Friday, 11 September 2020

Covidiots - Visiting a Place of Worship Gives 16 Times Higher Risk of Covid-19 Infection!

Covid-19 Study Links Strict Social Distancing to Much Lower Chance of Infection – 2020 – News Releases – News – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

A survey by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has shown that those who visited a place of worship two or three times in the previous month were 16 times more likely to have had a history of Covid-19 infection than those who had not visited a place of worship over the same period.

The researchers surveyed a random sample of 1030 people in the state of Maryland in late June, asking about their social distancing practices, use of public transport, SARS-CoV-2 infection history and other Covid-19-relevent behaviours. The state of Maryland has logged more than 113,000 SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases and nearly 3,700 confirmed deaths, according to the Maryland Department of Health. The results reinforce the importance of strict social distancing in reducing infection rates.

Our findings support the idea that if you’re going out, you should practice social distancing to the extent possible because it does seem strongly associated with a lower chance of getting infected.

Sunil Solomon, MBBS, PhD, MPH, Senior author
Associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology
Associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School Medicine.
In addition to the very much increased risk from visiting a place of worship, for any reason, the survey revealed that using public transport increases the risk of infection four-fold, while practicing strict social distancing reduces the risk to only one tenth of that of no social distancing.

The results of the survey were published in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases a few days ago, regrettably, behind a paywall. However, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health press release has the details:
The researchers found that when considering all the variables they could evaluate, spending more time in public places was strongly associated with having a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. For example, an infection history was about 4.3 times more common among participants who stated that they had used public transportation more than three times in the prior two weeks, compared to participants who stated they had never used public transportation in the two-week period.

An infection history also was 16 times more common among those who reported having visited a place of worship three or more times in the prior two weeks, compared to those who reported visiting no place of worship during the period. The survey did not distinguish between visiting a place of worship for a religious service or other purposes, such as a meeting, summer camp or meal.

Conversely, those who reported practicing social distancing outdoors “always” were only 10 percent as likely to have a SARS-CoV-2 history, compared to those who reported “never” practicing social distancing. [My emphasis]
So much for the protective powers of prayer and religious belief and the confident assurances by fundamentalist Christians that they would be safe from infection, so should ignore the lockdown measures and continue to go to church. And so much for the ghoulish fundamentalists who early on in the pandemic declared it to God's punishment for Atheism, safe-sex marriages, abortions, or whatever their particular hobby horse happened to be.

This finding is consistent with the UK finding that non-believers have a significantly lower risk of infection and of dying of Covid-19 than believers. It will be interesting to hear their explanation for this 16-fold increased risk of infection amongst church-goers than amongst non-church-goers. If you believe that stuff, it would seem God is punnishing church-going Christians.

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