Thank you for writing this article Erin. (I hope I can meet you sometime.) It reaches the thinking of most people who read it and provides good visual pictures. I support what you say with two important references. I wrote an article months ago about the disconnect between the scientific and medical communities in sharing technical information. For the past 5 or more years there has been technical studies showing virus and bacteria are present in normal exhales. My article references two important technical papers about the spread of SARS 2 virus.
The technical paper Interface published by the Royal Society in January 2019 studied bio-aerosol transmission of disease using a novel approach to understand the dynamics of how it occurs. (J.R. Soc. Interface 16: 20180779) It is the smoking gun that shows the relationship between infection transmission and the relative humidity (RH) inside a room or work area. For low 20% RH (late fall, winter and early spring), they report that the small bio-aerosols can stay airborne for 3 to more than 6 hours. Increasing the RH can reduce the airborne time to less than 15 minutes, significantly reducing the chance of someone in the room inhaling viral particles (vp). They also reported that small bio-aerosols go to the lowest lung cavity to cause the most acute forms of the disease. For the common flu, it took only 3 vp. Consequently, this is a vector for catching flu and colds during these cold months.
A 2019 paper in Respiratory Research on Exhaled Particles and Small Airways (Blake et al. Respiratory Research (2019) 20:8) reports that the airway reopening mechanism can generate 0.7 to 1 micron bio-aerosols for each exhale which are a suspension of tiny air bubbles containing living and or dead microorganisms. These organisms can be present and become part of the exhale air well before other physical symptoms occur in a person that has contracted the disease. In 30 minutes, over 100,000 vp's can be exhaled into the room.
It is critical to get this information out. It is sad to see how the medical community has been misinformed by some doctors parroting uninformed people who have not done their research to see what the scientific community has found about the spread of virus and bacteria pathogens. They have misguided many creating conditions for more infection, not less. A critical lesson on how we should deal and understand viruses was presented in 2002 by Paul Ewald in his book Plague Time. The medical community has all but ignored this well written book!
I am the President of Pathogen Path Consulting LLC, and the articles I referenced are found on www.sterilray.com.