virulently contagious, due simply to the bio-physical mode of transmission controlled by
atmospheric humidity, irrespective of any other consideration.
Therefore, all the epidemiological mathematical modelling of the benefits of mediating policies
(such as social distancing), which assumes humidity-independent R0 values, has a large
likelihood of being of little value, on this basis alone. For studies about modelling and regarding
mediation effects on the effective reproduction number, see Coburn (2009) and Tracht (2010).
To put it simply, the “second wave” of an epidemic is not a consequence of human sin
regarding mask wearing and hand shaking. Rather, the “second wave” is an inescapable
consequence of an air-dryness-driven many-fold increase in disease contagiousness, in a
population that has not yet attained immunity.
If my view of the mechanism is correct (i.e., “physical loss”), then Shaman’s work further
necessarily implies that the dryness-driven high transmissibility (large R0) arises from small
aerosol particles fluidly suspended in the air; as opposed to large droplets that are quickly
gravitationally removed from the air.
Such small aerosol particles fluidly suspended in air, of biological origin, are of every variety and
are everywhere, including down to virion-sizes (Despres, 2012). It is not entirely unlikely that
viruses can thereby be physically transported over inter-continental distances (e.g., Hammond,
More to the point, indoor airborne virus concentrations have been shown to exist (in day-care
facilities, health centres, and onboard airplanes) primarily as aerosol particles of diameters
smaller than 2.5 μm, such as in the work of Yang et al. (2011):
“Half of the 16 samples were positive, and their total virus
concentrations ranged from 5800 to 37 000 genome copies m−3. On
average, 64 per cent of the viral genome copies were associated with
fine particles smaller than 2.5 µm, which can remain suspended for
hours. Modelling of virus concentrations indoors suggested a source
strength of 1.6 ± 1.2 × 105 genome copies m−3 air h−1 and a deposition
flux onto surfaces of 13 ± 7 genome copies m−2 h−1 by Brownian motion.
Over 1 hour, the inhalation dose was estimated to be 30 ± 18 median
tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50), adequate to induce infection.
These results provide quantitative support for the idea that the aerosol
route could be an important mode of influenza transmission.”
Such small particles (< 2.5 μm) are part of air fluidity, are not subject to gravitational
sedimentation, and would not be stopped by long-range inertial impact. This means that the
slightest (even momentary) facial misfit of a mask or respirator renders the design filtration
norm of the mask or respirator entirely irrelevant. In any case, the filtration material itself of