Coronavirus At The Beach? In The Surf? In The Breeze? It’s Complicated
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — COVID-19 wasn’t the only scary thing spreading virally over the weekend.
A Los Angeles Times article published Thursday included this startling quote from Santa Rosa native Kim Prather, an atmospheric chemist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla:
“I wouldn’t go in the water if you paid me $1 million right now.”
“Now, what about … where I said I would not go into the ocean if you paid me? That was totally taken out of context and when I first read it, I cringed,” Prather wrote in a lengthy post on her Facebook page. “I made it very clear to (the Times reporter) that SARS-CoV-2 has not been detected in the ocean or atmosphere by anyone. Much research needs to be done to understand this virus and how/if it travels through the environment. It is also a virus that has a fragile “envelope” that if disrupted by heat or water kills the virus — that is very good news.”
The main point Prather wanted to make wasn’t the danger of coronavirus blown ashore by surf spray. It was to dismiss the idea that 6 feet is some magic distance beyond which the coronavirus won’t venture.