In response to the letter titled "How did this sneaky virus get so smart?" (Oct. 28 Gazette), here are the answers to the 'hard questions' Colleen Chupka posed.
Why wear a mask when walking around in a restaurant and not when sitting at the table? Wearing a mask is required while moving around the space because that is when your breath is most likely to affect others. As you walk by someone else's table the particles you breathe out may fall on them or their food. Once you sit down, you are only breathing on your own food and friends so you are not as much of a risk to others.
How does the virus know when we are six feet apart? The virus doesn't 'know math' as the writer stated, but it isn't equipped with wings and so it will likely fall to the ground within about six feet. If you stay six feet away from others, very few if any virus particles that you exhale will remain in the air for them to breathe in.
What is the point of senior shopping hours? If you are a senior and more susceptible to the more serious symptoms of this infection, you may want to reduce the number of people you come into contact with. Having a shopping time that limits the number of people by only allowing seniors helps to do this. In addition, the virus is much more prevalent in younger populations, so again the risk is reduced.
As to her 'biggest question', why it likes to lurk in churches but not liquor stores, the virus only lurks in people. It moves from one person to the next through the air and direct contact, but it takes a significant amount of virus to infect someone, so it takes a bit of time. If people stay beside each other in liquor stores for 30 to 60 minutes and expelling large amounts of air (singing) then we may see the same amount of transmission of the virus in those locations.
No one is 'standing beside it with a stick' to make sure the virus follows the 'rules' as was suggested by the writer, and nothing will completely prevent the spread.
Hopefully this will answer some of the writer's 'questions' and will help to stop the spread of misinformation and misunderstanding.
Donna Livingstone, St. Albert