For those who think that the US (and possibly others) are overreacting to Coronavirus:

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Tim51

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Interesting Reuters report from medical staff in Lombardy, the region of Italy that bore the brunt of the initial wave of the pandemic there (NB I'm definitely not posting this to suggest the present threat does not remain very real):

 

cwbullet

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Interesting Reuters report from medical staff in Lombardy, the region of Italy that bore the brunt of the initial wave of the pandemic there (NB I'm definitely not posting this to suggest the present threat does not remain very real):

If it losing potency, being weakened by summer UV light, or is it already infected all of those that are most susceptible? I would like to see a little more science and a little less conjecture.
 

Marc_G

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Thanks for posting that article. It's a good explanation.

For those that didn't read it, early on in the pandemic, there was discussion about the difference between the CFR "case fatality rate" which is the death rate among known cases (in the US, ~5-7% varying by state), and the IFR, or the infection fatality rate (chances of dying if you catch the virus). The big unknown has been the question "for every known case, how many unknown infections are there?"

The Indiana data (sampling done during last week of April) show that only one out of eleven infections became a "case" based on severity of symptoms prompting the person to seek care (and hence become known to health authorities). The other 10 infections were either asymptomatic (no symptoms ever, about 45%) or had symptoms that did not lead to seeking care/diagnosis.

This means the IFR is about 6 times the seasonal flu at least as measured at that time in Indiana.

Some on the right were making a big deal about "how much less serious than we thought" COVID-19 is, but there was always the knowledge that this calculation would happen once we were able to pin down a decent infection rate.

Even if the death rate were the same as the flu, given lack of vaccine and potent antivirals available it would be a major national crisis. Somehow this point gets lost in the media back-and-forth that seems to be going on.

Stay safe people!

Marc
 

boatgeek

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This one hit my industry. One of the factory trawlers working the Washington/Oregon coast had an outbreak of COVID on board. They're now docked back in Seattle with 86 positive tests among the 124 people on board. Fishing boats are pretty much poster children for COVID transmission--close quarters in enclosed spaces that aren't super-well-ventilated plus hard work and 2-4 people sleeping in each stateroom. It's also very difficult to put up barriers between workers because there literally isn't space to do that in the factory. This particular boat isn't one of our clients, but we work with others in the same fisheries.


[edit] To give some perspective on the economic impact, this boat would be grossing something like $500K a day while fishing. The company may be able to have other boats catch this boat's quota later in the season, but even then it's a loss of money because they're keeping boats online longer than they would have planned. One of our clients spent about $7 million on isolation and testing crews on boats and shoreside plants before the season started to try to head off this issue. Every crew member spent 2 weeks isolated in a hotel. If they left their room, they weren't getting on a boat.
 
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modeltrains

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This from way back on page 2 of this topic, quite interesting, and note that is was published March 21,
If you have ever read "Crowds and Popular Delusions," history shows people often cause problems far greater than the underlying crisis itself.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicole...t-riots-and-protests-amid-pandemic-lockdowns/
From it:

But what happens to the human brain – and subsequent behavioral responses – when placed on lockdown, much like imprisonment, is very predictable. Adrenaline and stress hormones like cortisol kick into an acute stress response (hyperarousal). This is what leads to the fight or flight response we often refer to. What that means is that your sympathetic nervous system (the involuntary regulation of things like blood pressure, heart rate, pupil dilation) kicks in so rapidly many people don’t realize it’s happening – and it tells you you’re now in survival mode. At this point you’ll have an almost uncontrollable response that either tells you to stand your ground and fight, or turn and run from the danger.

Given that we no longer are facing down lions on a day-to-day basis, our survival triggers can be activated by things like being locked down. And they can be exacerbated by many of the factors that are present during a pandemic such as lack of trust in government or authority, geographic proximity to others in a similar situation, and a shared purpose and intensity. That is to say, riots are not a mindless mob as often depicted. And when we know that forced confinement triggers all kinds of sensory responses that result in stress systems firing on all cylinders, lockdowns should be a last resort.
 

modeltrains

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Now, to decide what to make of this,
"The WHO has a Confession to Make: Investigations on Chinese Wet Markets or Labs Never Took Place
Carla Simmons Jun 01, 2020 10:42 AM EDT
The World Health Organization has admitted none of its specialists visited the wet market or the Wuhan laboratories in February during a supposedly fact-finding mission to China.

Margaret Harris, the World Health Organization's spokesperson, has admitted to Sky News host Sharri Markson that only three of 25 WHO experts who visited China in February actually travelled to Wuhan. The interview was part of a special investigation segment titled "What is China Hiding".

The three global members of the collective mission who went to the origin of the coronavirus in Wuhan were Bruce Aylward, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and Tim Eckmanns. Harris did not answer a question regarding whether they had sought permission from Chinese authorities to visit the wet market, instead said that the mission's focus was on learning from the response.

Furthermore, she explained that they were not looking at the origin of the virus, which is why the wet market and laboratory were not on the agenda. She also added that the disease was at its peak in February, which is why it was unsafe for WHO personnel to travel to Wuhan and investigate. The fact-finding mission commenced from February 10 until February 24, 2020."
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articl...tions-chinese-wet-markets-labs-never-took.htm
 

modeltrains

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All sorts of interesting things are crossing my path today.
May 31, 2020 / 1:44 PM / Updated 8 hours ago ROME (Reuters) - The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion.

“The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television.

Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019.

However new infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent.

Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.

“We’ve got to get back to being a normal country,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country.” "
May 31, 2020 / 1:44 PM / Updated 8 hours ago
New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-virus-idUSKBN2370OQ
 

modeltrains

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And now I see at least 2 people posted the Reuters thing hours before I did. Oh well, that's what happens when a couple different neurological, endocrine, mitochondrial, diseases mess with your body and being day after day year after year.
 

Marc_G

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All sorts of interesting things are crossing my path today.


May 31, 2020 / 1:44 PM / Updated 8 hours ago
New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-virus-idUSKBN2370OQ
I have a feeling that, as the articles on this suggest, there's a different explanation. Probably, so many of the Italians have been exposed by this point and so many of the most vulnerable have frankly died off, that the level of resistance is pretty high there.

Sequencing of various strains of it will be interesting. I'd love it if it had mutated to insignificance but I think it will be discovered that it's a local thing, not generalizable to other countries like US where only ~5% of people have been exposed.
 

afadeev

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OK, did a fact check and I did find a couple of articles that said that 42% of deaths are in nursing homes and long term care facilities.
How many retirees in the US live in nursing homes (aka assisted living facilities) vs. retirement communities vs. Florida in general?
Not trying to be cheeky, just genuinely curious.

I found this article that claims 1.4-1.5M people, but I don't know if it's true or all inclusive.
And if it's true, I don't know if that's 5% of the "eligible" population, or 50%?

I do realize that "lock up older population in nursing homes" is an obscene and unworkable approach to Covid-19 containment. Not that that has stopped some from recommending it.

From an investment perspective, I wonder what the pandemic has done to the nursing homes as a business segment?
Here is a sample of publicly traded assisted-living companies:

There is a lot of variability in valuation changes among the few I looked into (WELL, ENSG, OHI, NHC, CSU, BKD).
All are down from Jan'20 levels, but some only ~15% (inline with S&P500), while WELL is down 75%.

No, grandma, it's not a death camp ... err, retirement home, I mean you will really LOVE it!
 

kuririn

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Sequencing of various strains of it will be interesting. I'd love it if it had mutated to insignificance but I think it will be discovered that it's a local thing, not generalizable to other countries like US where only ~5% of people have been exposed.
I thought I read a couple of months ago that the reason the SARS and MERS outbreaks died off was because the viruses mutated into less virulent strains.
Let's hope such is the case with this corona virus.
 

Tim51

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If it losing potency, being weakened by summer UV light, or is it already infected all of those that are most susceptible? I would like to see a little more science and a little less conjecture.
Just a follow up on that story I posted yesterday - I see WHO have now dismissed the claims by those particular doctors as being anecdotal based on swab tests, and not backed up by scientific evidence:
 

modeltrains

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I see WHO have now dismissed the claims ... and not backed up by scientific evidence:
Hmm, I wonder if WHO will say the same about contact tracing smart phone apps not being backed up by scientific evidence,
Some researchers are considering how to put apps through randomized trials, to see whether they are directly responsible for bringing down infections. “I’m not saying it’s impossible,” says Johannes Abeler, a behavioral economist at Oxford, but “it would be very costly and difficult.” Because COVID-19 remains relatively rare, such studies might need tens of thousands of participants to see statistically significant differences in the number of infections between an app-using group and a control group, he says.
 

modeltrains

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The two-metre rule on social distancing is based on outdated science that may have overestimated the risk by up to fifteen times, senior MPs and scientists have warned.
Two-metre social distancing rule based on outdated science that may have largely overestimated coronavirus risk
Senior MPs and scientists are warning that the comparative risk of halving the distance to one metre was far less than previously thought
By Bill Gardner and Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter 2 June 2020 • 6:46pm
 

modeltrains

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Health care, ironically, is 2 to 4 times more deadly than coronavirus; from what I could find just now coronavirus deaths are currently given between 110,00 and 108,057, while,
A recent Johns Hopkins study claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000.
 
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Marc_G

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Health care, ironically, is 2 to 4 times more dangerous than coronavirus,

Not really. We've had 100k deaths in three months. Can't compare three months of what may be just the the first wave of deaths to a figure that takes a whole year to accumulate.

Also, most of the Coronavirus deaths could have been preventable if we had simply put testing into place earlier and locked down earlier. Medical errors are much harder to systemically reduce.
 
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modeltrains

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My attitude may or may not be impacted by my having several of the neurological, endocrine, mitochondrial disease, and medication reaction, health things where if the health care providers make a mistake they most likely will, as in Will, kill me. Compared to that I see coronavirus as only a moderate threat to my life, even at the same time that I would be classed as a rather high to quite high risk person.
 

jsdemar

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The risk of death from SARS2 is estimated to be 1% or less for moderately healthy individuals. This increases to 20% for someone with a single serious precondition. Combining several risk factors, it is approaching 100%. This is based on a worldwide analysis reported in the Lancet, and another covering COVID patients in a journal on Rheumatology. I continue to look this up to give advice to a family member who has several preconditions.
 

modeltrains

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Saw this via Tumblr user autisticadvocacy, directly intersects what I was just talking about here. :):cool:
May 14, 2020,01:01pm EDT
Disabled People Have Unique Perspectives On Risks And “Reopening”
Andrew PulrangContributor
Excerpt;
... On the other hand, disabled people do have some affinity for the risk takers. In most situations, disabled people tend to be more willing to take risks, not less. We have to be, or we would never accomplish anything. We understand quite intimately what it means to weigh the risks and benefits that always come with freedom and opportunity, especially when unusual or heightened dangers are involved. Recognizing, rethinking, and adjusting to risk is in many ways the core of the disability rights movement and disability culture. This is especially true for assertive advocates and disability rights activists. The right to take risks, which is often phrased, “the dignity of risk,” is very important to disabled people individually, and to the disability community as a whole.

We cherish this right to take risks all the more because most disabled people at some point in our lives have to contend with some kind of outside authority either informally or formally telling us what we can and cannot do, simply because of our disabilities. Sometimes this is merely a function of sensible, informed risk assessment. It can be similar to how right now we are all trying to think through the trade-offs between personal freedom and the economic regeneration of our communities — and the risks of a deadly pandemic again running out of control.

But most of us find that at least sometimes, non-disabled authorities, such as doctors, therapists, teachers, and parents, assess our risks with a mixture of rational analysis and irrational fear and prejudice. Plus, our disabilities are often cited not only as concrete risk factors in themselves — which they sometimes, (but not always), are —but also more vaguely as a reason why we can’t be trusted to weigh our own risks rationally by ourselves.
 

kuririn

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Interesting article.
Another excerpt further down, same article:

"Here is where the “open America” protesters, and government officials hurrying to put the pandemic behind us, are not the same as disabled people fighting for the right to take risks in our everyday lives. Disabled people have always fought for the right to risk ourselves. Those who want a quick end to pandemic precautions do so partly in the name of their own “dignity of risk.” The problem is that they are actually pushing for the right to risk others far more than themselves. And lots of those “others” are disabled people. "
 

modeltrains

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Yep, article looks at the thing from several directions. My approach is that whichever way the thing goes when it does, I will assess what risks it brings to me then make my decision on whether to join in or not & if so, to join in to what degree.

And now we bring you some perhaps rambling thoughts:

As I live in a household of one there isn't anyone at home to bring risk to me, or me to being risk to them. However, since our local rural hospital, clinic, and physical therapy, closed in January as result of a couple years of money mismanagement by the new owners, I have to hire a home care service based in another nearby burg to drive me to appointments in the nearby city since since as of a couple years ago my health has declined to where I can no longer drive that far. That employee brings risk to me and I bring risk to them.
(went for a really 'fun' test last Tuesday, an EMG. It was a 'little' less barbaric than last one had, in 1990s)

And the mere act of going for that test brought risk to me and I brought risk to people at the neurologist - What if I recently picked up coronavirus and not yet manifested symptoms? What if my driver recently picked up coronavirus and not yet manifested symptoms? What if a clinic employee had recently picked up coronavirus and not yet manifested symptoms? What if one of the 4 other patients there recently picked up coronavirus and not yet manifested symptoms?
What if someone we passed in the hallway recently picked up coronavirus and not yet manifested symptoms?

Should I have rescheduled the test?
It had been scheduled in October.
The next time they could do it was during the coming winter where snowy roads would likely have been an issue & a friend had recently lost their brother in a winter weather traffic event on the same interstate you have to drive from here to get there.

My response to those is, What if another driver had crossed the centerline while texting while driving hit us head-on and killed me? What if my van, which we took because it is better for me to enter and exit, had a front wheel or tire failure, rolled at interstate speed and killed me? What if my van had then continued rolling, hit another vehicle and killed them? What if I had fallen down the steps at home and broke my neck and died? What if the elevator doors had malfunctioned at the clinic and killed me? What if the packaged food I'd gotten to take so I could eat lunch when the test was over had salmonella or botulism in it and I got sick enough to die from my lunch?

(Are any of those what ifs I offer implausible? Do such things actually happen to more than one person a year? Several years ago I was almost hit by someone who crossed the interstate while texting while driving, a 1980s-looking station wagon which got in to the median and hit the wire rope divider at such an angle the wagon went airborne, rolled sideways driver side up & crossed, still airborne, passed close enough in front of me that I can say without overly much hyperbole that I could count the wrinkles in the shirt of the fellow in the driver seat as he sat there still holding his phone. Fortunately he had his seat belt on and the wagon landed right side up on our side's shoulder and went down the shallow embankment in to the brush. Since people behind me were stopping and my own stopping on the shoulder, which would have had to be a mile up the road, then later pulling out in to interstate speed traffic with my less than 100% health would endanger both me and the moving vehicles I went on home.)

And then the risking others thing connects in my thoughts to what risk levels individuals and society accept. What first comes to mind is that any time any one of us goes out to drive we risk both ourselves and other people and the US society has decided probably more subconsciously than consciously that killing everyone in my town 4 to 5 times over every year in traffic is an acceptable loss level to allow vehicle use to support the functioning of society. That is strong in my mind because a member of our creative writers group lost their brother in a traffic event during winter weather a few months ago.
 

modeltrains

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From a Tumblr user I follow, "It really sounds like people are developing something like CFS/ME after getting Covid-19."

This, and more, from the Atlantic's article sound so very, very, very, much like the lives of my Dad, (who in 1985 or 86 or 87, was one of USN's first medical retirements with CFS/ME and maybe even the actual literal first one, after several years of high-powered military doctors in northern Virginia trying to figure out what was happening to this guy) myself, (diagnosed a decade and a half ago) and others who have CFS/ME, and the article itself eventually makes that comparison directly;

"As many people reported “brain fogs” and concentration challenges as coughs or fevers. Some have experienced hallucinations, delirium, short-term memory loss, or strange vibrating sensations when they touch surfaces. Others are likely having problems with their sympathetic nervous system, which controls unconscious processes like heartbeats and breathing: They’ll be out of breath even when their oxygen level is normal, or experience what feel like heart attacks even though EKG readings and chest X-rays are clear. These symptoms wax, wane, and warp over time. “It really is a grab bag,” said Davis, who is a co-author of the Body Politic survey. “Every day you wake up and you might have a different symptom.”"
Been there, lived that, I don't know if anyone offers t-shirts.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/...-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679/

That clusters of ME/CFS have followed many infectious outbreaks is noteworthy. In such events, some people get better quickly, others are sick for longer with postviral fatigue, and still others are suffering months or years later. In one Australian study, 11 percent of people infected with Ross River virus, Epstein-Barr virus, or the bacterium behind Q fever were diagnosed with ME/CFS after six months. In a study of 233 Hong Kong residents who survived the SARS epidemic of 2003, about 40 percent had chronic-fatigue problems after three years or so, and 27 percent met the CDC’s criteria for ME/CFS. Many different acute pathogens seem to trigger the same inflammatory responses that culminate in the same chronic endgame. Many individuals in this community are worried about COVID-19, according to Ramey: “You’ve got this highly infectious virus sweeping around the world, and it would be unusual if you didn’t see a big uptick in ME/CFS cases.”
--------------------------------------------------
And, to answer the acronym question,
"Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a long-term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness.
CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. Many people refer to the condition as CFS/ME."
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/

-------------------------------------------------

Now, back to the similarities illustrated in the Atlantic's article,

"Other long-haulers have been frustrated by their friends’ and families’ inability to process a prolonged illness. “People know how to react to you having it or to you getting better,” LeClerc said. But when symptoms are rolling instead of abating, “people don’t have a response they can reach for.” They ask if she’s improving, in expectation that the answer is yes. When the answer is instead a list of ever-changing symptoms, they stop asking. Others pivot to disbelief. “I’ve had messages saying this is all in your head, or it’s anxiety,” LeClerc said.

Many such messages come from doctors and nurses. Davis described her memory loss and brain fog to a neurologist, who told her she had ADHD. “You feel really scared: These are people you’re trying to get serious help from, and they don’t even understand your reality,” she said. Vázquez said her physicians repeatedly told her she was just having panic attacks—but she knows herself well enough to discount that. “My anxiety is thought-based,” but with COVID-19, “the physical symptoms happen first,” she said."
Yep, been there lived that, too.
 

OverTheTop

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I had CFS from 1992-1999. Don't want anything like that again. I ended up having two vitamin C IV infusions (30g each) each week to get life back to some semblance of normality. There are some good ME/CFS support groups around now, if anyone ends up suffering anything like that.
 

cwbullet

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I thought I read a couple of months ago that the reason the SARS and MERS outbreaks died off was because the viruses mutated into less virulent strains.
Let's hope such is the case with this corona virus.
That is what they think but there is little evidence to back it up. It makes sense that a less potent virus would have advantages in existence.

I still would keep the mask on and not chance life by licking elevator buttons.
 

Bill S

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quote:
"Other long-haulers have been frustrated by their friends’ and families’ inability to process a prolonged illness. “People know how to react to you having it or to you getting better,” LeClerc said. But when symptoms are rolling instead of abating, “people don’t have a response they can reach for.” They ask if she’s improving, in expectation that the answer is yes. When the answer is instead a list of ever-changing symptoms, they stop asking. Others pivot to disbelief. “I’ve had messages saying this is all in your head, or it’s anxiety,” LeClerc said.

Many such messages come from doctors and nurses. Davis described her memory loss and brain fog to a neurologist, who told her she had ADHD. “You feel really scared: These are people you’re trying to get serious help from, and they don’t even understand your reality,” she said. Vázquez said her physicians repeatedly told her she was just having panic attacks—but she knows herself well enough to discount that. “My anxiety is thought-based,” but with COVID-19, “the physical symptoms happen first,” she said."
Yep, been there lived that, too.
unquote

I've had a similar experience after my ordeal with Lyme disease for 3 years, then found a doc who actually knew what he was doing. Treated that effectively, then still had weird symptoms for a couple more years, then we found that I had a newly discovered parasitic infection, was under experimental treatment for several years more. I was sick between 2004 and wasn't "better" until about 2013. I still don't think that I am back to where I was, mentally, but some of that could be normal aging and being a parent as well.
 

modeltrains

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Hmm, I wonder if there could be a market for packaged stick-on elevator buttons; true, the experience would be a bit different when licking your own buttons you brought with you ...
 

heada

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Was watching a video on YouTube yesterday and saw an interesting solution for this. They had created buttons on the floor that were wired up to the normal buttons. Person walks in and taps the desired floor with their foot. No hand involvement. They didn't show how you pressed the call button to get the elevator to pick you up but I'm sure it was similar. Highly recommended NOT to lick the floor buttons.
 
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