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What Do We Really Know About Viral Transmission?

Yesterday, I was made aware of a study that took place during the Spanish Flu epidemic. The study was conducted in Boston by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Public Health Service. The purpose of the study was to provide evidence to support the widely believed theory that Flu virus, as well as many similar viruses, were spread by "droplets" caused by sneezing, coughing, or hand to face contact. The protocol of the study and it's results were so unbelievable that I suspected it was yet another internet Urban Legend . I did some digging and was somewhat to find reprints of the published paper on several archive sites, and while the details of the study read like an SNL skit - it appears to be 100% true.  

I've tried to find if there was ever a follow up, or any other controlled study to confirm the "droplet transmission" theory - and haven't found one. Seems like this is one time that since "the science" didn't match the theory - "the science" was discarded. We encourage everyone to read the actual study (it's fairly brief) in the link found in the previous paragraph, but for the condensed version... 

I'll do my best to recap the results of:

The Navy found 150 volunteers, mostly between 18 and 25 years old, who were to be subjected to direct exposure to the virus. By direct - they meant REALLY direct. 

Virus was collected directly from lung tissue of the recently deceased, as well as from various secretions of infected people. The virus was mixed into solution and sprayed directly into the nose, eyes and back of the throat of the volunteers - while they inhaled. The study estimates that "Billions" of virus organisms were sprayed into each volunteer. The result, quoting directly from the study, "but none of them took sick."

But wait, there's more...

Determined to prove up the theory of viral transmission, another group of ten volunteers was treated to a 1 c.c. spray of viral mucus collected from infected patients directly into the nostrils and on the eye. None of them took sick.  

Discouraged by the lack of ability to make anyone sick, they shortened the duration of virus collection from 4 hours to 100 minutes and upped the dose to 6 cc's in the next group of 10 and noted that some of the volunteers swallowed the viral solution. None of them took sick

Thinking that perhaps the time and atomizing were killing the virus, with the next group of 19 volunteers they took direct nasal swabs from sick patients and inserted them directly into the nostrils of the volunteers. The group of sick patients were in various stages of infection and most of the volunteers were subject to 2 or 3 "shots" of direct nasal to nasal insertion. None of the volunteers took sick in any way.

Not to be denied, the study group then injected volunteers directly with blood from patients in various stages of infection. None of the volunteers were infected in any way.

Finally, the study group tried to create a "natural" transmission by having sick patients shake hands, talk, and cough, within 2 inches of the volunteers face for 5 straight minutes. None of the volunteers became infected.

The rather humble but honest conclusion of the study... 

 This is something to keep in mind the next time some supposed authority attempts to explain how anyone got infected with Covid-19. They don't know. Nobody does.