atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7082: Nosocomial infections

A fifty-dollar word there, "nosocomial", obviously an adjective modifying the plural noun "infections". I learned it when I was taking CNA training. But what does that word mean?

It means "occurs in a clinical or treatment setting". A nosocomial infection is one you get from your stay in a hospital or nursing home, or that you catch while you're visiting the doctor's office or some other kind of clinic.

There is some evidence which suggests that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are, in fact, nosocomial infections.
The step functions in the data here in the United States cannot be explained by ordinary community transmission but they are completely explained if the transmission is happening not among ordinary casual contact--that is, not "social distancing", but rather through the medical system itself. That explains the step functions that are seen in places like Florida since it takes several days before you seek medical attention after infection and it also explains why NY, despite locking down the city and more than one viral generation time passing has seen no material decrease at all in their transmission rate.
I've talked about step functions here before, but in case you've forgotten, a step function is a sudden change in a curve. The simplest step function is a line that is at 0 until it crosses the Y axis, at which point it immediately jumps to 1. The slope of that change is infinite, a purely vertical line.

Outside of mathematics, in the real world, there's always a "rise time", but you nonetheless see graphs with sudden increases or decreases, with near-vertical slopes, and those are also called "step functions".

...and we see them in the infection rates. As soon as the disease hits hospitals.

Now, the really interesting thing is what he says about what they did in Singapore and South Korea:
When Singapore and South Korea figured out that if as a medical provider you wash your damn hands before and after, without exception, every potential contact with an infected person or surface even if you didn't have a mask on for 30 minutes during casual conversations with others (e.g. neither of you is hacking) transmission to and between their medical providers stopped.

Note--even if you didn't have a mask on and were not social distancing in the work environment, which of course is impossible if you're working with others in a hospital, you didn't get infected.

And guess what immediately happened after that? Their national case rate stabilized and fell.
But here's the thing: in American clinical settings, that is already the protocol--or supposed to be. As a CNA I was trained--to avoid nosocomial infections--to wash my hands with soap and water upon entering a resident's room, and upon leaving, if I were performing any procedures and not just delivering towels or ice or whatever.

Medical personnel should already be doing this. Why aren't they? We know they are not because the disease is spreading through hospitals etcetera.

* * *

By the way: the survival rate for people who need ventilators is not very good, even outside the kind of situation we find ourselves in now; it's like 14%. If you end up on a ventilator in the hospital because of COVID-19, you're not exactly a preferred risk, even if you pull through. That's pretty grim.

* * *

Bat Boy must be in his forties by now. Weekly World News has been featuring Bat Boy on their covers since the 1980s. When I was a teenager he was there on the cover, showing his teeth and pointy ears and big eyes, every week. He does not appear to have aged much, if at all.

* * *

"An immortal and malignant narcissist" has to be the best description of the devil that I've ever heard.

* * *

"We don't have any ventilators in storage! We have a huge stockpile of them!" ...and the chocolate ration has been increased from 30 grams to 20 grams. I know.

* * *

Teen Vogue has an article up on the best vibrators available from Amazon. This is what feminism has come to. So to speak.

* * *

Well, all month long, it has taunted me from the pages of the latest Harbor Freight catalog: Motorcycle lift, $350 with coupon. And all month long I have been looking at the coupon and thinking about it, and trying to decide if it really makes sense for me to own one of those.

Mustie1 has something like that and it seems to make his life a lot easier when it comes to working on the various bits of power equipment he features in his videos. And I thought to myself, "I have to fix my bike, and I have to do periodic repairs on various things, and having those things sitting 30" above the floor sure would make those tasks a hell of a lot easier on my back and butt."

You know how Harbor Freight works: they advertise something at a certain "sale price", but that's the price the item sells for about 90% of the time. They usually sell this thing at their "sale price" of $450, so this coupon gets me the thing for a hundred bucks less. This past week, then, I decided: you know what? I'm worth it! It's a tool I will use, which will make my life easier, and it's at a good price. I'll do it! Saturday, I'll go get one. Not that I intended to do anything with it right away; in fact I was expecting to buy it, bring it home, and leave it in the garage still in its box until we had some nicer weather. (Today, 60-ish, but wet, and big storms expected in the afternoon.) I just wanted to get it at that price, is all.

Today I got up, went to the store, found the display, grabbed the little ticket from the display, gave the ticket to an associate...who informed me that they're out of stock.

Why the hell does the display still have tickets in it, then??

Anyway, so he did a stock check for me and found that the nearest stores which had them in stock were Burbank and Cicero, about one and two hours away, respectively.

Me: *sigh*

They can't pre-sell that (take my money and call when it comes in) for some reason, so that's a no go, too. Basically, "You are not getting a motorcycle lift today." Not unless I want to drive to Burbank or Cicero.

Anyway, I got a raincheck, so if they ever have them in stock again I can get one at that price. I went to the HF web site for grins and giggles, and guess what I found?

The web site will take the coupon, of course, but I'll pay $100 for shipping, because it's a big heavy box, after all. So I'd pay $450 plus tax for the thing after all, that way.

I'm thinking/hoping that they were out of stock because of the sale price, and because it's so close to the end of the sale. Probably by mid-April or maybe May they'll have them again, and that's when it'll actually be nice enough outside that I want to be doing things in the garage instead of cooped up indoors, so that'll work, I suppose.

That's how that goes. Just need some patience.

* * *

The washing machine has started making that "bad bearing" noise again. I know I can get the bearing anyplace that sells sealed bearings since it's a standard size. But this time I'm also going to replace the upper tub seal; that seal is why it's leaked a bit, and also why the bearings keep going bad. Last time I took Og's suggestion and packed the space between bearing and seal with Vaseline, and it did keep things going fairly well for quite a while, but that was only meant as a stopgap. This time, I'll get a set of seals etc for it, not just the bearing, and fix it right.


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