Thoughts around Covid-19


You, dear reader, has probably received your covid jab and if you are Ron, let your opportunity pass so others might get it. And if you are in India, yours truly hopes the government is doing all it can to check the deaths and spread of the infection.

I have in the recent past since this pandemic began seen a lot of talk about covid responsive spaces. You meet a client and they are asking if the office space you are proposing meets the covid protocols and I am getting tired. As a space planner, it seems to me this pandemic went with common sense of most people. It is not like this is the first airborne disease we have to deal with. How does one deal with TB?

Proper ventilation. Where AC is used, the need for filters that purify the air and faster air change is all you need. Reduce congestion in office spaces. I don’t see any sense in increasing hand washing points in office buildings besides those provided in wash rooms.

The interesting question is whether health care facilities, apart from doing the above, need to do more for health care staff? Do we need screens around beds so they take vitals remotely? Send a robot to inject the patient, have intubation done remotely and all? Maybe not. I think the common sense solutions above should be sufficient.

Maybe I am missing something and there are special design considerations that are required. Do weigh in below with your thoughts.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

23 thoughts on “Thoughts around Covid-19

  1. I don’t know, but I’ve long thought people put too much faith in the guidelines. They’re really just educated guesses with a lot of uncertainty. The fact that the US CDC is now admitting the virus is airborne and can spread beyond six feet, makes all the guidelines about maintaining specific distances seem pretty arbitrary. I’m personally not convinced that any indoor space is safe for unvaccinated people.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      I saw something on that social distancing not making much difference as duration of stay.
      What happens when the majority are not vaccinated ans have to work indoors?

      Like

      • Duration is supposed to make a big difference. The guideline I’ve heard is you’re at risk if within six feet for 15 minutes or longer. Although I think that too is educated guessing. You’re probably a lot more at risk if you spend all day within twelve feet of someone than if you are briefly right by them.

        If you have to work inside with others, I’d say stack the deck as much as possible. Definitely make sure there’s good ventilation. Wear an ASTM rated mask, insist everyone around you do similar, and keep as much distance as you can.

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        • makagutu says:

          I don’t share an office with anyone really and it is naturally ventilated.

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          • Good deal. If you keep your guard up, you’ll likely be okay. (Be warned: at least some of your colleagues likely won’t, and the urge to join in can be hard to resist.)

            They’re having us go back in June. I have my own office, but there are a lot of people working in shared cubicles. At this point, everyone here has had a chance to be vaccinated. Even so, they want everyone wearing masks when they’re not sitting at their desk. Giving that we’re all going in to do Zoom meetings from our desk, the whole thing seems pointless.

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  2. shelldigger says:

    All I know is, I am fully vaccinated, and I still wear a mask when I go into public places.

    Unfortunately I cannot trust my countrymen and women, to be as sensible about a raging pandemic. Though I am vaccinated, I still do not want to be carrying something like covid around, that I may pass on to someone else.

    It would saddle up and ride me to the end of my days, were I responsible for infecting someone else, and it resulted in extensive hospital stay, or death.

    It is my responsibilty, and everyone elses, to treat this with the deadly seriousness it requires.

    In your situation, I’m not sure there is a good answer. I’d be leaning towards wanting open air meetings and people masking up. Even if they are vaccinated. At least for a good while yet…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m so glad I live in the US where we’ve had no more than 3 cases of covid-19 in the past year. Our gov’t jumped right on this in January of 2020 and literally wiped the thing out before it got started. God bless Jesus! God bless America! And God bless America’s brilliant, sustained, and well-planed response to wiping out covid-19 way back in the day!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Scottie says:

    Hello Mak. Is it possible to expand filtering and increase a faster air change in existing structures? I think reducing congestion and increasing the distance between people wherever possible seem to be the most workable solutions. Masks worn in areas where people work closely together and there is no fresh air circulation. As for wash stations, I think instead it would be better to have hand sanitizer placed about, either stationary or simply out on tables / desks would be better. just my opinions. Hugs

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  5. Nan says:

    I do NOT envy anyone who has to return to a workplace. That’s one of the (few) good things about being an old(er) person — my “office” is in my home and the only other person that I have to deal with is my other-half. And our two dogs.

    It’s unfortunate that after all this time, we’re still dealing with people who think they are smarter than the health professionals.

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  6. Ron says:

    Given that this thing spreads via physical contact with other humans, it appears the only surefire solution to ending the spread of communicable diseases is to ban all human physical contact. To achieve this goal I propose we demolish all public buildings and force everyone to reside in permanent isolation chambers for the remainder of their lives.

    C’mon guys! Let’s stop pussyfooting around and do this. Granny and gramps lives are at stake.

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  7. basenjibrian says:

    Speaking of sometimes excellent, sometimes off the rails, Naked Capitalism had another in their series of “everything the gubmint is doing is wrong wrong wrong says OUR expert” posts on semi-Covid denialism.

    Like

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