Sniffing Out Covid 🐾 & Media Obligations 🎾
Tuesday, June 1st 2021
Can’t quite believe it’s June 😎
The hottest day of the year so far was recorded on Sunday, at 23.1°C, out West at Newport Furnace, Co. Mayo, according to
Balmy for Ireland but certainly not impressive…
Nevertheless, summer is upon us! 🌞
C’mere to me…
Dogs Sniffing Out Covid
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) released a pre-print paper on dogs, determining that they can detect Covid-19 on clothing worn by infected people with a 94% accuracy.
“The highest performing dogs in the trial detected the odour of the virus in the samples with up to 94.3% sensitivity (meaning a low risk of false negative results) and up to 92% specificity (meaning a low risk of false positive results). This is a greater accuracy than recommended by the World Health Organization for COVID-19 diagnostics, with the dogs consistently outperforming lateral flow tests across sensitivities between 80-90%, which have an overall sensitivity of between 58-77%.
While PCR is the gold standard of tests, with 97.2% sensitivity and 90% specificity, the researchers emphasise the dogs have the advantage of being incredibly rapid, and non-invasive, with the potential to quickly and passively screen individuals in public places without inconvenience.”
Similar studies are emerging in countries all over the world, all with promising results.
A French study by Paris’s Necker-Cochin hospital found that dogs were much better than fast lateral flow tests (LFTs) and were able to detect the presence of the virus with 97% accuracy. The canine friends were 91% correct in identifying negative samples.
Another study at the University of Pennslyvania in the US, published in PLOS One, determined that dogs can sniff out COVID-19-positive samples with 96% accuracy.
Finland and many other countries are currently using dogs in their airports to test for Covid-19.
“Some methods of detection, like temperature screening, can’t identify infected people who have no symptoms. But dogs can, because the infected lungs and trachea produce a trademark scent. And dogs need fewer molecules to nose out Covid than are required for P.C.R. testing, Thai researchers said.”
— New York Times
Whilst they are not going to replace a PCR test, it seems that dogs are far more effective and accurate than rapid antigen tests.
They are also much less intrusive and can work much quicker. A commonly suggested use case is to have dogs walk through crowds at the entrances to events and at stadiums, airports, train stations etc
A two dog team could screen a 300 passenger plane in 30 minutes. Those identified as having Covid-19 would then be required to get a PCR test and quarantine while awaiting results, but this would still be more efficient than everyone having to be tested days beforehand and far cheaper too.
Media Obligations in Professional Sport 🎾
Naomi Osaka is one of Tennis’ biggest young stars, at just 23 she’s a four-time Grand Slam winner and the worlds highest-paid female athlete.
Last week, before the French Open began, she made it clear that, for the sake of her mental health, she was not going to do press during the tournament.
“If the organizations think they can keep saying, ‘do press or you’re going to get fined,’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centrepiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh,” she wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
Following her first-round victory on Sunday, she stuck to her word and did not attend post-match interviews.
Within hours she was fined $15,000 by the tournaments referee and received a stern warning that she could face further penalties if she did not fulfil all of her media obligations.
So on Monday she made the decision to withdraw from the tournament altogether.
It raises some really important questions about media obligations in sport. Whilst we, as fans, love to see interactions with the athletes off the courts and pitches, at the end of the day they are there to play and that should be what we tune in for.
Of course, there has to be some media contact, especially with sponsors and the balancing of commercial commitments (who fund professional sport), but that can never come at the cost of someone’s mental health.
It's weird to think that your co-workers might be faking their personalities as much as you are
That’s all 🤙🏽
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