The most likely answer to the real life jeopardy answer: “The most likely cause for the surge in COVID 19 over the past month.” Being from Seattle, and still having no AC I didn’t think of it, but my husband, from Houston, noticed right away that the surge had started in the sun belt at the start of serious air conditioning season. Since CDC advice lags common sense by at least two months (if it ever gets there) I thought I’d point this out. If you pass is along it may save lives.
I just read an article about COVID 19 where someone said that people are still thinking that the summer season is going to help. They are wrong.
In many of the areas seeing a surge now the weather was nicer during spring so people actually were outside. These areas mistakenly thought they had dodged the bullet. As things heat up folks in the sun belt spend more time inside. And the inside spaces are air-conditioned, which means recirculating air.
It will be some time before the medical community cottons on to this. They are still monkey farting around about how to word the concept that people who don’t know they are sick can spread the disease. I read an article recently that indicated they had not informed people, for months, because they were fighting about whether people who spread it are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. CDC recommendations lag common sense by six to 8 weeks, or more.
Also, masks do help you avoid infection. If you read the whole articles, not the blurbs or summaries, what they actually say is that masks help more to prevent infection if the infected person wears one. While somewhat less statistically effective in controlling the spread, wearing a mask does help a healthy person to avoid infection. The use of a mask provides a physical barrier to droplets, and it keeps you from touching your nose and mouth. Handling the mask carefully and washing your hands is important as well.
The current confusion comes because the CDC lied about mask use in the beginning. If you read their full recommendations from that time, they basically said that masks weren’t recommended because they were in short supply and needed for medical personnel. They didn’t mention a lack of effectiveness.
They did so with good intentions: there has been a shortage of masks worldwide since mid-January because China stopped exporting them in order to have enough for use containing the spread in Wuhan. CDC (et al) lied to try and keep masks available for medical personnel.
In conclusion: To help yourself and those around you to stay well, avoid air conditioned spaces as much as possible, and wear a mask covering both your nose and mouth (which you handle carefully) if you must enter them.