Possible New Danger at Beaches

Quite a few fishermen have decided to stay away from piers during this crisis because of crowds. But the article below indicates that hitting the beach even when there's adequate social distancing could be dangerous.
Dr's Warning About Visiting Beaches during Coronavirus Crisis
While I agree with the compliance under these circumstances, and agree we should stay away from public places, this is just speculation with no study behind it. Zero evidence that the virus lives at all, for any amount of time in sea water. A wave is just like a sneeze? Believe the science, but believe in the scientific process as well. Bad reporting.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Not to trivialize her thoughts but I do not share the confidence in "scientists" that some do. I've read many a report, and heard many predictions, and as often as not they are wrong. My brother who is a PhD gained a measure of fame as one of a duo studing the age of the universe, and the main paper they produced — “The mass-independent fractionation of oxygen: a novel isotope effect and its possible cosmochemical implications” has not, as far as I know been challenged. So, I would seem to have a bias for science! But, I've simply seen too many "scientific" papers and opinions that turned out to be wrong. Unfortunately, one of the biggest groups that is often wrong is fishery scientists who, as a rule, can tell you things after the fact but have a terrible record as far as predicting what's going to happen in the future. Why important? Because today almost all our federal/state fishery limits are done by government groups using these predictions from scientists. Predictions based on models and if the data setting up the model is wrong (or biased) the model will propobly be wrong. [It's one reason why many people distrust predictions from scientists doing studies for oil companies while other mistrust studies done by scientists working for environmental groups.] As for this paper, I think it's one lone scientist's opinion, right or wrong. If there is a danger, I am sure many more people will also study the issue and I am sure down the road we will hear additional warnings — if warranted. Until that time, I personally am not going to worry about seawater and the virus. Just my two cents.


Active member
I would rather have a virologist telling me its a problem than an atmospheric chemist. She is not wrong about it being like an aerosol, but I do question how much she knows about viruses.
Right, the aerosol part makes perfect sense, the rest was just speculation. I'm not advocating for opening up public spaces. I'm not advocating for anything except some rigorous journalism for once. JMO. To Ken's point, many scientific papers are published that are later proved incorrect, especially in early stages of research. The study method is normally published as well, so it can be scrutinized. That is the scientific process.
This was bad reporting.
Wait...where did you go SS?
This is some local news reporter just slapping together an article out of nothing. Either they're a moron or they're just drumming up hysteria. Bacteria aren't viruses and the danger being described exists 100% of the time... of course whatever is in seawater is going to be aerosolized by waves and wind. Unless there are infectious amounts of COVID in the seawater, AND the diluted fraction of that seawater in the air delivers enough aerosolized viruses to be infectious when inhaled, there is absolutely zero connection between the two.

I cannot imagine a pathway to get a volume of virus into the ocean that would elevate it to those kinds of levels. Even sewage spills cause bacterial threats because the bacteria continue to multiply, and only effect beaches within specific effluent paths. The amount of viral load in waste decreases as soon as it is created, is reduced again by orders of magnitude at the treatment plant, and continues to decrease as the viral proteins and lipid capsule degrade in the hostile ocean environment and the viruses naturally disperse and dilute in the water. Viruses, unlike bacteria, do not reproduce outside of the host.

On the other hand, a windblown outdoor environment with zero humans exhaling or coughing along one entire side of the space (or more, if you're on a pier) sounds like an extremely good place to be unless people are all jammed together. Much better than in a structure with a partially recycled mostly static air volume.