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COVID-19: ‘Airborne’ Contamination Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does

Breathing common air in public places is not how the virus is transmitted

By Katy Grimes, April 22, 2020 4:49 pm

The Coronavirus does not have wings.


The conflicting information coming from the Center for Disease Control and state and county public health officials about how to mitigate the COVID-19 coronavirus has helped create hysteria in some, as well as a gross overreaction in others.

We’ve been told we didn’t need to wear a mask, and are now told to wear a mask. Even county public officials have announced orders that everyone going outside must wear a mask because COVID-19 is “airborne.”

Speaking with a medical professional friend in Sacramento Wednesday, he explained what the coronavirus “Airborne” transmission means, and provided me with references:

Respiratory infections can be transmitted through droplets particles, not by being in a room and breathing the same air with people who may test positive for COVID-19.

According to current evidence, COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets – sneezes and coughs.

Droplet transmission occurs when a person is in in close contact with someone who has respiratory symptoms and is coughing or sneezing. The respiratory droplets can then be transmitted through the mouth and nose, or eyes, if exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.

This is why many medical experts say masks won’t prevent exposure to COVID-19 because to actually wear enough gear to prevent exposure, you’d need to wear goggles to protect your eyes as well as a mask that covers the nose and mouth. And it’s still a big maybe.

The bottom line is to avoid touching your face and eyes, and wash your hands frequently.

Anyone who is or has been a parent of babies and young children learned early on after being exposed to vomit, poop, diarrhea, spittle and boogers, that frequent hand washing is your friend. It still is.

Stanford University scientists just conducted a coronavirus antibody test, which tested 3,330 people, concluded that the infection is both more common than previously thought and possesses a lower fatality rate than what current data suggest.

University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, also just finished a study which found as many as 442,000 Los Angeles County residents may have already been infected with the coronavirus by early April, a number far higher than the 8,000 cases confirmed at the time. In the first large-scale study of adults tested for COVID-19 antibodies in their blood, initial results show researchers found that 4.1% have the antibodies, an indication that they have already been exposed to the virus. That translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, once margin of error is taken into account, according to the researchers conducting the study.

Americans have survived the Hong Kong Flu, the Avian Flu, the Swine Flu, and SARS, as well as Legionnaire’s Disease and Ebola.



1. World Health Organization. Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory infections in health care. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014 Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/112656/9789241507134_eng.pdf?sequence=1

2. Liu J, Liao X, Qian S et al. Community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis 2020 doi.org/10.3201/eid2606.200239.

3. Chan J, Yuan S, Kok K et al. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet 2020 doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9.

4. Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med 2020; doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2001316.

5. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020; 395: 497–506.

6. Burke RM, Midgley CM, Dratch A, Fenstersheib M, Haupt T, Holshue M,et al. Active monitoring of persons exposed to patients with confirmed COVID-19 — United States, January–February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 doi : 10.15585/mmwr.mm6909e1external icon.

7. World Health Organization. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 16-24 February 2020 [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020 Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default- source/coronaviruse/whochina-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf.

8. Ong SW, Tan YK, Chia PY, Lee TH, Ng OT, Wong MS, et al. Air, surface environmental, and personal protective equipment contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a symptomatic patient. JAMA. 2020 Mar 4 [Epub ahead of print].


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4 thoughts on “COVID-19: ‘Airborne’ Contamination Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does

  1. Glad to see this well-researched article, because long after the various not-so-dire ways of transmitting this thing had been established (I thought), I started seeing pictograms in orange boxes online that showed a figure in a supermarket aisle enveloped in a cloud of CV-19 aerosol that was ominously spreading over the shelves into neighboring areas. Just one example of the massive effort being deployed to try to keep us all in a constant state of high anxiety. Just helpful information and not propaganda? Right.

    Also good to see the antibody testing results highlighted here. These show (among other things) the extent to which a level of herd immunity had been established before lockdown days, and serve to correct — by miles — the inaccurate death rate. One would think they’d be viewed as good news by the “concerned” politicians and public health officers. Unfortunately the results of these tests have been all but ignored in L.A. County and City while the scare stories, blow-by-blow death and infection rates, and other plague propaganda has continued.

  2. I think Katy Grimes has posted this before but it can’t hurt to repeat it, right?
    The results of both the Stanford antibody study and the USC-L.A. County study brought the mortality rate number from an estimated 4% down to 0.1%. All of the extreme actions taken in early March by the governor, counties, and cities in the state were built upon and said to be justified by the scare numbers that were first presented. Presumably citizens complied more easily with lockdown restrictions because they were frightened not only by the general hyped-up hysteria from the original “modeling” numbers (e.g., 25 MILLION infected in CA – Gov Newsom) but also the now-shown-to-be-wrong mortality rate… because citizens thought there was a too-high chance they would die from CV-19.

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