## Friday 11 December 2020

### Copping a 'Rona

As I think I shared before, Dau.II aka Cookie from Cork [L zzzzzz tired outnafter a heavy evening's baking] calls home, like E.T., most evenings. I don't know anyone who is happier in their own skin or less dependent on external validation. But even the most resilient among us can start to show cracks after 40 weeks of Plague and Isolation. She meets her local bestie about once a week at opposite ends of a park bench to catch up and support their favorite coffee shop. After a short hour of chat and people watching she sent me an e-mail: " . . .  what the likelihood is that any given person I pass/meet during December is actually carrying 'vid19? I think I've worked out that in my constituency 1 in 400 has it (CSO stats report 270 out of 100,000 approx). And nationally 1 in 1250 has it (80/ 100,000). Is there a way to figure out how much lower the risk is depending on lifestyle/work status/how many you live with? How do you calculate how much higher the risk is if you are combining Cork and Dublin and Carlow stats? How many people who have covid are circulating in the population, versus in isolation/hÃ´pital?"

Which allowed me to riff " Can't fault your math: 270/100,000 = 0.0027 = 1/370 and 80 ~= 270/3 so 1/1200 is good enough for national. Presumably infection in our rural community is much lower than your neighbourhood to balance its 270/100k hotspot. Infection is two stage: you have to get within spittle distance of that 400th perp AND you have to suck it up yer nose. All the advice this morning on the wireless was about opening windows during Xmas dinner. You are vanishingly unlikely to cop a 'Rona from some rando in the street. But your hour-long coffee with Bestie was bringing transmission likelihood up a good bit. Although nowhere near like being indoors with her; let alone with Louie and Huey and Dewey as well: assuming LHD all independently likely to be the Infective 400th. In that case, you'd be at 1% for encounter and close to certs for transmission.  If B+D+H+L are in circulation having similar sessions regularly with permutations of their network then it's getting very likely that one of  them will have brought it into your gaff for that party.

Beyond that I would park any worries. There are families whom I defo would not have round for Xmas dinner because I don't trust them collectively to have avoided everyone in their network who had got up close and personal with everyone in their network who was carrying. I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Rona. If you have some semblance of a normal Like Before Times social life then infection is likely. otoh, you'd be fine to have Bestie and her roomies to dinner if they are still podded up together."

We've all got to be proportionate here. No benefit to jumping out of the way of the Covid Train if you get run-down by a social isolation jarvey or whacked by undiagnosed cervical cancer. But it's easy to wear a mask in Lidl and we shouldn't be so afraid of the weather that we refuse a walk in the drizzle with a pal who is drowning in sorrow.