Links and Notes - Mon, Mar 16, 2020

3:11 p.m.

I'm doing yardwork in the backyard this afternoon. Some cleanup. I came in to get a drink, and I turned on NPR for music, and our local public radio station played a live press conference by the Ohio state government. Gov DeWine postponed Ohio's primary for tomorrow.

Toledo Express Airport (KTOL)
Mar 16, 2020 2:52 pm EDT
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 49 F
Humidity : 42%
Wind Speed : W 8 mph
Barometer : 30.24 in
Dewpoint: 27 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 46 F

Toledo Executive Airport (KTDZ)
Mar 16, 2020 2:53 pm EDT
Weather : Partly Cloudy
Temperature : 49 F
Humidity : 44%
Wind Speed : Calm
Barometer : 30.26 in
Dewpoint: 28 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles

Toledo Suburban Airport (KDUH)
Mar 16, 2020 2:55 pm EDT
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 48 F
Humidity : 44%
Wind Speed : SW 9 mph
Barometer : 30.24 in
Dewpoint: 27 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 44 F

10:47 a.m.

It's a sunny, cool morning with little to no wind. The temps this morning were in the 20s. Barney and I walked from 8:44 a.m. to 9:31 a.m.

Toledo Express Airport (KTOL)
Mar 16, 2020 9:52 am EDT
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 34 F
Humidity : 75%
Wind Speed : Calm
Barometer : 30.39 in
Dewpoint: 27 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles

Toledo Executive Airport (KTDZ)
Mar 16, 2020 9:53 am EDT
Weather : Fair
Temperature : 36 F
Humidity : 75%
Wind Speed : E 5 mph
Barometer : 30.40 in
Dewpoint: 29 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 32 F

Toledo Suburban Airport (KDUH)
Mar 16, 2020 10:36 am EDT
Weather : Mostly Cloudy
Temperature : 38 F
Humidity : 73%
Wind Speed : SE 3 mph
Barometer : 30.37 in
Dewpoint: 30 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 36 F

Toledo Express Airport (KTOL)
Mar 16, 2020 7:52 am EDT
Weather : Fair
Temperature : 27 F
Humidity : 81%
Wind Speed : Calm
Barometer : 30.41 in
Dewpoint: 22 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles

Toledo Executive Airport (KTDZ)
Mar 16, 2020 7:53 am EDT
Weather : Fair
Temperature : 29 F
Humidity : 81%
Wind Speed : Calm
Barometer : 30.42 in
Dewpoint: 24 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles

Toledo Suburban Airport (KDUH)
Mar 16, 2020 8:16 am EDT
Weather : Fair
Temperature : 25 F
Humidity : 88%
Wind Speed : Calm
Barometer : 30.42 in
Dewpoint: 22 F
Visibility : 7.00 statute miles

Toledo 7-day forecast

Last Update: Mar 16, 2020 9:17 am

Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Light and variable wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight: Cloudy, with a low around 39. West wind 3 to 7 mph.

Tuesday: Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 51. West wind 6 to 13 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 32. West wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: Showers after 2pm. High near 51. East wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night: Showers, mainly before 2am. Low around 42. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday: Showers, mainly after 2pm. High near 65. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Thursday Night: Showers. Low around 58. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Friday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 36.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 24.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 41.


Biden leads Trump by 9 points in a one-to-one matchup

We've seen this story.

Two Emergency Room Doctors Are in Critical Condition With Coronavirus

Two emergency medicine doctors, in New Jersey and Washington State, are in critical condition as a result of coronavirus, reinforcing concerns that the nation’s front-line medical workers are becoming especially vulnerable to the virus, the American College of Emergency Physicians said.

“A lot of us think that despite everything we do, we will probably be exposed,” said Dr. William Jaquis, the chair of the group. Still, he said, “The first reported case certainly sends a shock wave through the community.”

One of the ill physicians, a man in his 40s, is a doctor at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Wash., a hospital near Seattle which has seen one of the largest concentrations of cases in the United States.

“EvergreenHealth is providing care for one of our physicians who has a confirmed case of Covid-19. He is in critical condition but stable,” the hospital said in a statement.

Dr. Jaquis said it appeared that the doctor had access to adequate protective equipment. “This was an area with an outbreak, so they were expecting and prepared. That obviously makes us more nervous.”

The other physician, a doctor in his 70s in Paterson, N.J., was also in isolation in intensive care. The doctor led his institution’s emergency preparedness and was admitted to the hospital several days ago with upper respiratory problems, the physicians’ group said.

The nationwide shortage of N-95 protective masks has been concerning to doctors, who increasingly feel the need to use them in more situations to stay safe, Dr. Jaquis said.

Publications dependent on revenue from event ads, like alt-weeklies, are hit hard by coronavirus; Seattle's The Stranger says it's lost ~90% of its income

“This time is different”: In Seattle, social distancing forces The Stranger to make a coronavirus plea

Alt-weeklies’ revenues are disproportionately tied to locals gathering together in groups — at concerts, bars, restaurants, and other events and places where people stand less than six feet apart.

Kayleigh Barber / Digiday: Publishers put virtual events to the test as in-person gatherings disappear
Christopher Frizzelle / The Stranger: The Stranger Temporarily Lays Off 18 Employees
Andrew Giambrone / @andrewgiambrone: this is just horrendous, an utter detriment to the public's ability to stay informed about the pandemic in a state where it's already prevalent. we need to seriously plan for the impacts of another recession on local news. solidarity with The Stranger staff, you deserve better ✊🏼
@richsssmith: @jackshafer It's true! We had to furlough 18 people on Friday. We're hoping to stay alive long enough to bring them back. ...
Aimee / @aimeelevitt: The Stranger temporarily lays off 18 employees during COVID-19 quarantine. ... Me, an alt-weekly veteran: Damn. But also: They had 18 employees they could lay off?
Jack Shafer / @jackshafer: Very low on the list of impending catastrophes, but the shutdown might kill the last of my beloved alt-weeklies. Some are cutting circulation and passing the hat.
Dan Gibson / @dangibson520: Dammit. The Stranger has the extra sting of losing revenue from their ticketing business, but this likely won't be the last COVID-related burst of bad alt-weekly news.
Ian King / @ianking: Ouch. Fingers crossed that @TheStranger bounces back when social gatherings return. ...
Chris Walker / @bikejournalist: Geez. This shows just how precarious the business model for alt-weeklies is these days. Already the Stranger has had to suspend operations because lost advertising and COVID 19. And right at a time when people need local reporting most :( ...
Spek / @spekulation: Lord knows I have many thoughts on things The Stranger could do differently, but they have been responsible for some of the most important local journalism in the last couple decades. Stories we would not have gotten anywhere else. We've got a figure out a way to save them.
Mike Baker / @bymikebaker: Terrible news: @TheStranger is laying off a whole bunch of staff and suspending its print newspaper after coronavirus crushed their ad/ticket/event revenues. The alt paper will keep a journalism team of ~6 to continue online. ...
@thestranger: Today was a hard day. ...
Katie Herzog / @kittypurrzog: There will be no print edition of The Stranger for the first time in nearly 30 years ...
Rich Smith / @richsssmith: This hit in the space of a week. No gatherings meant no ads meant no paper meant layoffs for 18 people who worked long hours for less money than they were worth. Hire them. I'm lucky to stay on and write until the lights shut off. I'll need help. Please donate if you can spare it
Sam Allard / @scenesallard: Seattle's alt-(bi)weekly, @TheStranger, has put out a call for contributions, saying that 90% of its revenue has been virtually eliminated by COVID-19.
Jeff Proctor / @cjproctor74: .@LilianaSegura is right. Not for nothin'—and not just because it's 1 of my 2 journalism homes—but the @SantaFeReporter really is a treasure. I know donations are needed all over right now, but here's 1 way you can help SFR through the #COVIDー19 crisis:
Sarah Scire / @sarahscire: The Stranger, based in Seattle, has “temporarily laid off” 18 employees and suspended production of their print issue. They've received contributions from nearly 3,000 donors after the grim message to readers that I wrote about last week. ...
Brianna Sharpe / @sharpe_bri: Murky times need clear vision — if it's w/in my means, I'm continuing to support small businesses, food banks, freelancers, and independent media like @sprawlcalgary. For example, we have to put our gym membership on hold for now, so I'll put that cash where it can help.
Jeremy Klaszus / @klaszus: Not gonna lie: I'm nervous about what all of this means for @sprawlcalgary too. Thankfully we don't rely on ads, and our membership numbers are holding steady (so far). But many ppl's budgets are uncertain. Super grateful for everyone who's supporting us right now.

From the NL story:

The Stranger, the 28-year-old alt-(bi)weekly based in Seattle, has posted a plea for contributions on its social media and as a banner on their website. Like many in the world of indie local print media, The Stranger has weathered major economic headwinds but “this time is different,” the message reads.

A bi-weekly pub. A comment from the above Mediagazer discussion:

Andrew Giambrone / @andrewgiambrone: this is just horrendous, an utter detriment to the public's ability to stay informed about the pandemic in a state where it's already prevalent. we need to seriously plan for the impacts of another recession on local news. solidarity with The Stranger staff, you deserve better

How can the public stay informed about the pandemic by reading a paper that's produced once every two weeks? This pandemic is a continuous breaking news story. I normally eschew breaking news, but this story is unique, and it has no end in sight. It could be 4 to 8 weeks before we returned to "normal" in the U.S.

The biggest news comes from local, state, and federal governments, regarding closures. Nobody can wait two weeks for an alternative paper to provide updates.

Another bad observation from the Mediagazer discussion:

Chris Walker / @bikejournalist: Geez. This shows just how precarious the business model for alt-weeklies is these days. Already the Stranger has had to suspend operations because lost advertising and COVID 19. And right at a time when people need local reporting most :

The weekly and bi-weekly newspapers publishes stories about arts, entertainment, businesses, health, and other stories that are not time-sensitive. The Stranger may publish stories after the fact that are related to the virus, but it won't contain updates about closures and isolation suggestion. People in that area will get info from local TV news, local radio, and any daily newspapers, and they will probably see the updates over social media from those media orgs.

The Stranger can provide breaking news updates on their website and on their social media presences, but I doubt that a bi-weekly paper is the first source of info that residents consider.

From the NL story:

The Stranger says 90 percent of its revenue is “directly tied to people getting together in groups” and “the coronavirus situation has virtually eliminated this income all at once.”

Put simply, what we’re seeing in Seattle is a sobering look at what publications across the country that are dependent on advertising from events, concerts, and the like may soon be facing.

An analogous situation is unfolding in Austin, where the alt-weekly Austin Chronicle has long counted on SXSW for a major part of its annual revenue. With SXSW’s cancellation this year, the Chronicle is also asking for public support.

The NL story contains embedded tweets from the Stranger and the Austin Chronicle. I assume that those media orgs are also posting to Facebook, since a far greater number of people use Facebook than Twitter, even in those locales.

As we’ve been writing, COVID-19 is disrupting newsrooms, and the outbreak (and the necessary public-health response to it) threaten to wreak havoc on an already-battered U.S. news industry. Another possible gut-punch could come from foundations, seeing their endowments dip alongside the stock market, withdrawing support to nonprofit news outlets.

If home budgets get tight due to long-term negative economic impacts caused by the virus, then we will need to make decisions about what to keep and what to cancel. We would keep our home internet connection with, but we don't need Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

My wife could keep her Amazon user account, but she could cancel Prime. I rarely buy anything on Amazon, and I don't have a Prime account because I don't need it. My shops on Amazon regularly. That can be kiboshed, or we don't need items arriving immediately.

Recently, my wife signed up for the ad-supported version of Hulu because she wanted to watch Letterkenny, which is a hilarious show that I have seen at Catherine and Brad's house. But the ads are annoying. We can cancel that easily.

We don't NEED any paid streaming services. We already don't have cable nor satellite TV.

If things get tight, we could cancel our $12.99 per month digital subscription to the Toledo Blade. If possible, maybe we could dial back cell phone services.

I could certainly cancel and delete domain name leases and web hosting fees. I need to do this regardless. Over the past seven years, I have accumulated too much cost, related to the internet. I would keep my $10 per month Digital Ocean Droplet. I would at least keep and

From the NL story:

Readers and staffers of The Stranger posted their pleas on Twitter:

We cannot lose more media in Seattle, spread the word, and please support The Stranger if you can. Subscribe to @seattletimes A public crisis is when we need journalism the most.

— Nick Abraham (@nickwabraham) March 11, 2020

Seattle is or should be a WEALTHY area. It's a big, populated area or metro area. It's home to Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and other big, profitable companies.

If a bi-weekly newspaper cannot entice enough financial support in Seattle, then what chance does similar papers have in metro areas like Toledo, Ohio?

Another Twitter plea embedded within the NL story:

If you value @TheStranger, consider making a donation to us today. Almost all of our advertising is local, and the coronavirus is destroying the local economy. Love our political endorsements? Our events calendar? Our one-of-a-kind writers? Give here:

— ChristopherFrizzelle (@TheFrizzelle) March 11, 2020

Political endorsements? I don't understand media orgs making political endorsements. That seems like a throwback to past centuries. That's not important, in my opinion, to local media orgs.

That's a small text article that contains one medium-sized image. Yet ...

From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable
3/16/2020, 12:01:20 PM
First View Fully Loaded:
Download time: 8.633 seconds
Web requests: 181
Bytes downloaded: 2,365 KB

1.1 megabytes of the download were for JavaScript. !?!?!?!? Why?

Whatever. Media's war on the web and security and privacy.

It's getting real: As you've probably already seen, Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that restaurants, bars, and facilities like fitness centers and other recreational spaces will be shut down. This comes from a Center for Disease recommendation for shutting down these places nationwide for at least eight weeks. These new rules go into effect on Monday.

Unless something drastically changes in April, it appears that the Biggest Week in American Birding festival, scheduled in the first half of May, will be cancelled.

A clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine is starting: The clinical trial for a vaccine to prevent against COVID-19 will start in Seattle on Monday. It's being funded by the National Institutes of Health and is top secret. Though, someone leaked it to KOMO so how top-secret can it be?


Guy who stockpiled hand sanitizer is being investigated: For price gouging. The Tennessee man gave his actual real first and last name to the New York Times for a profile where he boasted about having 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and that his plan was to resell them on Amazon. He said he would donate the bottles but he's still being investigated for price gouging.

This sounds like a joke, but it appears to be real:

ISIS is advising its terrorists to wash their hands: The Islamic State is subscribing to best COVID-19 practices and is urging its terrorists to avoid coronavirus-stricken Europe. In the group's newsletter, editors advised against attacking the West. A first for that newsletter.


Oh right, the debate: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders faced each other on the debate stage on Sunday. There was no live audience present. The two candidates attacked each other's voting records. The biggest takeaway, it seems, is that Biden pledged to pick a female vice president. Biden's performance was better than in any of the last debates and commentators are convinced he's going to sweep Tuesday's primaries.

Normally, Ohio's primary occurs in May, but in presidential years, it's held in mid-March. Ohio's primary is scheduled for tomorrow.

With ALL of the cancellations and suspensions handed out by Ohio governor DeWine over the past two weeks, I'm surprised that Ohio's primary has not been pushed back to May. Louisiana and Georgia delayed their primaries. But Ohio and a few other states will continue with their primaries tomorrow.

Coronavirus: US man who stockpiled hand sanitiser probed for price gouging

Matt Colvin, from Chattanooga in Tennessee, told the New York Times he had faced a "huge amount of whiplash".

Online platforms have cracked down on sellers listing coronavirus-related items at inflated prices.

Mr Colvin later said he would donate his goods but on the same day Tennessee's attorney general opened an investigation, the Times reported.

After the initial article was published, Mr Colvin faced a major backlash, with many accusing him of attempting to profit off a global crisis.

He expressed remorse in a follow-up interview, saying he "had no idea that these stores wouldn’t be able to get replenished".

Price gouging - the act of re-selling an item in high demand with a "grossly excessive" price mark-up - is prohibited in the state of Tennessee if the governor has declared a state of emergency.

In a statement, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III said: "We will not tolerate price gouging in this time of exceptional need, and we will take aggressive action to stop it."

If found guilty, a person can be fined up to $1,000 (£813).

That's it, penalty-wise? Not much of a deterrent.

Oh my gosh. This media whining is obscene or offensive. I think that being a journalist would be a great job. I would prefer to be a journalist that writes. But it's hard to respect the profession with crap like this.

A licensed psychotherapist weighs in on how journalists can manage the stress of nonstop COVID-19 coverage

What stress? I thought that THIS WAS THEIR JOB to report the news. !?!?!?

Stress is what could occur with medicial professionals if hospitals get overwhelmed, and doctors and nurses have to work more hours per week than they should. Catherine (my Stepdaughter) and her husband Brad are nurses. Brad's Dad is a nurse. One of our next door neighbors is a nurse. All work at different hospitals in the area. It's not official yet, but nurses may need to work overtime soon. They may need to cover areas outside of their normal work. Medical professionals will get sick too and miss work, causing more strain on the profession. Medicial professionals could be overworked, tired, and weak, making them suseptible to getting sick, etc. That will become stressful.

How the hell will journalists be stressed?

Mediagazer discussion:

Anna Junker / @junkeranna: If I'm highly stressed out, I know others are too.
Jim MacMillan / @jimmacmillan: “Don't wait for your boss to ask you if you need time off. Especially while we are working remotely, the boss may have no clue how you are doing. Speak up. And maybe more importantly, now is a good time to look after your coworkers...”
First Draft / @firstdraftnews: Much needed set of reminders for journalists working on covid stories. Worth reading in full but this one resonated with us. We're doing 5pm virtual ‘happy hours’ to properly check in on each other every day.
Cristina Tardguila / @ctardaguila: People might not remember but journalists and fact-checkers are ALSO out in the field and plugged to computers and all social media channels at the same time to fight #COVIDー19. People might not value our work. But WE SHOULD. Take care of yourself. Eat, sleep and breathe. 👇


Chinese journalists, usually muzzled, are publicly pushing back against the government's positive coronavirus spin, buoyed by widespread calls for free speech

North American box office plunged to around $55.3M this weekend, its worst weekend since sales of $54.5M from September 15 to 17 in 2000

Global coronavirus infections outpace China cases

Coronavirus information: What should I do?

Coronavirus symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself?

What are the coronavirus symptoms?

Coronavirus infects the lungs. The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough, which can lead to breathing problems.

It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some people will get symptoms much later than this.

The incubation period lasts up to 14 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. But some researchers say it may be up to 24 days.

People will be most infectious when they have symptoms, but there have been suggestions some can spread the virus even before they are sick.

The early symptoms can easily be confused with other winter bugs including colds and flu.

The proportion dying from the disease appears low (between 1% and 2%) - but the figures are unreliable.

Thousands are being treated but may go on to die - so the death rate could be higher. But it may also be lower if lots of mild cases are unreported.

A World Health Organization examination of data from 56,000 patients suggests:

6% become critically ill - lung failure, septic shock, organ failure and risk of death
14% develop severe symptoms - difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
80% develop mild symptoms - fever and cough and some may have pneumonia

Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure), are more likely to become severely ill. The data from China also suggests that men are at slightly higher risk of dying from the virus than women.

Treatment relies on keeping the patient's body going, including breathing support, until their immune system can fight off the virus. Work to develop a vaccine is under way.

The H1N1 pandemic was a highly prevalent infection, with a later analysis showing it had infected 1 in 5 people worldwide. However, its death rate was very low, estimated at only 0.02% (around 200,000 deaths globally and 12,000 in the United States). By contrast, COVID-19 appears to be much more dangerous among the infected population so far, with a currently estimated mortality rate of 1%, or 10 times the normal flu.

From last week:

How Right-Wing Pundits Are Covering Coronavirus

Following President Trump’s lead, many commentators have played down fears.

Stocks Go Into Shock. Dow Plunges Nearly 3,000 Points

Coronavirus: U.S. Enters 'Quarantine Life' As Many Schools And Businesses Close

Reporter's Notebook: What Life Is Like In Rome Under Coronavirus Lockdown

Spiking Demand For Sanitizer, Canned Goods Leaves Stores Struggling To Keep Up

Global Deaths From Coronavirus Surpass 6,000

CDC Recommends Against Gatherings Of 50 Or More; States Close Bars And Restaurants

Quarantine? Self-Isolation? Social Distancing? What They Mean And When To Do Them

White House To Give Update On Coronavirus Plans And Tests

Millions holed up at home as virus profoundly shifts US life

Here's How We Cope When We're Stressed: Ideas From NPR's Arts Desk

We asked members of the NPR Arts Desk, and their answers include a Norwegian knitting marathon, America's Next Top Model, British crime dramas and peanut soup.

"National Knitting Night"
If 24 hours with Sigur Rós (see above) seems a tad ... long (you know, whatever), you can also spend a fraction of those 24 hours watching a bunch of good-natured Norwegians try to produce a sweater — "from sheep's back to human's back" — in something short of the world-record time. (That'd be 4 hours, 51 minutes and 14 seconds, obviously.) It's called "National Knitting Night," available through NRK TV, and it's extraordinarily soothing company. And, when you think about it, kind of like sports!
— Stephen Thompson, panelist, Pop Culture Happy Hour and NPR Music editor

National Weather Service Cheyenne WY
202 PM MDT Mon Mar 16 2020


North Laramie Range-Ferris/Seminoe/Shirley Mountains-
Shirley Basin-Central Laramie Range and Southwest Platte County-
Central Carbon County-North Snowy Range Foothills-Laramie Valley-
South Laramie Range-
Including the cities of Garrett, Seminoe Dam, Medicine Bow,
Shirley Basin, Bordeaux, Rawlins, Arlington, Elk Mountain,
Bosler, Laramie, Buford, Pumpkin Vine, and Vedauwoo
202 PM MDT Mon Mar 16 2020



Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

March 16th Afternoon Update: A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for most of southeast Wyoming and all of western Nebraska starting Wednesday night and continuing through Thursday night. Moderate to heavy snow, strong gusty winds, and significant travel impacts are expected through Thursday night. Snow accumulations of 6+ inches are possible across this area. We will post specific snow accumulations at a later time as confidence increases with this event.

Trump: Coronavirus Guidance Includes Avoiding Gatherings Of More Than 10 People

America Closed: Thousands Of Stores, Resorts, Theaters Shut Down

The New Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 2-3 Days — Here's How To Clean Them, March 14, 2020 · How long can the new coronavirus live on a surface, like say, a door handle, after someone infected touches it with dirty fingers? A study out this week finds that the virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

For instance, if the virus contaminates a sunny windowsill or countertop, it may not last as long.

"Ultraviolet light can be a really powerful disinfectant and we get a lot of UVA light from the sun," says Daniel Kuritzkes an infectious disease expert at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Direct sunlight can help rapidly diminish infectivity of viruses on surfaces," he says. He was not involved in the new research.

Much is still unknown about the virus's survivability on other types of surfaces like clothing, or carpeting. Kuritzkes says that based on prior research, it seems that "flat surfaces and hard surfaces are more friendly to viruses than cloth or rough surfaces."

And how about food? "Food is probably not a major risk factor here," Kuritzkes says. That's because most infection from the new coronavirus starts with the respiratory system, not the digestive tract. So infection comes from getting the virus on your hands and then touching your own eyes, nose and mouth. "Of more concern would be utensils, and plates and cups that might be handled by a large number of people in a cafeteria setting, for example," he says.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Well, you've likely already heard this. Wash your hands. And wipe down shared surfaces.

Follow these tips for cleaning surfaces — your own and public ones.

Wipe right: Use ammonia or alcohol-based products. Skip the baby wipes

"The good thing about COVID-19 is that it does not require any unique cleaning chemicals to disinfect hands and surfaces," says Andrew Janowski, an infectious disease expert at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the current coronavirus,

Good old-fashioned soap and water does the trick.

You can also use a wipe, but make sure you use an alcohol-based wipe, not baby wipes, which may not be effective, Janowski says.

And given that wipes are hard to come by at many stores at the moment, you can instead buy an EPA-registered disinfecting spray, such as one on this list from the Center for Biocide Chemistries, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by Dr. David Warren, an infectious disease specialist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Or make a bleach-based spray yourself. You can make a DIY cleaning spray by mixing 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water, according to the CDC.

Hand-washing is so important that if everyone followed good hand-washing hygiene, it could prevent an estimated 1 in 5 respiratory infections, according to the CDC — that's the equivalent of about 6 million cases of the flu this year.

Hand sanitizer: DIY in a pinch?

Hand sanitizer is effective at killing viruses, too, although hand-washing is preferred, according to the CDC. If you can't get to a sink, hand sanitizer is a good backup plan — just make sure it's at least 60% alcohol.

Given the shortage of hand sanitizers in some stores and reports of price-gouging online, there's lots of interest in DIY hand sanitizer. We've seen lots of recipes calling for a combination of rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel, like this one from Wired.

"On paper, if a recipe can maintain the alcohol concentration above 60%, it should be effective against SARS-COV-2," says Andrew Janowski, but he says getting it just right might be trickier than you think. If in doubt when making these homemade sanitizers, soap and water are still effective against the virus.

Try this stinky trick to stop touching your face

Your face offers multiple entry points for the virus. So every time you touch your eyes, nose and mouth with grubby hands, you risk infection.

"If you have touched a table or a doorknob or some surface contaminated [with the virus] and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you have a chance of inoculating yourself with the virus," Kuritzkes says.

But, as a matter of habit, most of us touch our faces multiple times an hour without even realizing it.

So, here's an idea. "After you wash your hands really well, touch a piece of raw onion," says Catherine Belling of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. With this strong smell on your fingers, "you'll notice when you touch your face," she says. Sure, it may make you a tad antisocial, but it could be a good way to train yourself to touch less.