few weeks later later they traced about 250 cases to his presence in those two bars.

    If possible, hold services outdoors, have folks wear masks, and socially distant. That would be a pretty low risk situation.

  2. Tax structure? Bars and restaurants pay all sorts of taxes, the churches are exempt from many of them.

  3. StormCchasr: I find it plausible that bars are high risk, but why so few cases in Nashville. Perhaps there is some other explanation.

    Windy: This might be an argument for having bars open but not opening churches; the bars are providing needed revenue.