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What the Apollo 11 Splashdown Behind The Scenes Footage Teach Us About Quarantine

Moon germs? It’s the first time I hear about these. Scientists had no idea what kind of germs the Apollo 11 crew could be bringing back with them from their landing on the Moon, and so an elaborate cleaning up of astronauts and Columbia capsule were undertaken before they were extracted up from the sea, returned to a waiting aircraft carrier, and immediately quarantined in the Mobile Quarantine Trailer.

This Behind the Scenes footage of the splashdown, cleaning and quarantine is very interesting. It shows the utmost care that was taken to disinfect the capsule as well as the astronauts. It also shows that going into quarantine is a normal procedure to follow when dealing with possible dangerous germs. I don’t believe there ever were moon germs (if there were, none probably survived the fiery reentry to Earth, as well as the chemical cleaning) — but COVID-19 is real and can be deadly to some 165,000+ of us. Self-quarantine during this COVID-19 pandemic is necessary.

What about photography during this self-quarantine? It’s good to also reiterate the advice from the Professional Photographers of Canada to photographers concerning the increasingly popular Porch Portraits/ Front Step projects, and variations.

Although most do it with the very best of intentions, it still leaves room open for mistakes that could potentially cost lives. Some photographers may knock on the door or ring the doorbell, pass someone in the street, a child could run over to hug them, or their built-in photographer instinct to go over and fix hair, pose the client and assist could easily kick in. These potential actions risk passing on, or catching COVID-19.

This is also the time to carefully listen to our health and medical experts in Canada, the US, and around the world; they are the best. There should be no rush to re-open businesses and we should certainly not be pressuring them to tell us when we can do so. We should remember the unfortunate Space Shuttle Challenger disaster which killed all seven of its crew members because some NASA bureaucrats kept pestering the engineers (who had repeatedly advised that the launch be postponed so they could carefully ascertain the safety of O-ring seals) to launch as soon as possible. Management decided to overrule their engineers, and the Shuttle Challenger launched on Tuesday, January 28, 1986. It broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard.

“The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA’s organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident, with the agency violating its own safety rules.”
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster