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Maybe the UK's case curve has flattened after the end of the spike due to the asymptomatic people that are getting tested for whatever reasons and turn positive for the reason you state? It doesn't feel likely (perhaps it's just the other omicron subvariant giving it a push? or just the "control system" of people relaxing?). The hospital admissions continued to go down as one would expect if this was the case, though the data at ourworldindata is a few days behind. 

I know it's unlikely, but if it was indeed omicron, its faster generation time also would make its numbers drop faster if they managed to move R under 1

I presume 12 feet is a quarter of the risk of 6 feet [...] there is no magic number


My intuitive oversimplified model of this has been analogous to the direct sound vs reverberant sound in acoustics (in slow motion). 


I'd expect the risk from direct viruses to follow the inverse square law (at least to the extent that the risk is linear to the expected number of viruses around you, which can't be true for high risks). And maybe be even be reduced by cloth masks which stop big droplets (?).

But the reverberant viruses are supposed to be the main drivers of the pandemic, right? And those don't care about distance for small enough rooms where virosols (heh) have more than enough time to travel everywhere before falling down. This is where N95s and ventilation become crucial, but distancing not so much.

In this model, there is a special distance, a "critical distance" (which depends on the context, masking, etc), after which the direct viruses are as important as the virosols and extra distancing starts not mattering. 


Is my intuitive model nonsense?

Can immune escape by itself explain the transmission advantage or do we also need it to be spreading better?

Makes sense to me...

On the other hand, if it takes longer to show symptoms but it's still equally transmissible since early but for longer, you get higher Rs without surprising new mechanisms of transmission. Also, it may also be escaping our current precautions instead of the immunity.

Why does it follow that a longer time to develop symptoms suggests immune escape?


Also, if the timeline is longer, then the estimates of how much more transmissible Omicron is, based on the time it's taken for it to displace Delta, should be even greater, right?

On the other hand, those lockdowns may only last until the cases start going down again, but you can't get unvaccinated.

 If not mandating vaccination for indoor dining, then what?

Even that minimally coercive approach you describe is pretty coercive; I don´t expect the benefits to outweigh the ugly side of making many tens of millions of people be injected with something they don´t like or trust or want. Some people are still getting convinced to get vaccinated just with time alone, and many other things could be done better to convince more people without more restrictions. I don´t know what to expand on without making this too long. 

the WHO who still refuse to admit Covid is airborne


Sort of.  For some months now, the WHO states that it can spread "in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings [...] because aerosols remain suspended in the air" 


EDIT: (used to ask why the link wasn't formatting properly)

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