[ExI] Summer weather and COVID-19

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sat May 23 04:04:15 UTC 2020

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:


> Because it's a fact that Republicans want workers fired if they refuse to
go back to work in overcrowded high humidity factories,

I am more sympathetic to John than I am to Spike on this general topic.

However, I suspect that I am the *only* person on this list who has
spent time in a meatpacking plant.  Back in the 1970s, I installed a
computer scale in the (now defunct) pork processing line in Dubuque,
Iowa   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubuque_Packing_Company  It is
also possible I am the only person here who has butchered hogs and
other animals.

Minor correction though, high humidity is thought to reduce the spread
of COVID-19.  Unfortunately, cold is thought to increase transmission,
and packing plants are cold.


> . In a survey  of
130,578 meat plant workers 4,911 tested positive for COVID-19, but Trump
issued a Executive Order on April 28 and ordered people to go back to work
anyway and to stop being a pussy and face death like a man. As a result
people are quite literally dying for a Big Mac.

Not trying to run down the seriousness of this, but that's about 4%,
which is roughly the same percentage of people in LA who have already
had COVID-19.

As far as I know, the executive order has been ignored, the plants
were shut down and are being modified to reduce COVID 19 transmission.
Sadly, installing barriers between work stations probably will not
help much.  The workers live in dense, often multigenerational housing
and carpool to work so they have multiple other ways they can be

People who work in these packing plants have about the same risk of
being infected as people in retail.  They tend to be relatively young,
so the workers themselves are not at a very high risk of dying.  But
if they have other medical problems or when they take it home to
parents, that's a problem.

Of course, unless a vaccine becomes available, we will *all* run the
same risk of getting COVID eventually.  The consequences for older
folks (me for example) are dire (about 30% death rate for my age


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