OK, several things I apparently hadn't made clear in this chapter. I guess I was trying to be subtle, but it looks like I'd been too busy tap-dancing around the issue to make them very clear (and thus the whole point had been missed).
I apparently hadn't conveyed the whole scene with the kids. The reference to the "open door" and the reference, by Nina, about her 'poor view' apparently led to some confusion about the kids' actual involvement, and about how they were thus arranged in the hallway (i.e. 'Wouldn't that have involved their touching each other in order for them all to be able to see at once?')
Alas, in trying to paint an image instead of coming right out and detailing it, I think I've given the wrong impression. The door, while having been opened by Alice, wasn't opened enough for anyone to peer through -- though that was David's biggest fear. Instead the kids sat loosely grouped outside, merely listening and whispering jokes to each other. Again, the emphasis wasn't that the kids wanted to join in or 'get off' by spying on the adults, instead they were exploring the idea of approaching adulthood. They knew they had to grow up in a hurry, and while they weren't ready to jump in with both feet, teasing the adults about their behavior was an easier method of easing into those rolls.
Nina's comment about her 'bad view' was more teasing, complaining that since they were stuck in the hallway, and not actually watching, they couldn't get the full impact. but she hadn't tried to look in herself.
Once again, it's a fairly complex notion to convey indirectly, but I was hoping everyone would be familiar enough with what happened before (in "Love & Family"), to understand the emotional mechanisms.
Next, there was a question to my "skin and sweat cells". A reader pointed out, after Googling it to be sure, there there aren't really any 'sweat cells'.
The term "skin and sweat cells" was intentional, as I'd wanted to convey that sweat was actually a bigger threat than dry skin cells were (due to their remaining higher humidity level). Tom had already explained that the associated cells that he'd linked to the plague were more likely found in sweat than they were on surfaces, even though the cells were more likely actually associated with skin cells found in the sweat, rather than existing in any 'sweat cells'. Again, it seems that I confused the issue rather than expressing it well.
Finally, there was a question about who was infected vs. who wasn't (in the household), and what that implied about what the wider population outside of David's household. The idea being that if most of those inside the house were actually unexposed, then surely the same would hold true about those outside as well.
Basically, not even counting David, Alice, Mattie and Betty, those infected include Tom, Monique and Debbie, while those NOT infected include John-John, Peter, Adam, Jenny, Wendy, Greg, Melissa and Betty (before she exposed herself to David's Plasma).
But the point that I was trying to make (and I was trying to make one -- actually several of them) was that they (David and Alice) really didn't know quite what was happening, since they had no real evidence. The kids, and Greg and the others, survived precisely because they'd listened to Alice's broadcasts and knew how to avoid exposure. If they hadn't, they probably wouldn't have made it. Remember, not many people survived the plague, and those who did, frequently succumbed to a later one, either because their immune systems were weakened or because they never understood the risks in the first place. Thus those 'unexposed' were more exceptions than they are the rule.
Hope that clears things up, though I'm thinking maybe I might need to revisit my explanations, making the various issues clearer (since it sounds like the chapter was anything but). <sigh!>