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Maybe it's telling that my preferred small talk of the night involved infectious disease, on concrete methods of not catching whatever's going around, be it deadly or merely unpleasant. A couple of methods came up - specifically, using masks and avoiding those who might have ties to ground zero.

When it came to the first, looking further into the suggestion of mask usage shows that even having one on is only minimally helpful, but at least it slows transmission from mouth to hand to surface. So what would one do if surgical masks run out in stores? Would a bandanna or shawl (or knitted scarf, despite its pinkness) work in a pinch? How do hardware store dust masks compare?

When it came to the second, the nearest scenario for such ties around here revolves around food. I wonder if having groceries delivered would reduce access to specialty ingredients, for one - however, a person who celebrates New Year's on January 1st wouldn't necessarily be less likely to spread an illness than a person who celebrates it around now, so grocery deliveries might still rein in any exposure to risk there, specialty ingredients or not.

One thing good about having multiple sources of information on an issue is access to different ideas, if only to compare and contrast different sources' takes on the same issue. One source might focus on basic information on a viral disease's origin and spread, with a concentration on the facts of prevention. Another could focus on the spread or restriction of information under the rule of an authoritarian government.

Both articles, I'll allow, make for interesting reading, but couple one with the parallels the host network would only be too eager to make, along with the sort of errors I'd expect from a low-level English class, and I'd start to think one of two things - either it's a deliberate effort to earn that ungracious remark leveled at a colleague at the same network, or worse, that its writer made it past such a hallowed organization's vetting process without the aid of even a checker app. Perhaps such a writer should concentrate on anthropomorphizing cats - it sounds like that's the broken record in play in the land where opinions are the middle name.

**Speaking of multiple sources, what I've read so far on the coronavirus has, depending on the article, its origin as snakes, bats, a local wild animal meat market, or a local bio-research lab. I can speculate, and I do, on whether or not this disease is natural or man-made, but either way, how this has been used is going too far.

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