Nearly a year ago, amid concerns about how to prevent transmission of the virus causing Covid-19, scientists were beginning to conclude that rigorous disinfection of surfaces — say, fogging them or deep-cleaning with bleach — was overkill.
Academics were warning that the risk of so-called fomite transmission was wildly overblown. In the fall, research from Israel and Italy found that the virus couldn’t even be cultured from surfaces in hospital infectious disease units. By February of this year, the editorial board of Nature was openly urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its guidelines.
The CDC did so — last month.
That so much time passed before the nation’s leading public health agency took a stand on an issue that seemed patently obvious to others was puzzling. But it was hardly an isolated incident.
After months of pleas from scientists, the CDC acknowledged last week that Covid-19 can be spread through small particles floating in the air — an acknowledgment that came more than a year after some experts began warning that the virus is airborne. Separately, it took three months after Covid-19 vaccines began going into arms before the CDC issued its first attempt at outlining the activities vaccinated people could safely undertake. [Continue reading…]