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I CORONAVIRUS FAQ (3 April 2020)

Some of the most natural and practical questions to ask start as follows.

Question a) Where one can catch the virus from?

Answer a.i) A first answer is people. That is why there is social distancing.

This presently involves staying between 1 and 2 metres away from other people. Some governments are recommending this.

Answer a.ii) A more specific answer is from people coughing or sneezing.

This produces small droplets. If coming from an infected person, these may well contain the virus.

This can cause the virus to get on the infected person's hands, and on to nearby objects as well.

Answer a.iii) It being on peoples' hands then gives a further means for the virus to get on to whatever people often handle.

In this way it may get onto uninfected peoples' hands. From there, it may infect that person, especially if they touch then their face.

Answer a.iv) People often touch their own face. This is often without thinking about it. To scratch an itch. Sneeze. Mop up sweat. To adjust their hair. Or to get a bit of dust out of their eye...

Touching the face is a problem because this virus is a respiratory virus. Touch your mouth, nose, or eyes and it will find its own way from there to your lungs.

Question b) So what do people often touch in going about our daily lives?

Preliminary Answer 1: In general, this would be a very long list. Let us thus concentrate on people going around doing the essential things.

Only being allowed to do essential things cuts down on the list of places one may get the virus from...

Answer b.i) Distinguish also between things you carry and what there is in each of the main places you go.

E.g. no matter where a person is, they would often touch their phone, wallet, touch screen, keys, handbag, headphones...

These are now things to be avoided as much as possible while out shopping.

Answer b.ii) In buildings, people also often touch door handles, drawer handles, light switches and buzzers.

Answer b.iii) In supermarkets, people also handle trolleys, baskets, items they may not buy, cash and credit cards, card payment buttons, as well as the bags used to transport the goods away.

Answer b.iv) In the streets, little is touched apart from doors in entering or leaving the street.

Answer b.v) In using a car, the driver handles the wheel and other controls, and passengers often at least passively touch seats. Car door handles are touched too.

Answer In using public transport, bannisters, buttons, places to hold onto when aboard, ticket machines... are places one often puts one's hands.

Answer b.vii) In an essential job workplace, it varies a lot with the profession.

Suppose using your own phone or touchscreen is inevitable here. Then it is suggested you clean these before they enter (any distance into) your home.

You may then need to list and decontaminate 'work equipment you carry from home', so that it gets systematically cleaned after each outing.

You might instead use a separate set that stays at work, while your usual set stays at home. (Assuming you have enough resources for this to be practical option.)

Question c So how does wearing gloves help?

Preliminary point Rubber gloves will do. Leather gloves might do, but are not disposable. Cloth gloves will not do: they are not waterproof.

Answer c.i) Suppose you are already infected. Then wearing gloves stops you infecting every surface you touch.

Answer c.ii) Suppose you are not infected. Then it means that, when you happen to touch and infected surface, nothing you touch past where you remove and discard the gloves will be contaminated. Until this point, once you have touched something contaminated, your gloves will infect everything else they touch.

Principle A One cannot tell which surfaces are infected.

On the one hand, the virus is tiny enough to live in droplets too small for the human eye to see.

On the other hand, most surfaces that look or feel wet or sticky surfaces will not contain the virus.

Each surface which is noticeably wet or sticky has a much larger chance of containing the virus, however, than each surface in the much larger collection of not noticeably wet or sticky surfaces.

So one is to avoid contact with visibly wet or sticky surfaces.

Further down this document, we will roughly estimate what proportion of surfaces are contaminated.

Multiply this proportion by how many surfaces one touches on a shopping trip or a use of public transport to obtain a fairly large chance of encountering at least one contaminated surface during a shopping trip.

By this, wearing suitable gloves is advisable.

Question d) So how does wearing a mask help?

Answer d.i) If you are infected, it drastically reduces the range over which droplets go when you cough or sneeze.

Answer d.ii) If not, it offers partial protection if someone suddenly coughs in your general direction. Especially from 1 or 2 metres away.

Question e) How does wearing a mask not help?

Answer e.i) If you know you are infected, you should not be walking around town in the first place.

Answer e.ii) Putting on a mask may cause you to touch your face.

Answer e.iii) Masks only last a certain amount of time: contamination and wear-and tear.

Further down this document, we will put rough numbers to this.

For now, if everyone used a new mask every day, there might not be enough masks for vulnerable people, medics and relief volunteers.

Given a bit more time, however, there is hope for mass-produced masks to flood the market. Or even for such to be part of free government handouts.

To this end, further down this document we will also estimate how many masks are out there at present.

Combining this information and how long masks last, we will estimate how many masks there would need to be in a country for all inhabitants to make routine use of these without depriving others.

Question f) How do I know I am infected?

Answer f.i) If you have a high temperature or a persistent cough, you may be.

But a high proportion of infected people feel few or no symptoms.

Sometimes they are days away from having symptoms, other times no symptoms ever show up.

Your government may be supplying free and widely available tests. These can show you are infected. In some cases, they can show that you were infected at some point but have ceased to be infected.

Answer f.ii) So in a country with mass testing, one can be sure one has the disease.

Answer f.iii) In a country without mass testing, only a small proportion of those infected will feel ill enough to become aware they have a disease.

Finally, some of those with fever or coughs will just have colds or flu: less dangerous diseases at present.

This is less dangerous to humanity; flu nonetheless kills 100000+ older people every winter. We detail this comparison below in sections II and III. % See there and *Question 25* for why the current coronavirus is more dangerous than any of the world's flus since the 1919 flu pandemic.

Question g) How do some tests know I used to be infected?

Answer g.i) because having a viral disease causes antibodies specific to that disease to build up in the blood. These antibodies stay there long after one has recovered from that disease.

Question h) How do I get any invisible virus on my hands off my hands?

Answer h.i) Wash with soap: 20 seconds minimum.

[Whether the soap is antibacterial is not immediately relevant, since viruses are very different from bacteria. What soap does is cause all tiny things on hands or whatever else is being washed to be stripped off.]

Do this immediately when you get home. This is so you don't compromise the light switches, drawer handles... inside your home, or everything else in there that you touch: clothes, cutlery, food...

Question i) So I wash my hands and then handle the shopping which might itself have virus on it?

Answer i.i) Yes it might, but it is more likely your hands (or gloves) have it on them, so deal with that first. Answer i.ii) You've not yet finished keeping your home safer, however.

Some governments are suggesting leaving purchases outside for 3 days.

There are however a lot of problems with this.

Some of the food might go off. It might be stolen. It might contravene fire regulations.

It makes more sense to put purchases that do not go off into a cupboard or drawer just inside your apartment door.

Dealing with food that needs refrigeration specifically is more problematic: see Item IV.6.

Question j) Discarding rubber gloves after each batch of shopping gets home, and isolating purchases for some time near the inside of my appartment door sounds like it may take a while?

Answer j.i) So does queuing to get into supermarkets.

Shopping trips have become more time-consuming.

This means that, until wartime-like rationing is imposed, it makes sense to shop more but less often.

In doing this, one should not however buy more stuff that goes off than should be eaten.

It is also not an excuse to buy in excess to the extent that other customers find no essential products.

They may be more vulnerable than you, or be doctors, nurses or relief volunteers that are saving many lives.

It is just a case that buying 2 weeks' worth, with enough of it nonperishable that none of it goes off, once every two weeks, is more effective than buying the same amount in total but split up over half a dozen shopping trips.

This is because in this way you are exposed to six times fewer streets. Six times fewer supermarkets. And you use six times fewer gloves and masks and so on.

Answer j.ii) It also means that you can be thoughtful and careful in disposing of the gloves. In washing hands before and after handling the bought goods inside your house, and so on.

Answer j.iii) It also means that if you live with your elderly mother, you can shop rather than her doing part of the shopping. This way she is not exposed to streets or supermarkets.

Being careful with goods incoming to your house keeps all its residents safer.

Principle B One idea being developed here is having a simple 'decontamination zone' and 'decontamination procedure' for incoming goods and people.

It makes good sense for your coat that you wear to go to supermarkets either stays in a decontamination area instead of being worn around your house, or is decontaminated after each trip by washing it at suitably high temperature.

This principle occurs early on in this manual to show that we are pretty serious about developing systematic procedures to stay safer that people can use without need for large amounts of money, already existing suitable facilities and so on.


Motivation Our aim here is to to identify the most fundamental questions to ask.

Many, if not all, fundamental questions are of one or more of the following types.

Primary questions: these are particularly conceptually significant first questions to ask.

Core questions: those leading to main points for understanding a pandemic like this one.

Research avenues: very relevant questions which beget large amounts of also relevant questions.

Note that all of primary, core and research avenue questions can be much more counterintuitive that Item I's practical questions.

Moreover, finding and answering primary, core and some research avenue questions provides beneficial payback though giving better as well as better-justified answers to the practical questions.

Target audience This Item II is mostly aimed at people with PhDs. Or who may one day have PhDs. And/or who have means of encouraging or prioritizing between what universtiy and private labs, hospitals, militaries and so on do as regards experiments, engineering and mass production. So e.g. politicians, civil servants, funding agencies, boards of directors and so on are part of the target audience as well.

Better answers to the practical questions follow in Items IV and V. Item IV details how Item II's questions, and Item III's answers to some of these questions, convert to answering practical questions about personal strategies to avoid infection or infecting others. Item V concerns how these questions, answers and strategies account give reasonable answers (not necessarily the only answers!) to why government policies are the way they are, or evolve to be the way they become.

None the less, we do include some explanations by which members of the public can follow at least some parts of Item II.

This is possible because highly true things tend to be fairly straightforward to explain, once they have been spotted...

Explanation for the general public is moreover a good idea from the point of view of being supportive of genuinely helpful research.

This is from finding the right principles and models which fit the many observed facts, through to new or updated tech products, and mass-production of cheap or free goods that make a substantial difference.

You will get a feel from these documents here that everybody can ask questions.

Some of these can be quickly confirmed by people for themselves using household objects.

Other questions however require a science lab with both samples of the virus and safe means of conducting accurate experiments on it.


II.0 Risk analysis

Principle R.0 Risks can be well modelled as rectangles of the following form.

Risk = (how likely it is) x (how much damage it would do if it occurs) .

This definition can on the one hand be made more rigorous. E.g. by 'how likely it is' being replaced by a first course in probability's 'expectation for the occurrence of'.

On the other hand, it is not a unique definition, because there are multiple possible quantifiers of damage done. This could for instance be damage in dollars, or some other currency unit. It could also be damage in person-hours of work lost, however, or damage in terms of lost lives. Even then, say for person-hours of work lost, there are various possible quantifiers that could differ substantially. One could for instance consider person-hours lost in terms of a 4-month lockdown. But also could be viewed as that plus all subsequent work-hours lost due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in front-line staff, patients, and relatives.

We will not here choose between these various quantifiers of damage. Our point is rather that within a given risk analysis, risks only make sense if the same notion of damage is used for the various risks being compared.

I.e. risk analysis is really about the ratios between risk rectangle areas. By this the notion (and units) for damage cancel out. So everything is then consistent within that particular risk analysis.

Many situations in life require a risk analysis. Employers do these so as to get insurance. How a budget is split between various needs is done (more prudently if) by risk analysis. For sure, a new crisis requires its own risk analysis.

Principle R.1 Risk analysis is a way of finding main issues while filtering out other suggestions. It is important to note in this regard that most people fail to spot improbable risks whose damage upon occurrence, however, is so large that it drowns out the improbability.

I.e. some large risks are tall and thin: thin as regards being improbable while tall in damage.

This is in addition to the usually more obvious short and wide risks: likely occurrences that people have often experienced, each occurrence of which causes minor damage.

An example of a short and wide risk is being kicked in the shin if you play football.

An example of a tall and thin risk is a terrorist attack in any particular city in the West.

Finally some risks can be large by being roughly square: somewhat tall and somewhat wide.

An example of this is cycling or motor vehicle accidents. Adults have probably seen dozens of these and have maybe been in one or two themselves. So these are quite common. But also people are quite often hospitalized and sometimes killed, and some of the vehicles involved need writing off: so the damage is rather large as well.

Be welcome to calculate, dear reader, how much more likely it is in your city to die from a traffic accident than from terrorism.

Remember also that 'be careful with the traffic' is probably one of the top two or three cautions parents make to children; risk analysis substantiates this to be a rational priority.

We need risk analysis before to help us find (some of) the most relevant short-term factors in the current crisis.

In particular some improbable things may cause enough damage on occurrence that they cannot be ignored.


II.1 Pandemics: pathogens, transmission vectors and multi-piece populations

As Section VIII argues at the level of long-term consequences, pandemics are one of the three main types of sudden crises, the others being war and famine.

This can be summarized by 'War, Famine and Pestilence are the three horsemen of the apocalypse'. This is not just a saying, it is firstly a classification of sudden disasters. Secondly, it is a historically observed correlation: each of these three can generate the other two as well as more of itself.

Pandemics are caused by pathogens: microbes that proliferate in humans and harm them in the process. Microbes are far too small to see with the naked eye. So most historical pandemics occurred before people even knew that small external biological entities caused them. Without knowing this, very few pandemics had any known effective cures. Nor was how each pandemic was transmitted knows, without which one could scarcely personally strategize or issue government guidelines. Some strategies and guidelines did already exist however.

Strategy A) self-isolation.

Strategy B) Barring city gates so nobody could get in: avoid the disease entering the city.

Strategy C) Barring city gates so nobody could get out: avoid spreading the disease to other cities.

Strategy D) disposing of the dead with more precaution than usual (transporting them away and/or burning them).

For there was enough evidence that people spread it to each other, if not exactly how, or how directly.

(Transmission) vectors are mechanisms by which a disease spreads. Some diseases involve these, whereas other do not (not infectious: e.g. cancer is not infectious).

Person to person is a vector.

The bubonic plague, however, spread via rats and rat fleas rather than directly from person to person. This vector was hard for humanity to guess.

Spreading from person to surface to person is another vector.

This is relevant if:

i) the pathogen can live outside of a host body for some hours or days.

ii) The pathogen is not so effective at passing directly from person to person. E.g. can touching skin transmit it effectively, or just coughing?

A useful background point here is that there are 2 particular kinds of pathogens that cause pandemics: bacteria and viruses.

Bacteria can reproduce without assistance of host cells. So if one gets into a puddle or a sticky door knob surface, it can increase its numbers there very fast (exponentially until nutrients start to run out).

Viruses -such as Covid-19- need host cells to reproduce; in the process, they may make the host organism sick.

This considerably decreases the chances of person-to-surface vectors working for viruses, including Covid-19.

* Viruses can however survive outside of host organisms for some time.

* Viruses may also be very specific as to which animal (etc) species is a viable host.

This considerably decreases the chances of catching Covid-19 from the family pet.

As regards examples of historical pandemics, bubonic plague is bacterial, whereas flu, like the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920, is viral.

Viruses as a whole are very diverse; only a tiny proportion adversely affect humans. There are plenty of further ways, however, in which Spanish Flu and Covid-19 are similar, while the other more recent pandemic virus -HIV, that causes AIDS- is different.

For instance, Flu viruses and Covid-19 are both respiratory, and take 1 to 21 days to act. In contrast, AIDS is spread by blood contact or sexual contact and takes far longer to manifest itself.

Returning to the history, a few centuries ago, microscopes were invented and so microbes were seen. It took some decades to suggest that some diseases are caused by particular kinds of microbes. This delay is well understood from there being many millions of types of microbes per type that infects, let alone substantially harms, humans. But this connection was eventually made, and antiseptic spray that kills microbes in general came into use.

This gives some further strategies:

Strategy E) Use antiseptic spray in hospitals and around pandemic patients and to avoid being a pandemic patient.

Strategy F) Soap does not kill most microbes, but it dislodges them from one's hands, say, without any need to be able to see the microbes. It does so by a 'surface effect, sticking to whatever is on your hands, and then sloughing off with it.

So washing hands is generally a good strategic element. Also, disinfecting sprays are warranted in hospitals and e.g. in places that a patient lived in prior to being diagnosed. This removes the microbes without having to know which microbes.

Strategy G) If there is a pandemic, there are moreover clear benefits from identifing the particular microbe that is responsible.

This we know what to test people for: Strategy H).

It may also mean we already know some substance that kill it without harming us: Strategy I).

For bacteria, antibiotics such as penicillin are such.

Viruses are less likely to have a solution of this kind avilable, however.

Vaccines are a different approach: dead or weakened versions of the pathogen trigger our immune system to produce antibodies, which then overcome the actually infectious pathogen.

Vaccines are however microbe species specific. This is clear from vaccine names: there are a lot more names (MMR, polio, last year's flu) than there are large classes of microbes like just 'viruses' or 'bacteria'. So, while soap and antiseptic spray kill a wide variety of microbes, vaccines are much more species specific (and ths require knowledge of precisely which microbe is causing an illness).

Flu has often been a problem (as well as the Spanish Flu killing of the order of 100 million people in not much more than a year). % By this, our biotech firms are experienced at producing flu vaccines. Unfortunately, coronaviruses are neither sufficiently like flu nor enough of a past menance. So neither does flu vaccine design directly carry over to CoVid-19, nor have Coronaviruses so far attracted enough attention that we have a comparable experience in vaccinating against them. This is why developing a vaccine is a matter of months to a year, whereas flu jabs appear many winters well ahead of the flu in question itself.

So some of our defenses against coronaviruses are not as strong now as they will become in future.

Strategy J is then to fund research into coronavirus vaccines long-term. Fund research into yet further kinds of respiratory virus vaccines as well. Justification for this is in the form of adverting potential future world crises. This is as well as building up a larger pool of researchers that can then be mobilized faster if yet another unexpected and understudied type of microbe causes a pandemic.

Multi-part populations refers to e.g. carriers showing no symptoms, and recovered patients who are then immune to reinfection.

I.e. do not think in terms like 'given M people, transmission vectors are...'. But rather that our population of M people contains I infected, C symptom-less carriers, U uninfected and R recovered patients. Vectors are then C to C and C to I as well as I to I (and I to C) while R play no part in the dynamics, nor do the N natually-immune people.

The ideas then are, *you tube explanations available* firstly that

M = I + C + U + R + N

(defining U to not included the naturally-immune, and assuming no more parts are relevant). This is the total population size; modelling M evolving by + B - D here allows for M's changes due to births and deaths to be modelled too.

Secondly, that the relevant population-part variables (often fractional parts, meaning replace I by i = I/N, say). participate in transmission vector mechanisms.

So one has a differential equation system in I, C, U, say (1 part less than the total number of parts if M is approximately constant, since then the last fraction is 1 - sum of the other fractions).

This is as opposed to just a single differential equation in population size M.

So we have something like

d I/dt = (I + C)U ,

d U/dt = - (I + C)U ,

d C/dt = (I + C)C ,

This is not meant to be a specific model, but just an illustration of rates of change over time = (2 person interactions corresponding to transmission vectors).

The first equation says 'infected people go up whenever an unifected person is in sufficient contact with an infected person or a carrier).

Each term on the right may well have a transmission coefficient, ratios of which may identify which mechanisms are the prevalent ones. E.g. is the disease mostly transmitted by carriers or by visibly infected people?

Having such a model requires an isolated population like a country with sealed borders to estimate how many people are C and U.

People cannot tell if they are C or U as they have no symptoms. But some Covid-19 tests may be able to do so. This is useful since e.g. tracing who had contact with who (Strategy K) makes little sense if C is say 1000 times larger than I, so that C U interactions (no reason to suspect) dominate C I interactions (infection is suspected).

Point of order 1 Estimating C and U does not require sampling many people. It requires a random sample of, say, 20000 people to get this right with a large amount of statisticians' confidence. The randomness of the sample beats local correlation effects (clusters of people who know each other who cauht the virus off each other).

This does not however tell each person in the coutry whether they are U or C. Testing everybody is the only way of determining that.

So suppose a country tests a random sample of 20000 people and estimates that with 99% confidence there are 800000 to 1200000 carriers in a nation of 60 million people at that point in time.

This puts a number on how seriously everyone should take the possibility that they are a carrier. In the above hypothetical example, it is about 1 in 60. This means that if you are in contact with a bit less than 60 people (eg through essential work), then you are probably in contact with a carrier. Knowing it's 60, not 6 or 6000 is useful both to the individual and to the government. This e.g. nullifies the chances of finding every carrier, and suggests that gatherings of 10 to 100 people, say, should not recommence. You know on this basis that your going near a vulnerable person has a 1 in 60 chance of putting them around a carrier: you. While 1 in 60 is small, the consequences for a vulnerable person could be death or a permanently furtherly vulnerable existence if they survive. The risk rectangle for going near vulnerable people is thus large if a government estimates that 1 person in 60 is a carrier. As a comparison to form a ratio of risks, you don't endanger 1 pedestrian in 60, or even in 60000 each time you drive your car, say.

Lessons learned: only a tiny proportion of the population need be tested to estimate accurately the proportion of carriers. Not knowing if you are a carrier does not stop being able to strategize, as a 59/60ths chance non-carrier but a 1/60th chance carrier. All this does is split the risk analysis into two parts: if you are and if you are not. You or your governmentcan then figure out what the largest risk rectangles are on both branches of this fork, so as to avoid them. If you fall ill, or you are tested and found to be a carrier (or not) simply discard the half of the risk analysis you now know you don't belong to.


II.2 Viruses are small... relative to what?

Viruses are very small, so they can travel, and survive, in very small droplets, themselves too small for the eye to see.

A typical lengthscale for a virus is 10 to 1000 nanometres (= 10^(-9) metres or 1/1000 of 1/1000 s of a millimetre. So 1/1000 to 1/100000 of a millimetre.

Coronaviruses are of middling size in the virus world: around 100 nanometres, i.e. 1/10000 of a millimetre.

Lest any precise calculations require it, they are more specifically roughly spherical with diameter in the 120 to 130 nanometre range.

Principle 0 Facts along the lines of 'a virus is 100 nanometres long' are {\sl useless} by themselves. Useful interpretation requires ratios of quantities that have the same units. So in forming the ratio, the units cancel out and we are left with a unitless number.

For example, viruses are much smaller than the naked eye can see. For (virus lengthscale)/(human eye resolution lengthscale) = (1/10000 mm)/(1/10 mm) = 1/1000: a pure number.

This follows from the approximate limit of resolution of human vision being around 0.14 millimetres.

[This is not the only way of quantifying resolution, since it is more primarily a notion of being able to tell differences at slightly different angles from the position one is looking at. The length scale we give here is along the lines of what is a pixel resolution on a screen. You can see for yourself that the width of a human hair is a good example of what the human eye can just resolve. On a colour contrasting background, you can see the hair, whereas on a similar colour background, it may be hard to do so.]

Tha above is a useful way of formulating resolution, since the distance at which one looks at a door knob, say, is rather comparable to the distance at which one would look at a computer screen.

Consequence 1) There is plenty of room for droplets big enough to house, protect and propagate viruses to be below human vision's resolution as well as some drops and droplets being large enough to be visible.

Let us give an orders of magnitude scale for droplets.

* Heavy rain's raindrops are over 1 mm in size (but not above 1 cm, since they would then split).

* Drizzle's raindrops are around 0.5 mm

* Regular fog contains 0.01 to 0.1 mm droplets: the largest size commonly called droplet rather than drop.

Most of these droplets are not visible, so droplet for many effective purposes means not visible or scarcely individually visible drops.

So drops are bigger than the naked eye can see, while droplets are smaller than the naked eye can see, or around the limit of what the naked eye can see. The two regimes for drop size either size of naked eye resolution are different enough to have a different word for each: drop above this size and droplet at and below this size.

* Dry fog has smaller droplets than 0.01 mm Possibly much smaller.

* Beyond some point, a collection of water molecules will stop behaving like a droplet, but this limit is much smaller than a virus, since water molecules are very small. (Just 3 atoms each, with atomic lengthscale being around 0.1 nm. So coronavirus is around 1000 times wider than a water molecule)

There is a trick for seeing that at least somewhat larger water droplets are present. Namely, try sneezing on to a mirror from 30 cm away. You cannot see droplets in the air, but the mirror catches them and has a fine surface they spread over. They have good contrast with the background mirror as well. You can use this to convince yourself that when you sneeze, droplets are produced and do travel several feet. In this way, you do not need to rely on others' say-so to see that sneezing sends droplets at least as far as a metre away. (You can feel your breath on your hand when your arm is outstretched. So you can easily envisage the droplets your mirror reveals carry at least as far as your breath does).

We need something like logarithm scale (1, 10, 100, ... are equally spaced out) to effectively compare large ranges of lengthscales. * upgrade to a figure, and explain logs since some other items will also use logs *

So, converting to metres,

* 10^-10 metres is an atom or a water molecule.

* 10^-7 metres is the size of a coronavirus

There are water droplets in this gap that coronaviruses fit in, and which can help coronavirus to move around and to survive, and yet which are not visible to the naked eye.

* 10^-4 metres is visible to the human eye: the width of a human hair.

* 10^-3 to 10^-2 metres is a raindrop

* 1 metre is the lengthscale of a person (hence why the metre or some similar lengthscale is widely used). So everything in the above list is quite small relative to us. And yet we now have a good handle on what is smaller than what.

We know why coronaviruses may be in drops: they fit in there.

We know that drops can travel very far (relative to a coronavirus) thorugh sneezing or coughing, and this gives a social distancing lengthscale that is slightly bigger than a person

* 1 to 2 metres: current social distancing scale.

* 8 metres is however how far an MIT researcher has determined (see below for citation details) that some droplets in sneezing and coughing can carry.

If this is true and significant (i.e. quite probable), then it is a major problem that streets are much wider than 2 metres but not much wider than 8 metres.

And supermarket aisles are rather narrower than 8 metres.

We can easily stay 2 metres apart.

Our cities are not however built for people to be able to stay 8 m apart.

So the next lengthscales to add to our scale are the ones built into urban geography *eventually move out to the Strategy section*:

* 3 to 6 metres: typical width of a supermarket aisle.

* 8 metres: width of a small Western street

* 16 metres: width of a large european street.

In North America, especially in suburbs, streets can be wider as a result of land prices being lower, since North America has a much smaller polulation density than Europe does.


III.3 Some questions arbout virus survival on surfaces

* needs a better essay plan *

Question 0) Is infection via surfaces a sizeable vector for Covid-19?

Question 1) How far does coughing and sneezing spread droplets?

See Item III for various partial answers to this so far.

Question 2) Which parameters are relevant to how long coronaviruses survive in the open?

Host organisms are very controlled environments.

We consequently know that this virus can survive temperatures of 36 to 40 degrees because that is what the usual through to very ill human body's temperature is.

We consider it prudent to ask what range of conditions it can survive outside of the body. If it gets on to a surface, how long can it live there?

Observation 1 Viruses as a whole are not very good at surviving without host cells to live in. They cannot reproduce without taking over host cells. That us how they can make us ill. Coronavirus can however survive in a droplet or condensation outside of the body, at a range of temperatures that goes at least from 4 degrees to 20 degrees.

Some parameters that are rather likely to be relevant to coronavirus surviving on surfaces around buildings and streets are (temperature) and (atmospheric percentage humidity).

This points to the following questions.

Question 3): What temperature range can Coronavirus survive at?

Question 4) How does this survival time vary with humidity?

These are moreover very probably not the only relevant parameters.

Question 5) Which other parameters are relevant?

Preliminary answers include whether the sample is dry or wet.

Point of Order: Viruses are very different from each other. So humanity knowing a lot about flu viruses, say, need not translate to knowing a lot about coronaviruses.

A useful observation is that many of the relevant parameters for how long a virus can survive outside of the host body are the same for all viruses.

Please note the difference between what this says and what this does not say. It says temperature is a relevant factor, and humidity, and whether in water or dried out and so on. It does not say which temperature range: that is the value of the parameter. The names of possibly-relevant parameters we know from other viruses. The values these parameters take can however vary wildly from virus to virus.

So a strong line of questioning procedure is like this.

What temperature range can coronavirus live in outside of a host?

For how long at each temperature?

For a fixed temperature, does varying the air humidity greatly affect how long it lives?

If yes, then temperature data is insufficient for a final answer.

But the point is that a big enough parameter space that no significant parameter is left out can be built up by science.

It may take some months to do this, but it must be done.

And the strategies and government policies for what to do must change as this knowledge improves, until it has converged to a reasonably final answer consistent with all observations.

Arguing that there are too many parameters to make definite statements is debunked. This is because the virus is clearly very dangerous, so we need to make do with whatever sequence of temporary small parameter number models. The need is enough that we have to start with single parameters, then consider pairs of parameters, until a fully functional model fitting all known observations is found.

Even partial models will help shape both personal strategy and government policies like social distancing or what government advice bulletins are updated to contain.

For instance, someone with access samples of this virus, safe handling and scientific equipment should ascertain whether 60 degrees kills it fast. If so, washing clothes at 60 degrees makes sense as a decontamination, and if not, not.

Likewise, checking whether it survives at 1 and 0 and -10 degrees C. If it still survives at 1 degree C, putting things in the fridge won't decontaminate them. Fridges can't freeze - many goods intended for fridges are damaged or rendered dangerous by freezing - so 1 degree C is an important practical limit. Seeing if freezing the droplets kills it, whether at 0 or at -10 degrees C as a common limit on freezer temperatures is practically important. Does putting things in the freezer decontaminate them?

If the answer to enough of these things is no, we urgently need advice about how to decontaminate goods. Spray as Italian emergency services use may work.

(But where is the evidence that it does? And is a downscaled version of it practicable in someone's cupboard? And can the world have enough of the substance in question to use it for home decontamination? Maybe not this month, but could some of the world's industry and logistics be harnessed to produce many times the world's current use of such substances? Or is there some other way of killing the virus that everybody can safely and uncomplicatedly use at home?)

Also note that static observations like this are useful to know before dynamical or behavioural factors are modelled.

I.e. know the material properties of the virus before placing too much stock on transmission models involving further things like droplet propagation in sneezes.

One cannot tell what proportion of infections is from coughs and which is from surfaces without knowing how long it lives on surfaces. % Or knowing which things done to surfaces (like cleaning supermarket conveyor belts) actually demonstrably remove all the virus.

Only when these things are known can the relative coefficients of the terms in dynamical epidemiology models have the right kinds of values.

Getting this wrong can have knock-on effects on qualitative behaviour of the models, basically by touting the wrong mode of transmission as the 'principal' mode of transmission.

The dynamics of person on person coughing are very different from those of infection from surfaces.

One knows if someone coughed nearby too, whereas one does not know if somebody coughed on the tins of sardines in the local supermarket at some point in the previous 5 hours.

Or whether such a tin was handled by an infected person who'd just used a hand held tissue to wipe their nose.


II.4 What features make an airborne pathogen dangerous

Comparison with the Spanish Flu, as well as regular Flu, will go here.

Principle C Social distancing has the effect of flattening the curve of new cases.

This may prevent the total number who are seriously ill at once from exceeding the number of hospital beds, doctor hours, and ventilators available in a given country's hospitals.

By this, avoiding this situation through social distancing is a good idea.

If a national health service collapses, it does not just turn further patients away; it may cease to function for most of its current patients as well.

Such a collapse is basically the military equivalent of a rout: what operatives remain cease to be organize and so mostly cannot keep on offering organized resistance.

Draft History Motivation and Target Audience was rewritten on April 8 2020, when pathogens, transmission vectors and risk analysis were also added.


III. 1 Masks improve matters... (May 18)

So let us parametrize what makes a good mask.

This may moreover vary with face size, from the point of view of the extent to which the mask still permits sideways emissions out of not forming a tight seal around the cheeks.

III. 2 What is the procedure for, and price of, UV decontamination? (May 2)

III.3 How robust is the 'reuse the least recently used member of a fleet' strategy to prevent transmission? (May 2)

III.4 Temperature dependence of survival of viruses on surfaces

Partial Answer to Question 3) Some preliminary bounds based on observations and back of the envelope calculations are as follows.

Coronavirus survives for weeks at 4 degrees C.

Coronavirus survives for days at 8 to 20 degrees C. [E.g. this news article points to some further reading about this in the scientific literature.]

Other coronaviruses survive at -20 degrees C.

Coronavirus is still spreading in countries with temperatures currently often in excess of 30 degrees C, such as Australia * but now the curve has flattened there...*.

Most viruses, however, die at 60 degrees C.

How is this relevant? see Item IV.6 for comparison with common domestic appliance temperatures.


IV Personal Strategy Overview (April 4 2020)

IV.1 Avoid, Alert, Escape classification of strategic defense functions

Relevant strategies for dealing with a pandemic come in three layers: avoid, alert and escape.

These are easy to distinguish in conflict situations, such as avoid the assailant, be alert to the assailant so you are not taken by surprise, and then run away from the assailant.

More generally, the trick is to conceptualize the avoiding, alertness and escaping as occurring in the strategically relevant parameter space.

The below examples will make this clear.

Without this conceptualization, one cannot understand, let alone formulate, things like governmental recommendations to the population, Or government policies involving medical, law enforcement and military assistance.

* Social distancing is avoid being within 1 or 2 metres of strangers, to greatly decrease chances of person to person transmission.

This includes walking away from where others are or will be. So avoiding crowds, being willing to zig-zag to stay away from each person coming in the opposite direction.

Avoiding crowds may involve going down less frequented side-streets.

Avoiding people involves cutting corners wide, so that nobody about to cough is suddenly right next to you coming around a corner.

Avoiding a supermarket being a crowd may involve its security counting how many people go in. Also only letting in batches of new people from an outside well-spaced queue when that batch number of people has been counted to have left the supermarket.

* Avoiding includes testing the population who show no symptoms.

Do this for 20000 people to have already excellent-strength statistical estimate of number of people infected in the country.

This can be used to estimate what proportion shows no symptoms, and more slowly, what proportion of those affected at no point show symptoms.

These are important numbers to determine as regards modelling spread of the infection.

Do this for all citizens and each can make far better strategic choices.

Genuinely unaffected key personnel can then keep on working without infecting many other such.

Presently the countries doing most tests per population size are managing 1/800 of their population per week.

This fails to meet covering all the populace.

However, prioritizing medics, retirement home workers, and other key frontline personnel (law enforcement, those building field hospitals) can be done. Note that this should include frontline to large amounts of vulnerable people, hence retirement home workers as well as doctors and nurses.

An interesting thing to estimate: what proportion of a country's people do frontline jobs?

How long would it currently take to test them all? How often should such be re-tested?

We will be carrying out this analysis below shortly.

Testing the whole populace also better determines how mask supplies are to be optimally distributed.

It makes sense for frontline personnel to have a large proportion of available masks (including several months' worth, at least, in stockpile, so there be no short term danger of running out). But also for people testing positive to have masks, so as to be less infectious during any unavoidable manoeuvres.

People testing positive should be notified by mail as well as email, with such mail including several masks unless the person indicated, in being tested that they already had some masks.

This is an example of a negative feedback mechanism.

* The tests also have alert defense value: those testing positive must self-isolate and be ready for if they develop severe symptoms.

Have paracetamol for if not severe. Check temperature as a matter of rote, as well as if suddenly feeling much worse.

Have contact numbers for emergency services.

Get supplies delivered outside, that you only collect after the deliverers have gone.

Have people check on you by email or phone.

* Escape defenses include escape from being very ill by hospital treatment.

Escape from a city not having enough hospitals by say military engineers and medics building a field hospital there.

This can re-allocate doctors and medical support to where there are most cases.

Many Italian doctors being based in Rome ceases to be convenient if most of the pandemic only affects part of Northern Italy instead.

A field hospital can be built in 1 to 7 days. This includes converting suitable large empty buildings with temporary partitioning and bringing in supplies, beds, ventilators, doctors, nurses, and supporting structures: catering for the staff, ambulance parking, adjacent temporary morgues etc.

A slightly longer term escape is as follows. Escape from not having enough masks, gloves, medical protection suits, ventilators... by mass-producing them. Whenever possibly, do so locally: no border crossing, so that shipments, and even production facilities, cannot be seized by other countries.

* Let us finally go back full cycle to future ways of avoiding pandemics being more robustly prepared.

Never again deindustialize in favour of cheaper imports that the country does not have industrial capacity and flexibility enough to mass produce all of these items within 1 to 3 weeks of an epidemic breaking out.

Stockpile ventilators much like countries with modern armies stockpile planes and tanks.

Do a risk analysis over all diseases to know what else to stockpile. Let the health ministry get more money than the war ministry per year until shortfalls are covered.

Article III is a stub, and also a menu.

One does not need to use all possible strategies. Just enough of them to have a good overall avoid defense, a good overall alert defense and a good overall escape defense.

This is literally like a menu: one only needs a subset of starters, main courses, and desserts, not everything on the menu. But different people can choose different personal defenses, and different countries and resource situations can point to different parts of the menu being useful in different countries. At different stages in a pandemic. And at different stages of resource depletion and of changes to types of goods industrially mass-produced in response.


IV.2 Staying safe (17 March 2020) *split up into other Items*

It is probably a good idea for everyone to have a body temperature thermometer.

Checking your body temperature is normal is a way of detecting that one is not about to get very ill.

* check range of advice for what a persistent cough is. *

This does not preclude however that you could be a passive carrier.

We have reason to believe that having a moderate case of coronavirus can be dealt with specifically paracetamol, over the course of around two weeks. Self-isolate if this is, or may be, the case.

If one's condition is rapidly deteriorating, contact emergency services according to their protocol at that point (find on internet).

Temperature-wise, one may be in danger, and also cease to think, move, function coherently, if one's body temperature is above 39 degrees celsius.

Know that at this point of time (17 March) it is still more probable to have flu or a cold, so distinctions in symptoms such as here may be useful. Though a) symptoms vary from person to person, so only a doctor can diagnose, and b) it is also possible to have more than one of these at once, and/or allergies as well.


IV.3 Forecast for the next 4 months (17 March 2020)

1) The Italy Model of the near future For now, viewing the UK as '2 weeks behind Italy' is gaining some credibility as an accurate model of cases recorded.

2) Timescale for the immediate consequences The lower bound of at least 4 months of major disruption has been widespreadly declared by many countries.

For universities, this means that there is unlikely to be a conventional Easter term, exam format, post-exam celebrtations, or graduation ceremonies.


IV.3 Personal Strategies input material updates (7 April 2020)

-1) Some Dons have had a go at this here.

0) In the streets, one can walk slower or faster, or curve around a bit, to stay 2 metres apart from others.

How might this not be enough?

1) Somebody may come round a corner or out of a shop or residential door. They might in particular cough while doing so. * intermesh with opening questions *

But: Doors can be countered by walking on the part of the pavement next to traffic.

This may not however work if there are people coming out of parked car doors as well, or if the pavement is narrow, or if there are quite a lot of people.

So high person density is also to be avoided

2) Question 6) at what distance can one notice someone is coughing is also relevant?

Preliminary answer 6.i) by ear, 20 to 40 metres.

Preliminary answer 6.ii) By eye, extreme coughing can be noticed up to 150 metres away provided that there is line of sight. Such coughing is however expected to be rare among those who venture out in public.

3) It is generally suggested that the streets are safer during daylight hours.

You can see where people are from further away, avoid crowds, and be aware of any law enforcement present. You are also avoiding the time of day in which criminals operate "under cover of darkness".

4) Given involvement of droplets in propagation of the virus, windy days might turn out to be unsafe.

Foggy days (while unlikely by this time of year) are even more concerning.

For now, we recommend not going out other than for emergency reasons on a foggy day.

5) It has also been observed that rubber gloves do not do well with zips or long fingernails.

Tearing one's rubber on zips can be avoided by being aware it can happen, and practising with a pair of gloves for this specific purpose. This can thus get torn in multiple failings as one learns how not to unzip one's coat, backpack, wallet etc.

That nails can tear gloves is not yet among reasons publicly given for cutting nails short (that dirt and wetness gets under nails has been stated elsewhere).

6) If droplets are a danger, then having facial hair noticably increases absorption cross-section, and long hair shouldn't be left loose either. > "Hat or plat" is our saying here. If facial hair cannot be avoided, e.g. for religious reasons, covering up when out and about town may help in place of shaving may help. Also the absorption cross-section increase due to facial hair is only a small increase on that of a shaved face.

7) Loose clothing similarly adds absorption cross-section.

8) Tight waterproof clothing is probably better than regular clothing, but only on the long run if it can be maintained. I.e. can it be repeatedly washed? Do you have 2 lots of it, in case you need to go out while one set is still in the wash? Waterproof trousers are part of such a set-up if available. Countryside people, walkers, outdoor workers, outdoor sports people... may have such trousers.


IV.4 Assembling a foraging kit

* This item is for now a stub. *

I.e. items that are both essential or useful out there, but which then don't make it into your house past your decontamination zone.

Those doing essential work in workplaces other than home might similarly assemble work kit that isn't then used in the house. Ideally, as much of this as isn't necessary for the journey home should stay in the workplace. Such set-ups might involve using a separate work phone and home phone.


IV.5 Strategies based on Covid-19 survival temperature range (7 April 2020)

Make ratios between Covid-19 survival termperatures and temperatures associated with common domestic appliances.

Your fridge (0 to 4 degrees C) will not kill the virus if it is on anything you put in there.

Your freezer (-10 degrees C) quite probably will not either. But we need some lab to specifically put Covid-19 in -15, -10, -15, -20 degree C conditions, with suitable safety procedures taking samples and checking for still functional virus every day or two.

Your washing machine on gentle setting (30 degrees) probably won't kill it (after all, this is more temperate than the human body where it lives fine...)

But almost all washing machines can operate at 60 degrees C or higher.

Higher may be advisable especially for outer layer protective equipment worn while shopping or conducting emergency services work.

That said, temperature is not the only possible means of decontaminating clothes. See later on in this document for soap action and chemical spray action.

We would like some lab to check that keeping Covid-19 samples at 60 degrees C kills them off, for the full range of environmental humidities. If 60 degrees fails, then try a much higher value (100 degrees C is far more sill likely to be fatal to life). Then proceed to use repeated bisection to narrow down to what maximal temperature it can tolerate.

We here, without any labs, can probably figure out which part of the humidity range is relevant indoors at spring months' indoor temperatures.

This is an example of not needing to look at all of the parameter space to defend some principal parts of our life better.

Indoors is also windless. Banning running in supermarkets removes significant relative motion effects as well.

* block may be out of position * Our tactics and policies section will have a lot more suggestions. This will treat social distancing scale as a free parameter . This will also indicate which strategies and policies become necessary as this free parameter value is increased from 1 to 8 metres.

We have no sufficient reason for now to extend it further than 8 metres.

That this observation affects strategy is clear.

Advice to not handle purchases for three days were largely not made based on Coronavirus' survival properties.

Coronaviruses dangerous to humans are new, so we don't know them that well.


IV.6 Decontaminating upon entering your house (7 April 2020)

Decon is partly like rural de-mud or 'no shoes in the house'.

The house has an area near the door, ideally in its own partition, where outer clothes are removed, so the 'mud' doesn't go further.

Decon depends on the 3-day longevity of the loose virus.

There is already public evidence for 'leave bought goods 3 days outside before using them'.

Decon might, under extreme preparedness, be a hosedown with suitable agent.

Decon has to be squared with how many clothes one has for outdoor drips.

Decon doesn't affect putting stuff in the freezer. Whether the virus can resist fridge temperature remains unknown to us, and is strategically relevant while any choice in what food to buy remains.

Band Decon into 'no money, 50 pounds or > 1000 pounds as regards its tech components. By this, systematic capacity to hosedown is a bracket-3.

But having 3 of the cheapest waterproof jackets is just a bracket-2.

3-band the strategies:

For > 1000 pounds, copy suitable combinations of official procedures that are accessible to the public.

For 50 pounds or free band, our conceptual thinkers and scientists here may be able to offer options (and maybe estimates of the ratio efficiency between brackets).


IV.7 Beware "cargo cult science" (7 April 2020)

I.e. (in Richard Feynman's sense!) that things that merely look like the right items while having somewhere between none of and part of the expected functions of the genuine article. For instance,

Beware things that look like surgical masks but aren't really.

Beware of tests that don't work.

Perhaps even eventually beware contraptions that look like ventilators but fail to operate like ventilators in key ways that perhaps only doctors who operate ventilators can point out.

Surgical masks have a mesh size that prevents small droplets from getting though.

Surgical masks are shaped to minimize droplets getting through round the edges of the mask.

"Last week the US authorised the importation of respirator masks from China made to a Chinese standard that is close to US specifications for the N95, which filters at least 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. (The European equivalent is the FFP2 respirator.)" (Julian Borger, the Guardian, April 5 2020).

Home-made masks will seldom have these properties, and carry no discernible mark guaranteeing such properties.

Mask effectiveness is (at least in good part) down to mesh size, and this cannot be investigated using the human eye. % This is because most of the droplets being defended against are not visible to the human eye.

Some sources of masks may spring up that do not (want to) know what standards surgical masks are made according to.

Question 7) can we see the mesh size using magnification equipment that one might occasionally find in a household? (Magnifying glass? Toy microscope?)

It is suggested that under no circumstances should anyone who operates ventilators in hospitals be silenced if they notice that a particular provider's ventilators do not function viably, or considerably underperform in any key way. This may occur if a company that does not usually produce ventilators is required by a government to produce ventilators. I.e. an oversight could occur even if an attempt is made to copy. This is moreover more likely to occur if design variants are hastily attempted. Especially if this involves cost-cutting by people who are either not qualified to risk-analyse ventilator design variants, or who are but are silenced by their bosses who are not.


IV.8 Germany as a role model

Germany is the model for now of avoid defenses for new viral pandemics; avoid defenses are moreover very often the strongest défenses.

It is suggested that 'national defense' should include having at least as many hospital beds and ventilators per person as Germany currently has.

Germany's main avoidance defense is mass testing; at present (April 6), the UK government's public advice concurs with mass-testing being desirable and a short-term aim.

"When the government’s mathematicians modelled figures from Italy and showed that 30% of people admitted to hospital ended up in intensive care, they warned the government that the NHS would be overwhelmed. The government backtracked within three days" (Anthony Costello, The Guardian, April 3 2020)

Backtracked, that is, from herd immunity rather than enforcing social distancing and shutdown of non-essential workplaces-and-retailers.

IV.9 Relevant parameters for respiratory masks [June 18 2020]

0 Material composition

0.1 material thickness 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mm

0.1 flexibility 1, 3, 5 '80g paper sheet folding'

0.2 weave structure mesh and weave aren't same thing. Diamond weave, with lesser angle strictly greater than 0 degrees but smaller than 90 degrees

0.21 mesh size. 95 - Removes 95% of 0.15 micron radius upward particles, 99 obvious ditto, 100 stands for 99.7% ditto: So 100's are safer but not safe.

One reason for 0.15 micron relevance: this virus is roughly 0.1 microns, and travels enveloped in water. Its body (spikes ignored) however, is more like half this size, and the virus' effective size in a mesh/filter context is rather probably this smaller number, due to combination of flexible spokes and not being totally neutralized by partial spoke loss in passing through a mesh.

Q1 What would it take to block all fixed-sized particles?

Q2 What about drops passing through multiple pores before reforming on other side?

To Q1: `all' is very weakly bounded by quantum tunnelling probability; quantum effects generally negligible above 1 nm, with exp suppression factor.

0.2a ridge structure

0.2a.1 Ridge width and depth 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mm each

0.2a.2 Side of mask exhibiting ridges: outer, inner, both

0.2a.3 spacing between ridges

0.2a.4 ridge's own mesh shape: diamond, hexagonal, irregular

0.2a.5 Ridge clustering: on edges, on central bands, horizontal, vertical or diagonal emphasis, and how these clusters themselves form a yet larger mesh. Descriptions of cloth mesh, ridge mesh and ridge clustering include the symmetry group with some molecule/wallpaper/crystallographic addenda to the abstract group involving how the group acts in space relevant, for instance reflection versus inversion for the 2-group

0.2.a.6 Ridged frame rigidity, ridged cluster's large scale rigidity.

0.2.a.7 Flap of the cloth relative to the ridges, and bend of the ridges relative to the ridge clustering

0.3 mask softeness Relative abrasion: it versus skin

In case of there being inner ridges, abrasion of those, and coating material of ridges. This permits the ridge to be hard and yet not abrasive, provided that coat wear timescale is negligible compared to stated service time of the mask.

0.4 mask in an unallergic material

Polyester allergy is a thing, but many masks are in cotton or linen.

Allergies to textiles are quite often for secondary reasons like dyes, glues, or 'formaldehyde finishing resin'. Some can be avoided, and other such can be stated on mask packet under 'possible allergies'.

0.5 mask a hostile environment for germs, especially viruses.

The Independent say that linen is good in this regard. But is it optimal and what variety is there in linen, both antiseptically and as regards other properties on this list?

[Some surface types and material types have smaller half-lives than others] well documeted for metal and plastic, but what about for cloth?

0.6 mask waterproofness

0.7 effective mesh size when mask is wet. can a mask being wet enhance transmission across the mask of droplets, even if these just drip off the mask rather than being propelled away from the person?

0.8 spongicity: weight ratio of absorbed water to dry mask. Masks may be a bit too 2-d to exhibit this like a sponge. But 2-d can still trap drops even if these bulge or 'surface-run' relatve to a mask's thickness. Experiment: water up a mask, compare with an old sponge: old enough that it's ok to make a thin slice of it as an interpolatory model.

0.9 Oil resistance, settings N - Not oil resistant, R - Resistant to oil, P - Oil Proof

This will have a different 'spongicity' due to different capillary constant and different cohesion properties

And what happens if a mask gets oily/greasy and wet at the same time? (These two materials repell each other, so does one largely adhere to the mask and drive the other one out?)

1 Unfolded

1.1 size, as quantified by area.

1.2 Unfolded shape: elongation ratio of rectangle. change in ridge separation and ridge clustering in unfolding

2. Straps

2.1 unstretched length

2.2 elasticity thesp mask elastic, reinforced elastic, inelastic (tie-able)

2.3 yielding strain

should be yield stress, or proof yield stress, meaning some percentage departure from Hooke-linearity far away from catastrophic material failure: Has value above zero. Stress = force/area and area is poorly estimated at home for the cross section of a string. But the mask has no problems taking 3 Newtons of force. One older mask will have weights hung from it iteratively, from 100 g to up to 5 kg if necessary. If the elastic does not deform under pinching, callipers are a tool for assessing width; if multiple directions' width coincides, the thread is circular cross section so area = pi x (width)^2/4

Update: an old £1 multipack mask exhibited proof strain for 5 newtons, and broke for 15 Newtons but not for 10 Newtons. So iterate between 10 and 15 Newtons for further precision. Its string was 0.2 by 0.3 mm elliptic, so use pi ab with a = 0.15 and b = 0.1. Remembering that the experimental configuration worked against two parallel copies of the cross section, this gives 1.5 x 10^8 Newtons per metre squared.

Observing the damage, the string is still functionally elastic with the same Hooke coefficient, so this ripped out the string's attachemnt to the mask rather than snapping the string. Thus the max value is used above, as a lower bound. And, at least for this mask type, mask-string attachment is a more critical parameter than yield stress of the string itself. Conclusion: the string is good enough to warrant invesitaging if attachement sewing length is proportionate to mask breakdown yield stress. This mask only has 0.4 mm of stitching per elastic-cloth contact point. Also, there is a sense in which the elastic, not the thread, failed, in that the much thinner tread shredded through the elastic at the given tension. Thicker thread would exert less pressure, and different threading pattern could support it differently. The mask easily has room for 5 to 10 times the stich-length at these contact points. Of course, other components such as the cloth or the elastic could fail if this threading were used so as to withstand 100-150 N.

A further question is what in an urban day is at all likely to cause 3 to 15 Newton forces to act on the mask. If these are already very unlikely, reinforcing the elastic-cloth threading would not be much of a priority...

2.4 static and dynamical sags due to each of gravity, motion relative to air, and brushing against other fabrics. The first was negligible for the above mask. For the second, suspend from a fixed rigid frame and expose to wind, observing sideways-on. Sag is probably not the best quantifier of mask-other fabrics interaction. Relative inertia and relative abrasion are. Scarves, coats... are 1 to 3 orders of magitude heavier, though a jointed lamina model has only some folds of a scarf, or say the coat lapel component interact. Even these are 1 or 2 orders of magnitude heavier.

We leave it to someone else to see extrent to which fabric relative abrasiveness has an analogue of geology's Mohs scale for which mineral-or-rock scratches which other.

3 Range of possible unfurled mask shapes

3.1 Model the head as an ellipsoid: 2 independent ratios of eigendirections.

3.2 Volume of the nose 10 cm^3 in an adult but 1 cm^3 in a baby, using volume of below tetrahaedron

3.3 tetrahaedron model of nose shape: 2 independent ratios of eigendirections.

3.3.1 timescale of steaming up of glasses 5 seconds

Some surface coatings for glasses are anti-steaming. Practical value of such coatings goes up during respirator pandemics

3.3.2 timescale of which vapour circulates out of glasses. 30 seconds, at 20 degrees C temperature and middling atmospheric humidity

3.4 Quantification of top gaps triangles of area 3 x 1/2 /2 = 3/4 cm^2 each

3.5 Quantification of side gaps Multiple trapeziums with total area not in excess of above top gaps

3.4.1 and 3.5.1 by area of gaps

3.4.2 and 3.5.2 by solid angle subtended by gaps Solid angle is hard to quantify in the vicinity of the nose and mouth: around a 10 cm uncertainty on where the centre is. That said, view the mask as covering half the field. It is 18 by 10 cm, whereas the above gaps are not in excess of 4 x 3/4 = 3 cm^2. So the proportion not covered is around 1 in 60. Half the field is 2 pi steradians. 1 in 60 of this is thus pi/ 30 approx 0.1 steradians.

3.4.3 and 3.5.3 by slit ratio length/width for each gap. This is 6 for the above top gaps, and more like 1 for each side gap.

4 Mask folds: determine how the mask unfurls.

4.1 Fold number This mask has 8 horizontal folds

4.2 average width of fold 1 cm

4.3 top margin to mask height ratio 0.14 of the unfurled centre-circumference fraction

4.4 bottom margin ditto 0.3 ditto

4.5 folds up versus folds down: the thicker margin is meant for the chin but the mask doesn't tell you this, at least not visibly.

Idea: temporarily print instructions on some free mass-distributed masks.

Idea: have extensively printed training masks for children (and newcomers, in the event of only some countries doing this, or in the event of social distancing being tied muc more to urban than rural life).

5 Clip component

5.1 Clip material what type of plastic? Any point to plastic-coated metal?

5.2 clip length 4 cm arclength

5.3 Parametrization of equilibrium clip shape Bezier curve through 3 points gets a better fit than the thickness of the clip material

5.4 pressure exerted by clip on face enough to leave a mark, but socks do that too. Less pressure than glasses supports exert. This might be sorted out by the clip being broader face-side, as supporting glasses is somewhat more strenuous and yet works better (more engineering experience, customer feedback at this point in time)

6 Deformation of mask due to presence of clip. It can permanently bend the upper support wire on the above mask. This is an example of above 'grid rigidity', though only for one unmeshed wire. The mask has no lower wire, but also has top and bottom thicker cloth support, serving also as anchorage for the elastic. This material did not tear when the 15 Newton force ripped the elastic out.

6.1 Suppression factor on 3.3.1 from using a clip component.

7 Wearing a ringed second layer to eliminate side gaps (top gaps are to first approximation taken care of by the nose clip)

Ring width, ring thickness, ring mass

8 Alteration of respiratory emission

8.1 Effect on average range The hand detects hot air forward at 5 cm with the mask, but 40 cm without

A mirror detects condensation 5 cm forward with but 20 cm forward without.

Q: But is this condensation of externally present vapour?

Partial-A: I get condensation with a mechanical blower, so this bathroom does have vapour pressure capable of condensing upon applying a heat-and-advection source.

Q: But that does not give a proportion of external to internal origin droplets.

Partial A: True, but it is a bathroom. So it has more vapour pressure than elsewhere in the house. So I repeat with a portable mirror in the bathroom and then compare the amount of vapour generated with positions elsewhere in the house and outdoors on a windless day. This reveals that my bathroom indeed has more vapour pressure. To test this further, one could assemble a sealed off 'dry room' with plenty of dessicant, and see if the mirror reveals any vapour now. But this is a tougher level of lab conditions than using a mirror as a detector, so by this point the mirror would likely be replaced by a more sensitive instrument as well.

Also the range difference of condensation in the bathroom - a factor of 8 - gives some bounds on the effect of the mask on expelled breath speed once across the mask. This acts by slamming the nascent vortices. Dissipating these produces heat; I can detect hotter air on the other side of the mask using a bath thermometer. This is frictional heating in the mask locally exceeding body temperature prior to quite rapid onset of cooling due to difference with ambient temperature. It feels very different to the hand: advective cooling without the mask to immersion in fairly stationary hot air upon rapidly breathing through the mask. The physics is too complicated for this range reduction quantification to be better than order-of-magnitude, so we say range of breath, and of heat carried by breath, is down by 1 order of magitude.

Neither method detects anything coming out of the back or side gaps.

8.2 Effect on droplet size spectrum

8.2.1 Fluid-mechanical to significantly kinetic-theoretical ratio of output, by volume.

8.3 Effect on solid-angle distribution of emission (2 continuous parameters: polar and azimuth)

In the above experiment, the aperture of the breath goes from around 20 degrees without the mask to more like 40 degrees with it. Solid area wise, this is a factor of 4 change. The idea that breath comes out of top or side gaps is debunked, at least to leading order of magnitude. Enough to condense one's glasses is not the same as a significant proportion of the whole.

The effect on coughing is not home measurable: no visible extras come out through the mask this way. A rough estimate then is that breath has 5 to 10 times less range but twice the usual width to that range, while blocking all large droplets. This comfortably lies within 1m social distancing, while the maskless version requires the full 2m.

A counterpoint is that people moving unexpecetedly crash into each other quite frequently at separations of 1 metre. They do not at 3 metres even under making large independent dodges such as avoiding hails of nerf darts. 400 hours of 6-person on average combat saw zero same-team collisions when formation width was 3 metres minimum. This places a weak bound at 3 metres for not bumping into each other.

The next stage here is people ot bumping into each other from 3 metres apart down to 1 metre apart, under the conditions of: walking only, only dodging people, and, a it more strenuously, taking evasive action in the presence of nearby unmasked coughers. The range of a cough being around 2 metres limits how far one would dodge in a 1 metre separation context: around 1 metre. The problem with this is the possible presence of a second person at 1 metre as well as the cougher. A 1 metre dodge in a random direction from a cough could cause of one to crash into a such. At 2 metres social distancing separation, on the other hand, there isn't much of a need to dodge coughing in the first place, and a freedom to dodge 1 metre is present, by oneself being the only person within 1 metre. Now you might bump someone else's outer circle, while not yourself coughing, but this is different from a contact bump in the 1 m social distancing setting.

It is rather plausible that 2 metres is sufficient for the above to work in open space.

It needs to be tested whether people bumping into each other round opaque corners is a bigger source of collisions than people dodging 1 metre while other people may be within 1 metre of them.

Tactics can be evoked to improve both moreover: cut corners wide versus maintain awareness of who is near you. The latter requires more tactics: maintain 360 degree vision, or pre-emptively avoid areas with current or near-future pile-ups. 360 vision is most easily maintained (on the short run) by rocking the head (the shaking head 'no' sign so as to regularly update on 360 degree surroundings rather than just the forward range of vision, which is somewhat less than half of the 360 degree field). 360 vision is easier to maintain still by a coordinated pair, since by looking in opposite directions almost all the field of vision is covered. Carrying a large reflection surface like a transparency pinned on a hand-held folder creates a giant rear-view mirror. This has three advantages over rocking. 1) on the long run it does not strain the neck. 2) it maintains forward vision at all time, by splitting the forward field into a relevant forward field and a lower down square tilted slightly upward that reflects the backward field. 3) It looks less agitated; most people won't be able to tell you are doing this, unless it is useful enough to become common knowledge. This folder trick done well requires understanding what part of the backward field your own body obstructs, to be dealt with by keeping the folder at say half arm's length away from your body. Its disadvantages are that you need a prop. And a waterproof folder that maintains flat shape well. The attachment needs to be waterproof. You have one hand less, which lowers capacity to carry shopping. This is doubly a problem if you need to use an umbrella, though using velcro permits such a folder and an umbrella to be held as a single attached object in one hand.

The tactics of using 3 or more hands while only having two are e.g. thus more relevant in a pandemic than at other times. Another example is puttingthe umbrella strap around your wrist when it is about to rain, so you are ready to unfurl the umbrella but right until then have two free hands. A further example is that latex gloves to avoid contagion tear. So one cannot carry heavy shopping with the hand one uses to push doors etc. So one wants to be able to stack light, non-tearing capacities onto the gloved hand's wrist. A yet further example is that catching on zips tears latex gloves, by which looking for your keys in your pocket can cost you a glove (possibly the last one you are carrying). This can be dealt with by wearing one's keys round one's neck: a hands-free access. This can be repeated with the rear vision folder: by using a clipboard on a loop that can be suspended round the neck or a shoulder when not in use, freeing the hand holding it. Perhaps with time, specialized approx 30 x 20 cm rear vision rectangles that are light, rigid, antiwet, and safe to collide against will become available, with adjustable strap to be shoulder or neck mounted when not in immediate use.

While ipads and phones are reflective also, they work in a lesser band of light intensities only, and require training to use as rear-mirrors (whereas the above 30 x 20 screens do not require training). Training is a function of area of the device, as well as of remembering to use it; unlike a car rear vision mirror, it isn't always rigidly present and thus itself a reminder to keep on using it. It takes most people 2 to 10 hours to learn to use an iphone as a rear vision device. This is easier than learning how to drive a car, but harder than any kind of induction or tech update for which a 1-hour class suffices. Those who can juggle, or do magic tricks, can quite often learn this skill faster.

(It is a substantially useful skill in toy weapons fighting because it eliminates being surprised from behind. In the absence of this trick, attacks from behind are responsible for around 25 percent of people being knocked out of battles, and as much as 70 percent of people being knocked out of open-terrain melees. The competing sources of demise are ambush round a corner, outnumber, and leave without space to manoeuvre in. Open terrain has no ambush round a corner component, and much less scope for leave without space to manoeuvre in, ie only 360 encircle rather than trap against a wall, back into a corner etc. While a veteran and a beginner can easily form a 360 vision pair in a big or many-sided battle, knowing and using the 360 vision mirror trick permits veterans to be much more unkillable in roles such as scout, skirmisher or guerrila. It is also a fallback option for when a veteran's newbie partner or squad is wiped out. Becuase of these things, some dozens of us here know this mirror trick, to the extent that we can reasonably reliably say that it takes most people 2 to 10 hours to learn this trick to the extent useable with a smaller-screen device in the pandemic cough-avoiding scenario.)

This can be experimented upon to some extent by coughing in a mask while lying down, to see if visible droplets land on the floor. None observed with the naked eye.

And also using a quality-silver handmirror to detect condensation, varying its position with angle. This method can be used to detect breath, by which it can be used to plot out solid angle not covered by a mask. This depends on mask type, face shape and whether a second ring and/or a clip are used. While that is a large parameter space, it is straightforward to sample with low point number and yet adapting the point distribtion to where there is action, e.g. sampling iteratively, and then cluster sampling around where action is observed, by which seeing 90 degree but not 80 or 100 degree emission results in probing 85, 95, 82.5, 92.5, which (this is hypothetical) seeing action results in iterating outward to find the edge of action and then sampling at every 0.2 degrees in the range of action. Note: the mirror is wide enough to get all this on, this is basically centring your instrument on an active direction. This is because handmirrors are around 7 cm across, and vapour detection is a '20 cm range' phenomenon, so basic trig yields that a 5 degree width beam lands entirely on a 3.5 cm radius mirror centred about the beam.

8.4 Further effect on previous 4 of nose clip

8.5 Further effect on previous 4 of ringed second layer.

8.6 Drip transmission rate across mask when mask is wet.

9 Extent to which one can breathe out of the mask

9.1 Oxygen influx

9.2 Carbon dioxide outflux

[Note: this is molecular mass 32 to 44. The material properties of a standard mask are unlikely to distinguish between these, or nitrogen, or, for that matter water vapour. This suggests that aerosol water will get out, but it can't carry viruses attached to it: that needs a droplet bigger than the virus, and the mesh size, material thickness can stop that.]

9.3 equilibrium vapour pressure inside mask compartment are there cheap gauges small enough to fit inside a mask fro testing purposes?

9.3.1 effect on breathing efficiency of this vapour pressure.

Measurement: test subject runner is losing 2/3rds of running range due to this effect, citing it as similar to 'wet suffocating air as sometimes experienced in rainforests' Timescale of dispersal of water vapour from mask (amounting to 'taking a pit-stop with mask off in absense of passers-by) 1 second Timescale on which a runner needs to make pitstops so as to not appreciably lose running range. 5 to 10 minutes Average speed loss if a standard cyclist performs same manoeuvre (the runner is barely affected by the manoeuvre: several seconds loss of arm momentum) 20 seconds per stop at fast speed, 10 at cruising speed

10 Effect of facial hair on mask performance.

9.1 Beard length

9.2 Beard hair flexibility

9.3 Beard density Effective beard volume within the area covered by the mask would appear to be more relevant than any of the previous 3

9.4 Beard hair curl (parametrized by helical ratio).

[Experiment called for: investigate exactly how a beard affects statics, and then dynamics, of mask wearing.

Experiment called for: since some people have strong reasons not to shave their beards, whether second ring type approaches can stabilize the overall mask, and downward fluxes in the presence of a beard.

9.3 Moustache to beard affectedness ratio (moustaches are on the whole smaller, but would largely be within the mask and on some occasions might support side-gaps in mask as well). Within the previous bold insert, tache and/or beard distinction is not relevant

Measuring affectedness by gap area, by solid angle, by air flux, by water flux, and by fluid and kinetic fractions of water flux (the last 2 amount to only one independent parameter).

9.4 Extent of facial obscuration.

Some level of this may be illegal, or elsewise trigger security. Nation by nation law dependent

Some levels, or particular parts of face being obscured, may affect the extent to which a (partially) deaf person can understand a mask wearer. The Independent points to a transparent ask manufacturer already existing. But does steaming up still prevent the mouth from being visible enough?

Note: second ring and beard effects.

10 Affixion modifications.

10.1 E.g. scarves can be made to stay in place using clothing pins to link them or freeze in certain folds.

This refers to how a second ring can be made to cover a mask, not to altering a mask's properties by putting a clothing pin through part of the mask itself.

10.2 It is suggested that masks like todays' may develop rims which are either elastic face fitting or have untearable but pierceable attachment points.

10.3 It is suggested that mask to second ring connections are most effective if rims contain velcro attachment points and second rings contain antivelcro attachments. In this configuration, deployed in the field, the larger second rings cannot grate on the mask. In this configuration, multipack masks could grate on each other, so should be packed with antivelcro over their velcro. It may help for this antivelcro to be in a useable form, e.g. with a sewable back, by which it could be sewn onto the parts of a scarf being used to make a second ring. This way, antivelcro patches would be as common as the velcro masks they bind to.

10.4. More expensive packs of masks could alternate between masks and lightweight second rings with antivelcro already sewn on.

11 Extent of combinability of mask wearing with religious dress.

If a person wears religious face-obscuring dress, some versions of this dress may already block top and side emissions.

Versions may in this context refer here to subtle differences in type of fabric, or shape or tightness of cloth around very specific areas of the face, such as around the cheeks or just under the nose, rather than to religious-dress-type-or-meaning significance.

12 If there is a filter component, it will have a separate list of parameters.

Like filter volume, differential capacity to filter things of different molecular weights, tighness of fit, method of removal, e.g. if unscrewing how many turns it needs, and what intial and subsequent lesser steady torque is needed. It may also have a catch so as to not accidentally unscrew. It has a mass, its own grid size, and both grid material and internal chemical material may be significant as regards what it filters out.

Answers like 'paint fumes', 'chemical fumes more generally' or 'smoke' are not totally irrelevant, as it could be a work mask for essential maintenance, for assembling/disassembling field hospitals and equipment, for the fire brigade, or for detoxification.

Finally, some masks have two filters rather than one: one to either side. This could include a system for replacing one while the other remains in operation, which confers a type of strategic durability and work efficiency that single-filter model ones do not possess.

The extent to which the filter fits is relevant, as is the lifetime of any screw or clip-on mechanism. Toy weapons analogues have been known to have screwcap failure on 30 to 60 hours of use timescale and/or 200 to 300 screw, unscrew sequences. Though being gentle with changing movable parts' configurations can substantially improve lifelength, and some screwcap fails were due to 20 cm long 1-kilo mass moments about the screwcap causing various kinds of mechanical failure, while all parts of a respiratory mask are lightweight.

Remark: the following groups are used to wearing fixed-position face or head coverings, including as regards rough weather durability and fast motion durability and in some cases as regards quickly changing between outfits without affecting the display.

1) Actors

2) Wearers of religious dress

3) Cancer patients

4) Trans* people

5) Anonymous people

6) Undercover agents

Studies of how most of these groups robustly maintain face or head coverings are available, alongside matters such as how to notice something's askew, how to deploy/undeploy efficiently, and necessary upkeep. Representatives of 1), 4) and 5) have already reported for duty

13 Goggle component

Some respiratory masks contain a such.

This has thickness, transparency, surface polish, inner and outer surface material, refractive index, scale of imperfection, hardness, bending strain resistance and shatter-proof resistance.

Also extent of fit, and its own adjustable elastic strap having elasticity parameters as before (but different-valued of course) as well as buckle/affixation parameters, including static friction, dynamic friction and min lengthscale of adjustability. The goggle unit's mass and internal air volume are also relevant.



V.0 Suggested reading (2nd week of May)

here, here and here.

V.1 Mental Health

More mental health difficulties due to isolation.

More stress due to worrying about getting the virus, being worn out from recovering from the virus, and worrying about loved ones who have the virus.

More stress from not being able to see friends, lack of human contact, being cut off physically from family and partners.

More worries about the future, out of this now being a more uncertain and unpredictable place.


V.2 Unemployment and Poverty

This is especially for those with zero hours contract, gig economy jobs, self-employed, made unemployed, or who were already unemployed.

Zero hours contract and gig economy jobs may not translate to online versions, and even if they do, customers, advertising, operating are all different, as may be hourly rates, or what proportion of that profession remains viable under the circumstances.

Unemployment benefits, disability allowance etc might also cease to cover what it used to, as food becomes scarcer and costlier, and bills go up through being at home all day.

This depends in part on whether these costs outweigh transport costs


V.3 Food Poverty

E.g. that eating enough calories can still cause malnutrition, and that some of the cheapest available foods have excess calories, causing obesity.

Also some essential nutrient sources may become scarce. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an example: the source of the merely metastable vitamin C. (Meaning that non-fresh versions of vitamin C containing foods gradually lose their vitamin C content over time).

Question 8 which vitamin C sources neither go off nor appreciably lose their itamin-C content over a 4 to 6 month lockdown period?

Calcium, proteins and vitamin D are other examples.


V.4 Domestic Violence

Increases with isolation, whenever in the same place as an abuser.

Escape routes from abuse are also cut.

As are possibilities for telling friends/anonymous listeners/support groups about it without leaving an electronic trail or a phone call log.

Being able to move to a shelter other than one's home without having to say why

This is viewed as essential for people trapped in Domestic Violence (less than 1 in 20 of whom will be willing to say that's what the matter is to the authorities). This is also useful to people with Mental Health issues, or Closetedness issues, or whose families stigmatize them for being e.g. Trans*. Not having to say why an alternative shelter is required is key to most of these people being able to move to safety.

* provide internal links to Survivor pages *

* Mention further issues with child abuse, like not being able to leave home for another place of shelter without saying why, as well as quite possibly not knowing what to do to get away form the place of abuse


V.5 Housing for the Homeless

This includes understanding that a fairly large proportion of Homeless People may prefer being homeless to

a) having any interaction with abusive individuals.

By which this procedure absolutely cannot involve any obligatory gatekeepers. It must always be possible for a homeless person to say: I need a different person to interact with if you are going to house me.

b) To participating in bureaucracy.

By which it is essential that if any paperwork is required, there are people at hand to supply this if the homeless person specifies 'no filling in of forms'. Such paperwork should also be minimalized, especially as regards anything that the homeless person needs to state. It should not require the homeless people having documents, since being homeless is a setting in which such can be lost or stolen. Also having to run away from home may mean having no papers, and this may also be the case if running away from pimps or gangmasters.


V.6 Theft and black markets

Items affected by this may come to include food, essential food, medicine, protective gear, survival gear, and other items relevant to mid and long term consequences.


V.7 Public patience


V.8 Public unity


V.9 Excessive force by law enforcement and/or excessive fines and penalties

This may damage public patience and public unity, leading to civil disobedience including to social distancing, curfews, or forming orderly queues.

This may also form a positive-feedback loop of escalation: if the public retaliate, law enforcement may strike back harder, and so on.



As a large safer space, we here have the means to provide a support network for those of us who interact electronically with the society.

We can provide Kindly Notes, Silly Notes, and brief not-in-person participation activities such as chain-writing. We are very experienced in providing such activities. (Thousands of organizer hours, including mapping out all substantial variants: chain-draw, chain-draft, chain-create, chain-critique, chain-worldbuild and so on. We even have the means of chain-building things out of lego via suggesting where to add or swap bricks.) This expertise and facilities are here because some of the people in these safer spaces only interact in this way. % They thus have had a lot of time and care and thought for these things.

We cannot under the present conditions provide cake or physical notes. Baking is suspended, Scouty (Surprise Delivery Faeries) is suspended, Duelling is suspended, and any other kind of gathering of five or more people is suspended. Plus most of us aren't currently in residence.

In a not-in-person manner, Listeny CakeFaeries remains open. Aside from lighter-hearted activities for briefly taking our minds off things, you can write to a Listeny CakeFaerie. You are also welcome to proofread for, or contribute further, safer space awareness webpages, and safer space art.

* Add internal links *


VIII.1 The present position (April 4 2020)

This is as follows.

Those parts of the world that have the means to flatten the curve will do so in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

"Assessing how much the rest of the world is infected will also be necessary"

This will lead to

"expeditionary forces of mixed medical and armed service personnel being sent elsewhere to help flatten the curve.

We have to hope that offers of such (or demands for admission by such) do not cause wars.

If this works out, famines will be avoided on the medium term.

If it does not, then some hot-spots will have a) collapsed medical and political systems followed by famine, civil war or invasion by non-humanitarian neighbouring armies, in some order.

If a part of the world cannot avoid mass infection and declines intervention, it will be quarantined off long term.

Airdrops of food and medical supplies may still be possible.

Anywhere with a civil war or an invasion, however, will not be accessible by air drops.

(Whether by theft of airdrops by armies or by danger to over-flying aircraft.)

Anywhere with enough of a civil war or an invasion will not be quarantinable by immediate neighbours due to armed conflicts not respecting borders.

This could spark regional wars, turn civil wars into invasions and so on.

Whenever war happens, at least most world leaders and some of the population remembers what secondary problems wars cause.

They just did not expect to see pestilence in the West ever again after the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919.


VIII.2 The 3 Horsemen of the Apocalypse

We will be shortly outlining (some of the other) ways in which all three of these horsemen of the apocalypse: war, famine and pestilence, tend to cause each other (and different types of the same, like one plague causing another, or one war setting off another war).

In this way, the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse are not just a story, but rather a strong historical correlation backed up with some fairly clear mechanisms for causing each other.


VIII.4 Future Government Budgets

Others of us will instead analyse medium-term consequences, such as mental health, and loss of income for people who cannot get by with a sudden loss of income.

It is suggested that free health services be available to all people in all countries from now on.

This will require a larger proportion of government revenue to go to health services.

This proportion might, to begin with, be comparable in size to military budget. This comes from coming to view pestilence as a comparable-sized problem to war.

The 'no more pandemics' bubble has now burst, in the since that quickly-fatal condition pandemics are back. As are, at least temporarily, pandemics for which no vaccines (Flu) or effective drugs (AIDS) are available

By this, budgeting health services comparably to militaries may be reasonable.

Especially while catching up is needed. On the longer run, however, hospitals and medical technology goes out of date less quickly than say fighter planes or tanks. This is since differential tech advantage is considerably less relevant in dealing with pandemics. So e.g. fighter planes may duel each other, but ventilators do not. So medical kit will not need upgrading as often (provided that it is built and stored with long-term non-perishability in mind).


We are not a medical service.

Or a geopolitical analysts' service (though in this latter respect, we are fairly apt and experienced, at least somewhat beyond what 'might be expected' of Cambridge graduates).

This is said in the light of there being much wrong information out there, as well as there being far more than usual new information which is (or looks like it may be) of public interest.

This webpage is building a menu. Menus involve a choice of dishes rather than everybody eating everything on the menu. Different people in different places may choose different dishes. It is thus not in any way relevant if you find items on our menu that do not suit you. The menu attempts to find enough alternatives that there is something there for everybody.

We do not consent to being quoted, linked or credited until 10 years after our date stamp. So take freely from here but only in your own words, and if you care to credit people, add credits in April 2030 for our April 2020 articles and so on.


A. Recalling and Commenting on Anti-harassment work by the Ada Initiative

Conference anti-harassment policy

Inspired by multiple reports of groping, sexual assault, and pornography at open tech/culture conferences, the Ada Initiative helped write and promote an example conference anti-harassment policy for modification and reuse by conference organizers.

Since the publication of the example anti-harassment policy in late 2010, hundreds of conferences have adopted an anti-harassment policy, many of them based on the example policy.

Several organizations have adopted a policy for all their events, including the Linux Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Python Software Foundation.

So one can say, look, Linux and Python have this at all events, so it exists. But some opponents may still try to argue 'but we have no harassers here...'. What to do about this?

Why write a sample policy?

1) We noticed some patterns in harassment at conferences (aided by the timeline of sexist incidents in geek communities):

Often, the individual doing the harassing, groping or showing of pornography honestly believed that their behavior was acceptable for the venue.

Just as often, many other people agreed with them, including many instances of doing so on the record.

2) People who saw these incidents didn’t know how to respond to these incidents or weren’t sure who to report them to.

3) * Conference organizers sometimes didn’t learn about an incident until long after it happened. * : this gives fair indication of the disingenuity of dismissing older claims, or of insinuating that if real they would have been raised immediately, and/or that a given activity's organizer at the point in time when the harassment occurred would know about it if it were true...

4) When they did find out in time to take action, they often didn’t know how to respond to the incident.

The Ada Initiative looked at these facts and figured it might help if conference organizers had an easy way to do the following.

A) Educate attendees in advance that specific behaviors commonly believed to be okay (like groping, pornography in slides, etc.) are not acceptable at this conference.

B) Tell attendees how to report these behaviors if they see them, and * assure them they will be treated respectfully if they do so * : this gives precedent, in addition to reason, for doing so.

Have established, documented procedures for how the conference staff will respond to these reports.

Objection: But conference organizers are very busy people, and might not have the time to write a policy from scratch?

Our response is that this not seen as a valid excuse, since it is a failure of duty of care.

Simply copying and using a policy (and directions for how to implement it, noting that policies themselves often do not specify this!), then probably many more conferences would have a policy.

There is also a loophole here as regards whether the conference organizers have power, control or status issues.

And another that some conference organizers could themselves be abusers or faciliators.

The Ada Initiative's idea worked (at least in the mid-2010s) with hundreds of conferences use a policy derived from their sample policy.

Analysis to look into: but how many institutionally-separate exemplars does this cover?

Resources for implementing anti-harassment policies

The Geek Feminism Wiki includes detailed instructions for advocating for and implementing an anti-harassment policy.

The second line of defense they offered here was an email and phone hotline. This has however long ceased to be in service. November 2015 is an estimated date for that closure.

Another issue with such hotlines is that, at least among our own communities here, there is close to a 0% figure as regards raising issues in any form that leaves an electronic trail. Even what few of us don't do that consider contacting a hotline itself to be placing a valued ally in danger, which at least from a material point of view, could well leave us needing several hundred hours of replacement ally finding, gradual trust, and training for the new ally. And that's for contacting a service that most onlookers would think 'is on our side'.

B. Survivors are not cannon fodder

Most survivors are not at all interested in being activsts, rather, they are interested in remaining safe, and making things harder for abusers. This need not at all equate to confronting one's own abuser, which some survivors might well not be able to live through.

Other ways a Survivor can improve Survivor matters without endangering themselves include talking in general about the healing process. Talking to a limited extent about personal security (limited so as to not start an 'arms race' with abusers). Describing patterns noted in abuser behaviour. Possible red flags, common modus operandi etc.

Some survivors spend most of our lives after attacks systematically studying personal security and how to recognize and avoid abusers. How dare somebody with between a few and a few dozen hours of 'training' presume they know more about this than those whose lives depend every day on their knowing about this. Let alone some celebrity or politician with a bee in their bonnet rather than any such training

So yes, survivors often spend thousands of sleepless nights on the internet learning about psychopaths and how they lie and threaten and hide in plain sight. Or thousands of sleepless nights researching on the mental wounds experienced by survivors of rape, and how these are not the only people with such psychiatric injuries. For instance the nonconsensual sadist also deliberately causes such, from a position of the public and the law do not yet knowing enough about other despicable acts. Finally, one learns that the serial workplace bully very often uses the same lies and threats that the rapist does (indeed some individuals do both, though some others try very hard to keep their badly hurting others 'within the letter of the law').

C: The first key point about abusive people

The first key point about about abusive people is that they occur in every walk of life. The abuse is moreover always similar, but the majority of people are too distracted by details of the walk of life to notice this. Also people affected very widely fail to check whether it happens in other walks of life.

So for instance people by and large fail to compare school bullying and workplace bullying. Some use the existence of the former to rubbish the existence or seriousness of the latter, whereas clearly it is the latter than is far worse, out of the bullies being more experienced and the stakes higher. It is then entirely logical by extrapolation to see that there is student on student bullying at uni between the two, as well as cross-abuse between communities in contact with each other. Doctors bullying nurses, doctors bullying patients, nurses bullying patients, nurses bullying doctors... Likewise, many professions have this. Business has it, as indeed does the medical profession and the teaching profession. These cases have been documented as a byproduct of these being are very large professions.

To people from smaller professions: read these studies and ask yourselves not whether your own profession has this, but what variations of it take place at yours.

There are two types of hurters broadly speaking. Those who hurt because they like hurting, and those who hurt in order to gain advantage. The latter hurt perceived rivals, and look to become gatekeepers and/or to climb up the chain of management to make themselves immune from being challenged or fired, from which position the bullying gets worse.

Also don't necessarily believe those who are supposed to handle such matters: if the boss is a bully, the HR department will have likely been cleansed of anyone who would actually agree with that verdict. The HR department then just serves to find out who the dissidants are so as to eliminate them, all under the cover of 'supposed job descriptions', public misperception that those thus employed have to be benevolent and helpful. Thus one learns that there are at least two models for a business or institution. The one where it functions as it should, based on mutual respect and cooperation. And the one which has been infiltrated and corrupted, which is a toxic environment and in which some individuals' functions are no longer in line with the names of their jobs. So some executive is now in fact in charge of punishment or of keeping the workforce divided so as to subjugate, them and HR are information gathering stooges.

Sometimes also some individuals in such environments exert influence far above their supposed rank. This is based e.g. on blackmail, sexual favours or the use of cronyism or sycophancy as a means of dividing others and/or of ruling. Or of low-ranking members used as secondary bullies who do the actual shouting at people, who are firstly footsoldiers and a distraction from who the truly influential bullies are, and might subsequently be sacrificed as disposeable scapegoats. For indeed, once a work environment is toxic, a large menu of elsewise unusual and poor behaviours can become commonplace, as the hidden order that really run the place entirely separately from the supposed job decriptions. This becomes how these individuals hide in plain sight whenever important outsiders happen to be visiting the office, or on those rare occasions when they are prosecuted for bullying.

Thus do not be surprised in each new walk of life you tread. Some will be toxic, learn to read the subtle signs of this by knowing about toxic environments in general. Then avoid applying for jobs there, avoid standing for society committee elections there. Avoid in particular dating such an individual, leaving your children in their care, or entrusting them with your finances.

D. Why many survivors silently no-contact most groups purporting to deal with Survivors or with Consent

Almost none of our Survivors here want any kind of contact with other local groups purporting to be for Survivors because our Survivors don't feel these groups represent either Avoidant Survivors (ie 85% of Survivors) or Non-Normative Survivors. But anybody daring to raise such a point would very likely be very badly personally attacked indeed. We go by precedent, we know eg that LG groups personally attacked very badly indeed persons asking that there be a Trans Rep in the 90's :( That a suicide prevention LGBT group was very badly attacked in the early 2010's for daring to expand its provisions to suicidal Aces :( That there still has not been a Closeted Rep as part of any "Official LGBT" group at any university in the world, this being the kind of thing that the dominant ideology 'leaves with no space to contemplate'.

How? Well, by e.g. almost always demanding that the X-Rep themselves be Out-X. By not dedicating (almost) any resources to Closeted people. E.g. reps and tutors are only trained in Out-Trans matters, whereas at uni age, 3/4 of Trans people are Closeted (or, say only come Out in 3rd or 4th year, so are Closted during half or more of their time here). This matters because e.g. the ways in which Closet-Trans people are bullied, feel excluded etc are very largely different from those ways in which Out-Trans people are. So what do many of the CakeFaeries hope for? For a gradual increase in people knowing about Ally and Awareness things. By which people start wearing badges about things which they themselves are not. So by AVEN-like means, in a place with more awareness and thoughtfulness than most (Cambridge), doing such as daring to raise the question that there be a Closeted Rep ceases to be dangerous.

And more groups than just us know and use (of their own free will) the methods of Closeted-inclusive welfare. Such as, indeed awareness badges for causes where none of the actual people would wear a 'pride badge' out of not being Out. But also the soc's emails being 10% dedicated to the closeted readership (unlike CUSU's or any college's welfare officer's emails). We think it might still happen in our lifetimes that *counselling* involve 10% of contact time be dedicated to, no assumptions made, the statistical average of all the ways the person might be closeted, stating that everybody gets this as a default as the 20%? who need it need it far more badly than the other 80% don't need it. Moreover, even if they don't need it, they virtually certainly have closeted friends and neighbours and relatives.

The Avoidant and Non-Normative Survivors are in a similar boat. Avoidant Survivors have circumstantial advantage: the dominant ideology (in unis, ie Left) acknowledges 85% of Survivors don't go to the police. The dominant ideology people still don't know (or partly perhaps 'don't admit to knowing') the same 85% (almost exactly) don't go to counsellors or doctors or reps or activists or journalists or... about it either. (Yet our group already knew to be the case in the 90's, but was a totally unsafe topic to raise with anybody outside of the Cakefaeries' ancestral safer space groups.) This means we've had a much stronger concept of Avoidant Survivor for 20 years than the current world has now. And yet the current world *does* have a concept of Avoidant Survivor, by which Avoidant Survivor Awareness badges don't have an immense mountain of ignorance and prejudice to climb over.

Non-Normative Survivors largely don't have this fortune. For one thing, we are a very diverse tribe. This includes: Male Survivors. Survivors of female abusers. LGBT* Survivors, whether or not whose abusers are themselves LGBT*. Survivors whose abuser is a non-consensual sadist. Survivors of things that they, as Kink people, perceive as sexual and did not consent to but the Law does not recognize as such. Survivors of things that they did not perceive as sexual themselves (eg Vanilla people) but which their abuser - a nonconsensual 'kink person' - did.

Among these, some problems are as follows. That only some groups accept or cater for male survivors. E.g. Rape Crisis doesn't (!) That survivors of female abusers almost never turn to female, mostly female or female-led groups. Whether or not these survivors are male, female or nonbinary, cis or trans. That some pro-survivor groups, consent campaigns etc, implicitly (occasionally explicitly) conflate consensual BDSM with abuse. That many LGBT groups remain in denial about some abusers themselves being LGBT. This is especially problematic when done in a 'this doens't happen here' denial as opposed to learning to read the signs, be approachable enough and have complaints procedures that can be used internally without conflict of interest.

That some BDSM/kink/fetish communities are likewise in denial about containing abusers when they actually do. This merits a separate article below.

E. On the four generations so far of Kink

Kink is no monolith. There are in fact now four generations of Kink, which are as follows chronologically.

1) 1960's Leather.

2) Safe-Sane-Consensual (SSC).

3) Risk-Aware-Consensual-Kink (RACK).

4) Then a still globally non-uniformly named one which some call e.g. PRICK, and which the authors of this article a different version of Safety-Aware-Consensual-Kink (SACK).

These generations often largely don't mix. Nor are they stratified by age, being rather ideologies, means of practise, clubs... There can be very bad relations between groups.

For instance, in Leather, one could only join as a Submissive. Which more modern Total Dominants view as a choice between ostracism and abuse, Total Dominants being people who only consent if they are dominant. Some Total Dominants are additionally No Contact people; They (use such capitalized pronouns very often and) don't consent to any physical contact, fully meaning Never touch my arm at any point in life. Not all Non-Contact people are Total Dominants; some are Aces; some are Survivors; some are two or even all three of these things.

SSC state things that are good in many ways. They were perhaps the first group in the world to openly and detailedly conceptualize about Consent... and stress things are to be Safe and Sane. But. Firstly, some Mental Heath People object to this conceptualization's name and notion of "Sane", viewing it as Mental Health exclusionary or erasory. Secondly, there is the Safe versus Safer point, which is the subject of the next article.

F. Differences between Safe Spaces and Safer Spaces

A Safe Space typically declares itself to be safe. Meaning 100% safe. These also often claim to be 100% anonymous when anonymity is mentioned.

However, many safe spaces are 'safe' because anyone who doesn't toe the party line is kicked out, and few members then dare raise any matters contrary to the pre-existing ideology of the group. Moreover, those who do dare raise such issues are very often only the loudest and/or most radical and/or most threatening, popular or 'established' members of the group. Almost no people who aren't political (and Left, and indeed far Left) actually feel safe in such a group. No Avoidant Survivor that we've ever met feels safe in such a place; these see threats and silencings of opposing, new or different views as "Red Flags".

So "100%" safe doesn't exist. Au contraire, many people feel highly unsafe in such places, including out of not daring to raise the issue that they feel unsafe there :S So they leave (or never join) and essentially never dare say why.

"100% anonymous" doesn't exist either. Not putting your name on it (testimonial sites) does not make it anonymous. For other details can be used to infer who it is. Be that "I'm a second year who degraded" and "some feature unknown to the writer to singly specify which college they are at" being enough to narrow it down to only one possible person (this is known as a jigsaw attack). Or that abusers or people who covered up for abusers have extra info to spot if it's their survivor who's writing that and thus daring to do something (this is known as insider information). Or that the person used their own distinctive writing style.

So Safer spaces acknowledges that 100% safe is a myth and 100% anonymous, 100% confidential etc are as well. So e.g. what's very safe for one person or webpage-badge-people isn't for another. Having understood this, different Safer Spaces look to some extent into what makes things safer for whom... How one can work at increasing anonymity. What limits their and others' confidentiality... So Safer Spaces can be approached systematically and improve in how much safer they are over time.

Whether Generation Z will develop a the next entry in this sequence of vulnerable people refuge endeavours remains to be seen.

G. On the four generations so far of Kink. Part 2, having explained Safer Spaces distinctions relative to Safe Spaces

RACK (and Safer Spaces) also largely object to SSC's "Safe" name and concept, out of it not being conducive to question how safe? What is safer than what else? SSC was moreover chosen as a name to combat kinkphobia and kinkshaming in the press. RACK viewed this as prioritizing external image over internal image, as well as not covering all of Kink explicitly. So hence the "Kink" in their name and a reactionary opposite to Safe: not even Safer but Risk-Aware, ie mention of the negative, but also of the calculability: Risks are calculable. One formulation is

Risk = (how probable something is) times (how bad the consequences are).

(Some other circumstances quantify the consequences in terms of such as expected damages.)

N.B. this is all Risks not just some Kink subculture's risks. This is how buisnesses do Risk Analysis, and insurers, conduct rules writers and so on. The COVID pandemic has rendered many students and employees familiar with what at least some basic Risk Analysis looks like.

The fourth generation of Kink involves how to have the best of both worlds: SSC and RACK. These use the more diplomatic press-deflecting and safer space acssociated Safety-Aware instead of Risk. These ditch the "Sane" based on Mental Health complaints and modernized awarenesses. These keep the Consent common to both and the broadest umbrella name: Kink. So: Safety-Aware Consensual Kink :) This of course bears relation to part of how we accommodate our Non-Normative Survivors.

For those wondering, the PR in PRICK stands for 'Personal Risk', the linking I standing for 'Informed'.



-A. Many Survivors react by becoming Ace Spectrum people. This is often a time-dependent Aceness, ie an Acefluidity. Traumatic Acefluidity to be precise. They were Allos before, but after they are triggered, revulsed, unable to form one or both of romantic or sexual ties, often for several years at least, sometimes, perchance permanently (too early to tell).

- Now remember the Ace is LGBT+ versus Ace isn't, and how we resolved it. Almost all of our Traumatic Acefluid Survivors are *utterly terrified* of being rejected as Aces by other Aces, who consider Aceness to be inborn. But, at ours, one's own Aceness is inborn if one considers it to be and is not if one doesn't. Our Traumatic Acefluid Survivors are *not* scared of the Aces in our own Safer Space. This means our Aces are the only onese in the world these people aren't scared of, for now. So these people look for acceptance here first, and maybe only here for a long time to come.

- B Many Survivors, whether or not after a Traumatic AceFluid phase, who become sexually active again, would appear to prefer options within BDSM to Vanilla. BDSM (and even more so Kink) is vastly larger than Vanilla. It permits huge amounts of safeties and varieties, among suitably and very trusted parties. It would appear to be quite typical, at least among our populace, for a person who was nonconsensually overpowered to only subsequently (and very eventually) consent to things where they are Dominant and/or the other person is restrained.

- This requires some very important distinctions which are themselves a sizeable expansion on Ace concepts. BDSM is really BD-DS-SM: bondage-discipline; dominant-submissive, sadism-masochism. The archetype is that some people are dominant-sadistic-disiplianarian whereas others are in bondage-submissive-masochists. However, this is of course an extremely often false and damaging archetype.

- Firstly, there is a partial analogue of both Bi and Genderfluid: Switches. A Switch is sometimes dominant, sometimes submissive say. Sometimes with a different partner in each case, as a Poly. Sometimes with just the one partner who is another Switch. In this case the two may have a problem if they are often both in the same state (and aren't Poly).

- Secondly, the following all exist. Adominants, Asubmissives, Asadists, Amasochists, Adisciplinarians, Abondaged people. A In the same sense as Asexual or Aromantic. So one can e.g. be an Asadistic Dominant. It is then observed for instance that Survivors who are or become Allo and/or Submissive again, have a strong need for Asadistic Dominants. This kind of makes sense, even if they used to be Masochistic Submissives. The Masochism was 'burned out' of some such by some non-consensual Sadist (never to be confused with a consensual one, just as a rapist is not to be confused with a loving partner).

- In some cases, a Dominant might be a consensual Sadist but refrain entirely from sadism in dealing with, say, a Survivor. Whether as a Dominant partner, or in a manner which is Totally Asexual. One thing which is less known about Dominants, especially very highly empathic, very highly self-controlled Hyperdominants, is that they quite often look after very badly hurt people, including Survivors. This is particularly relevant to Non-normative Survivors who are kinksters, used to be kinksters, or were attacked by a nonconsensual Sadist. Hyperdominants may in fact be the only people in the world who can understand what such a person went through. Hyperdominants may also be the only people that a Non-Normative Survivor feels safe hiding behind, viewing them as a more powerful -and benevolent- version of their abuser, by which the Hyperdominant can keep them safe from their abuser. And/or heal their mental wounds, out of understanding them (and having practise). Proper consensual Dominants dominate and then provide what is known as *aftercare*. Submitting is said to be like going down a deep well, aftercare gently takes them back up. One might use a simple if seldom accurate picture, of a Dominant helping a kneeling Submissive stand up again. So some Dominants are disposed to provide aftercare for people who were hurt by others... including in a Totally Asexual manner. As what one does for a friend, or even a stranger in dire need. Hyperdominants are probably the best people in the world at reassuring people, rebuilding shattered confidence and other-such things. If only because their partners consent to being 'taken to pieces' by them (in some cases purely mentally) in the knowledge and confidence that the Hyperdominant will then 'put them together again'. Some such can gradually 'put together again' such as a Survivor or a badly bullied person in a way that their pains and traumas are lessened, possibly eventually even removed altogether. In particular, some such have been seen to turn 'open wounds' of the mental variaty into 'sealed scars', with which the person can function again in many ways they couldn't before. Some people here were healed up thus. Some parts of it can be done by strong people who aren't Dominant. One example of this is the Golden Promise:

"If during this activity anyone is mean to you, I will try hard to be kinder than they were mean."

A stronger such is

"I won't let anybody ever hurt you again."

From a credibly strong person (mentally strong in this city's context) this can be believed in and one sees it applies on what occasions one needs to use it. It only works if believed in, and this may require indirect non-confrontational demonstration of outmatching the abuser. Hence "Hyperdominant". The issue of what to do if one's abuser is one or both of nonconsensual hypersadistic and/or real-life powerful (CEO, multimillionnaire, real-life-dangerous above and beyond being, say a rapist :S) is less clear. The above method of doing things isn't expected to work in all cases, by any means.

- A separate point is that some Aces are A-Vanilla-Sexuals but find some kinks they do enjoy and consent to. Such might for instance be Asexual Dominants or Asexual Submissives. A Dominant, say, whether or not Asexual themselves, might be utterly happy enough for their Submissive to be an Ace. Some Dominants prefer, say, to be kneeled to than any kind of sex. It is entirely possible, say, for an Allo Submissive to be head-over-heels in love with a Romantic Ace Dominant, well past the point where 'never having sex again' is but the loss of a candle compared to the light of the sun of belonging to that Ace.

- The converse is also well known: we have Total Ace members here. Ie Ace-Aro-A-everyting-else too, alias Ace-Aro-Akink.

- A lot of Ace welfare in the future is likely to revolve around the difference between the above two paragraphs as well as the Aromantic Allo.

1) Total Aces are, or can feel, totally vulnerable to random events or malicious targetting. The Total Ace position is that 'best friends' are the most one can have (whether or not a such is called, say, a Cuddlebuddy). This means, often, that loss of a best friend is as painful as an Allo's loss of a sexual partner or a Romantic's loss of a romantic partner. The Total Ace's common problem is that some Allo comes along and asks their best friend out, and they accept. In the less bad case, this means a lot less time with the Ace. In the worse case, the new Allo partner tells/demands the person get rid of the the Ace from their life :S Some Total Aces are left feeling utterly defenseless after partners were taken from them by unscrupulous total-ace-phobic partners. The rock-bottom case is when some nonconsensual Sadist 'gets their kicks' from repeatedly walking off with an Ace's best friends. While we've seen a number of cases of off-the-scale-bad bullying unto members of ours elsewhere in their lives here, to quite a lot of us here some of the very worst cases of all we have seen of bullying and abuse involved Total Aces being publicly tortured by nonconsensual sadists flaunting stolen Cuddlebuddies at them. Not just the stealing, but also showing off the stolen person to now be totally devoted to the bully and required to 'express this' whenever the couple crossed paths with that Total Ace :( :( :(

- This is one of those things that can happen in a large room full of decent and caring people and not one of them knows why the Ace suddenly runs away exploding in tears. Though this general set-up exists for many other people as well. Closet-Trans people and Age-Dysphoria people are vulnerable to this as well, as are Survivors, and more. This is a major form that bullying of closeted people takes. Abusers can sometimes for instance trigger their Survivor to cause such a reaction in public without anyone knowing what is up. They use this to drive Survivors out of societies they used to have in common (like where they met in the first place), to socially ostracize the Survivor and sometimes even to likely damage their exam performace (same subject pairs).

- So one thing in the CakeFaeries safer spaces is that Total Aces are regarded as a 'highly protected species'. Like Closeted people and Survivors, they get all kinds of stuff if they ask for it. Their own support group or society, even based around just one Total Ace. As careful a selection of people it's safe to interact with as a Survivor (Out to us) would get.

- Another thing is that some Total Aces have repayed such understanding and care disproportionately. In a caring place which knows how to use and direct large contributions people volunteer, Total Aces can more than hold their own in terms of enriching others' lives past beyond even say rebuilding their lives after above-type things happened to them. And some Total Aces value places that value them (so few do, and in the past nowhere else appeared to). So Total Aces are sometimes synonyms for 'people who pay for a lot of cakes', 'people who listened about and compiled a lot of awareness pages for other peoples', and, more esoterically but none the less important to some of us, taught others of us to be, like they, the strongest tribe by far at toy gun fighting. Waterfighter Aces are both Aces as in Asexual and Aces as in 'Fighter Aces': pilots capable of shooting down many enemy pilots. *added private note: in your case, we'd like you to know this about Ace heritage here :) It no way obliges any new Ace here to be toy gun bearing themselves :) *

- The next tie in this message is that there are two types of Total Aces (at least, but in conjunction with earlier items).

a) Absolute Total Aces, who consider their Total Aceness to be unchallengeable and never the subject of any unwanted comment, question or doubt on the part of any other. This is guarded of course by SafeOut.

b) So-Far Total Aces, who, rather, prefer to entertain the possibility that they might in fact be a Kinkster that hasn't discovered what any of their kinks are. These might ask to be directed to webpages with long lists of unusual kinks (and/or 'scenes'). Somewhat like Tigger only eating Extract of Malt, only discovered after considering a long menu of other things.

A person can of course move between a) and b), including traumatically. By which an Absolute Total Ace who's lost close people to Allos may consider reading about b) as one of various options in rebuilding their life: one which provides them with a means of further competing with Allos for close people, at least in some cases. As we said, it is possible for a Romantic Ace-Dominant to have an Allo prefer their romantic and submissive relation to any Allo things, as a candle compared to the sun. It is then by extension and perhaps more craft possible to drop the 'Romantic' or the 'Dominant'. If one is Ace-Aro for sure, though, it may be possible to swap the Dominant for some other part of the very large space of (legal and consensual) kinks, and still have comparable means. And, yes, for sure, nobody is saying it will be easy to find a matching opposite that one elsewise really wants as a best friend and/or Cuddlebuddy.

- Let's now look at other Total Ace things that aren't so tied to fluidity (though a) to b) above is a type of Acefluidity!) What else can Total Aces do in event of finding it hard to find or keep close friends and/or cuddlebuddies?

i) The obvious if often impractial possibility is for two Total Aces to be Cuddlebuddies. It is impractical as Total Aces are very rare, may well not be Out as Total Aces, and may in some cases be Survivors, especially Survivors-of-severe-bullying. Whether as above or by being worse affected by Ace ignorance in, especially, schools or families.

ii) Aces more generally are perhaps surprisingly quite often compatible with Polys. Some Poly Family may be willing to adopt an Ace, including a Total Ace. The Allos in the family aren't cut off from being Allos. Much like Total Aces can be uncommonly proficient prolific and condecorated safer space members: listeners, life-savers... and so are greatly appreciated thereat, some Poly families are broad-minded and perceptive enough to value a Total Ace. Or like them as a person, in Totally-Ace ways only. Or be willing to protect them. (In particular a Poly Kinkster family might be ruled by a Hyperdominant who is capable of Totally-Asexually consoling a badly upset Total Ace).

iii) There is moreover a very little known hitherto people who are highly compatible with Aces: Poly*amicals*. These have multiple best friends rather than just one. It is possible for instance to be monogamous and polyamical. You might wonder what the point is: everyone has friends, right? Ah. But Polyamicals have other features in common with Polys. E.g. Polys make pacts like asking existing partners for permission and approval before agreeing to go out with a further person. Or standing orders like "never get together with one of my own friends". Polyamical people, then, also make such pacts *about platonic friendships*. For instance, a Polyamical person who is Allo might promise a Total Ace they are close to that they will never date anybody who disapproves of the closeness with that Total Ace. A Polyamical person might promise their close people an equal share of their time, whether or not some closenesses are romances or sexual. A polyamical person might promise as well, say, to not have more than three close persons at once, so the sharing not be too thinly spread, at least while close with the current three.

It can perhaps be surmised that the polyamical psyche has a tendency to be on the Ace spectrum: treating certain Ace friends with many senses of co-equal status to their Allo partner. And a tendency to be Poly, socialize with Polys or at least carefully study Poly pacts for the purpose of appreciating the possible variety of Polyamical pacts.

iv) Occasionally, an Ally's protection of a badly hurt person includes the promise to "put them first forever". This is perhaps the Ally-Survivor equivalent of a marriage. Some of the above things might be seen in this light, in the case of the protected person being an Ace. It is moreover entirely possible for an Ally-Survivor bond to be Totally Asexual. Putting somebody first need not imply any sexual, romantic or kink things. And could, in the manner of above pacts, include not having any partners in these senses, or 'only date people who accept that their partner will always put the Total Ace first'.



Here is what our new Pan front page is looking like :)

Pansexuality is a sexual orientation consisting of legal and consensual interest, irrespective of gender. This include potential interest: as Pansexuals, we acknowledge having the potential to be sexually attracted to people irrespective of their gender.

Panromanticism is a romantic orientation comprising legal and consensual interest irrespective of gender. This again includes potential interest: as Panromantics, we acknowledge having the potential to be romantically and emotionally involved with people irrespective of their gender.

Having observed that little more than definitions along these lines, and flags *link* and mascots *link* are currently available on the internet, here are 10 more things about Pans :)

1) Pans do not necessarily feel attraction in the same way toward each gender. *link to a page of examples*

2) Nor do Pans necessarily feel attraction toward each gender to the same extent.

3) While the above two matters also apply to Bi people, Pan includes attraction, or potential attraction, to people who do not fit into the male-female gender binary. This *links to nonbinary pages* includes both people of further genders and persons that each express, or belong to, more than one gender.

4) Pans far from necessarily feel attraction toward people of different genders in the same time period. As with Bi, Pan is often manifested by the sequence of people dated not being all of one gender. Except that with Pan, this has the potential to include people of more than two genders People are furthermore free to view themselves as Pan even if they have not yet felt attracted to, or dated, people of more than two genders. This is what we mean by 'potential' in all uses above.

5) Stating oneself to be Pan, rather than Bi, is sometimes done with intent to acknowledge the other genders and gender identities. One should however make no assumptions about people who state they are Straight, Gay or Bi in this regard. For a few might be Closet-Pan, or only realize they are or might be Pan upon feeling attraction toward some person not on the gender binary. This cannot however be used as an excuse to bother anybody who says they are Not Interested in you. For people have the right to be attracted to whichever combination of genders and gender expressions, and to be free from having to say No repeatedly to anybody they do not want any intimacy with.

6) Pan started to get recognition from activists in around 2014, and became part of a local uni's LGBT group in around 2019, in the form of their Bi rep post becoming a Bi-and-Pan rep post.

7) Pankink is a kink orientation comprising legal safety-aware consensual interest irrespective of gender. This again includes potential interest: as Pankink people, we acknowledge having the potential for kink involvement with people irrespective of their gender.

[Pankink symbol requested]

8) A person is Panquestioning if the process of thinking, or discovering, that they might be Pansexual, Panromantic or a Pankink person.

[Panquestioning symbol requested]

9) Some Panromantics suggest that they are gender-blind. This means that gender is insignificant or irrelevant to their determining sexual, romantic or kink attraction to others.

[To our scouts: has this ever been given a symbol?]

10) Pan Challenge The words 'Pansexual', 'Panromantic', 'Panquestioning' and 'Pankink' are derived from the Greek prefix 'pan-', meaning "all". Find some other nice words containing such use of 'pan'.

For now, 'panacea' is one such: a cure-for-everything.

Results from this challenge shall be posted *link* here.

Further Pan Links

The following webpages are being built by us at present.

* Misonceptions about Pan people *

* Pan people in literature and films *

* Creating PIVEN (Pan (In)Visibility and Education Network): a Pan counterpart to the Aces' AVEN *link* (Aces being e.g. Asexual and/or Aromantic)

* Pan awareness intiative *

* Problems faced by Pan people *

* Becoming a Pan Ally *



2) Social Anxiety: shortened frontpage

2) Social Anxiety Relating to Meeting Size (Too big, too small, splitting meets, maintaining small unit sizes)

3) RACTORS (Long-Term Low-Intensity Small Person Numbers InteRACTORS) in the Social Anxiety Context

4) Autism Communication Badges and Similar for use in Meetings and Conventions.

5) Social Anxiety as a Cover for Other Matters

6) SAxFluidity: Time and Context Dependent Social Anxiety

7) Advanced uses of Communication Badges

8) Autism and Asperger's Spectrum Awareness Pages will start to appear here.

9) Neurodivergency Awareness Pages will start to appear here


* Mental Health and Neurodivergency

* Disabled people whose issues are left out elsewhere.

* Intellectuals Bullied out of Academia

* Pan People (Including related populaces and issues, from point of view of awareness pages, coining a sufficient terminology, and generally building a small Pan equivalent of the information available to Aces on AVEN : Ace Visibility and Education Network).


Regarding the definition of neurodivergency, I take a relatively lax view (compared to some I have seen) as to who is neurodivergent and who is not.

I consider neurodivergency to be a term referring to those whose neurotype (brain, way of thinking etc) is in some way distinct from what society considers to be the norm.

Personally, as a neurodivergent person, this vague definition applies itself in a very clear manner to my experience. I am not like everyone else - I do not think like the majority of people in our society, and I do not connect with them in the way that they connect with one another.

(Note that this has nothing to do with me actually liking them - I have met at least one autistic person who I clashed with due to our differing personalities, but I still connected to them in a way that I do not with even very nice neurotypical people! Not to delve too far into it here, but I think that the distinction is quite difficult to articulate because most people are used to feeling that connection; however it is very easy to feel.)

Obviously, there are also neurodivergent (or non-neurotypical) people who I do not have this connection with. I don't consider neurodivergency to be a group of people with something in common as much as a group of people connected by our lack of 'normalness', specifically as it relates to the way we think in some way. It's not for me to say who feels disconnected from the way most people think, or who is sufficiently 'different' enough to be neurodivergent. As long as we make sure to respect one another's differences (relative to both society and other neurodivergent people), then there is no reason to exclude someone from neurodivergency simply because we - having never experienced what they have - don't deem them 'different enough' to belong (in a kind of cruel irony that I optimistically hope most neurodivergent people will stay away from).

(The whole argument reminds me somewhat of bits of the infighting in certain LGBTQ+ communities - pointlessly damaging and deeply disappointing.)

Some people don't particularly like being referred to as non-neurotypical. Some people don't mind so much if it's from pro-neurodivergent (or neurodivergent) people, but it invokes my teenage feelings of being 'other', rather than more recent ideas of (some degree of) community and solidarity.

(I've never seen a truly standard definition of neurodivergency - there seem to be a great many out there, often uninformed. I'm going to be controversial and argue that there is no true definition - although I suspect we are using different definitions of true!)


[Sure, this contains some Wheel of Time spoilers]

At the start of the Wheel of Time, Siuan Sanche is Amyrlin Seat, and the most powerful person in the continent most of the series is based in.

Amyrlin Seat is the leader of the Aes Sedai: female mages in a world in which male mages rapidly go insane, and thus are banned, much less organized. In this way, each continent in the world of the Wheel of Time is run matriachally by ageless-faced female mages. Only one continent still has Aes Sedai: the traditional type of mage. The other continents (and the Great Ocean) each have their own distinct magical hierarchies. Wise Ones in the Treefold Land, called the Aiel Waste by all outsiders, who in turn are called wetlanders, indicating this areas scarcity and thus valuation of water. Windfinders upon the great ocean-going ships of the Sea Folk. Highly nasty Sul'dam in Seanchan (who even bear the twin lightning bolts symbol - sigil of the Nazi Schutzstaffel in our own world - and act by enslaving other female mages as Damane). And an arguably even worse group out in Shara, called the Ayyad'. A final Matriarchy lives undecover in the outskirts of the Aes Sedais' continent: the Kin. [We shall return to some of these in subsequent articles; we indeed intend to make a habit of this!]

The Previous Age, as the Wheel turns, ended with the Breaking of the World. This stemmed from Shai'tan tainting the male half of the source, called saidin, even as the male mages sealed the bore through which he had escaped into their era. These then went mad, breaking everything to the extent that continents changed shape and essentially all remaining populations were displaced. Prior to these events, there was a gender parity between the mages, with the male mage leader - the Tamyrlin Seat - and equal-yet-different to the Amyrlin Seat.

The Wheel of Time holds itself to be all the stories there are, have been or ever will be. Heroes are cyclically reborn, and thus we have seen other editions of these in all other stories we are familiar with. Rather obviously, Amyrlin and Tamyrlin are both versions of 'Merlin'. Indeed, Arthurian legend is one of the more primary sources of the Wheel of Time's parallel characters or past lives. We also get to enjoy, for instance Egwene al'Vere (Guinivere: Arthur's Queen), Nynaeve (eponymous or transposed to Viviene), and various Knights of the Round Table: not Gawain but Gawyn, not Galahad but Galad, and not Lancelot but just Lan. Place names follow suit: the Aes Sedai are based in the White Tower on the Isle of Tar Valon (Avalon), and there is a Camlyn as well. Elaine, Morgase and perhaps even Demandred can be interpreted as Arturian names as well (Elayne, Morgawse, Mordred). King Arthur himself is largely absent, having played his part in some intervening millennium as Artur 'Hawkwing' Paendrag. We do get to meet some of his descendents: Berelain and Fortuona (who is additionally Lady Luck).

Norse Mythology is one of the other prime sources. Our protagonist is Rand al'Thor, alias the Dragon Reborn, being the reincarnation of the last Tamyrlin, Lews Therin Telamon. His childhood friend Matrim Cauthon eventually turns out to be Odin, as first hinted by his receiving a raven-marked spear.

The Wheel of Time's cast is vast, moreover, and Easter Eggs abound (meaning references to contemporary people, historical characters, legendary characters, and characters in other works of fiction). While many mentions are quite straightforward to decypher, such as Lisbet Queen of the World, and the Giants Merk and Mosk that fought with great lances of fire that reached halfway across the world, some are harder. For instance General Byrne is General Robert E. Lee, by the name of his horse and his fighting for a Rebel Cause (here ironically the rightfully Rebel Aes Sedai). Or much harder.

In the three decades that the Internet has existed, nobody has publicly figured out who Siuan Sanche is. And so, on this occasion of Amazon about to air a Game of Thrones blockbuster sized Wheel of Time series, we here stake a claim on which truly extraordinary woman this continental matriarch is.

She is Lucia Sanchez Saornil.

The leader of the 30000-strong All-Female Anarcho-Syndicalist faction Mujeres Libres ('Free Women') during the Spanish Civil War.

The wider story of Anarcho-Syndicalism in the Spanish Civil War more generally is that in immediate reaction to Franco staged his fascist (more precisely falangist) coup, Anarchists seized overnight every arsenal and other military depot in Catalonia. Anarcho-Syndicalists additionally swiftly redesigned employment in terms of Collectives based on free will and free participation: no owners and no managers. They did this as one of two populaces allied against Franco's fascists, the other being the Communists. So Anarcho-Syndicalism was not ubiquitous, but perhaps covered one half of one half of the land: the initial holdings of the Anarchists And Anarcho-Syndicalism was very highly functional : a true alternative to both Left and Right ways of doing things.

Mujeres Libres were a sizeable part of Anarchists for Women's Rights right in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. Lucia Sanchez Saornil - a Poet, Philosopher and Lesbian as well as a Leader - refused to cooperate with other Anarchist groups, much less with the Communist groups that eventually strong-armed control of civil and miltary life away from the Anarchists. She and her Mujeres Libres did so as a principled stand. And of course the Franco won this war, and then many Mujeres Libres were imprisoned, shot or in exile.

But it takes more that that to kill ideas.

Lucia Sanchez Saornil escaped into exile in France. This is paralleled by a coup in the White Tower, by which Siuan Sanche is deposed. Lucia Sanchez Saornil eventually returned to Spain in order to escape for a second time, now from the Nazi invasion of France. But once back in Spain, she had to be very wary, moving to a place where nobody knew her or her partner, acting under an assumed name, and not being public about her writings or thoughts. She then had to be a closeted Poet, Philosopher and Lesbian and never came close to being a leader of a sizeable number of Free Women again. This is paralleled by Siuan Sanche not only being deposed, but stilled as well, i.e. cut off from the female half of the source: saidar. So her voice was taken as well as her power and her position, but into exile Siuan Sanche managed to flee. She gravitated to where the rightfully Rebel Aes Sedai were mustering, but bereft of magic (and then not entirely so but much weaker than before) she has no leadership position there. The Rebel Amyrlin Seat is, rather Egwene al'Vere. This parallels how Lucia Sanchez Saornil's Poetry and Philosophy did not end with her exile. Just her being publicly known for such things, partly accounting for why she is not widely known for these matters. Another part of this is wholesale rejection by right, left and academics of the Anarcho-Syndicalist way of life, leadership and ideas.

Siuan Sanche is rather obviously a Sanchez, hailing from the Wheel of Time world's equivalent of Spain as well, being a Tairean, meaning from the land of Tear. She started life as a low-born fisher. She is described in the Wheel of Time Prequel as a natural born leader, able to take the lead in every occasion. By the age of thirty, she was Amyrlin Seat, having been Aes Sedai for just ten years. One can figure out from this text that most previous holders of this post were only promoted once they were somewhat over 200 years old, 250 being the usual maximal life expectancy for Aes Sedai as a side-effect of their use of magic (another being the ageless Aes Sedai face). On her part, Lucia Sanchez Saornil was greatly educated despite the large difficulties with attaining this as both working-class and female. she was approximately 40 when leader of 30000 Mujeres Libres. The name 'Siuan Sanche' is furthermore a double-S like Sanchez Saornil. 'Siuan' is rather close to 'Saorn', with the main difference being i and u borrowed from Lucia. Via 'Ucia Saorn, removing the soft c and one of the two a's, while letting the r dissolve into the adjacent n yields Siuan.

Lucia Sanchez Saornil wrote about womens' experiences of the Spanish Civil War. She also attacked gender role essentialism in the Spanish society of the time, rejecting the hitherto largely-unquestioned ideal of female domesticity. In the present world she is considered to have been an anarcho-feminist, as opposed to those feminists whose ideas are rooted in Marxism. Aside from co-founding and running Mujeres Libres, Lucía Sánchez Saornil served in the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT: National Confederation of Labour). And also as General Secretary of Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista (SIA: the anarchist equivalent of the Red Cross).

Mujeres Libres was Lucia Sanchez Saornil, Mercedes Comaposada and Amparo Poch's reaction to the CNT itself harbouring sexist attitudes, doctrines and practises. Mujeres Libres dealt with what they called a "double struggle" of women's liberation and social revolution; looking in from today, one might well view this as dealing with an intersectional problem. Mujeres Libres distanced themselves from movements called 'feminism' in the day, because in Spain these were the sole preserve of upper-class women. Eduating women and children within a society which still had a very high rate of illiteracy was one of their main concerns.

Lucía Sánchez Saornil's lifelong partner was América Barrosa.

* We will check the fonts work online here before placing these accents on every occurrence in this article *

Siuan Sanche is, in partial contrast, Bisexual. The first Aes Sedai we meet, in the act of discovering the Dragon Reborn, is Moiraine Damodred. Aside from being Siuan Sanche's most capable and trusted field agent, they used to be lovers.

With her dying some five years before Spain's fascist dictatorship ended in the mid-1970s, Lucia Sanchez Saornil's tombstone reads

"¿Pero es verdad que la esperanza ha muerto?"

(But is it true that hope has died?)

Our answer to that today is that

"There is always hope".

You were subsequently portrayed as a hero, Lucia, who started a bestselling series as the most powerful person in an entire continent.

For a long time, nobody noticed it was you. But the Wheel Turns, and this time for a change legend crystallizes into history.

We recognized you in that story, we salute you, and we tell the world that you are also Siuan Sanche.

This shortly before many millions of people will be introduced to the Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime.

If Wheel of Time fans are curious to see an ageless Aes Sedai face, see the picture of Lucia Sanchez Saornil here.


For earlier CakeFaerie News, see:

Lent 2020 CakeFaerie News

October 2019 and earlier CakeFaerie News