We are living in a dangerous time, dealing with something the majority rarely, if ever, even consider – Fighting a contagious, and possibly deadly, microbe. It is a virus known as Covid-19. Many will be sickened, few will escape unscathed, and some of us will die. How many don’t die largely depends on their being able to protect themselves, but more importantly, it depends on the vigilance of everyone else. If you are in my place (the highest risk group) your heart just sank. And every time you watch/read/listen to the news your heart drops a bit further.
I am not an expert, but I have been living with a double-lung transplant and suppressed immune system for going on 9 years. I also once worked for one of the largest sterilizer companies in the United States earlier in life. So here are my ideas, and what I am practicing, in these perilous times.
- Assume that the virus is everywhere and that everyone is a carrier.
- In environments you think are safe – your home and car, etc. you still need to clean surfaces regularly and stop the virus from entering.
To Mask or Not Mask
To mask or not to mask. Everyone who is out in public should be wearing a mask if they can (in my opinion). The only reason I can see for the recommendations to NOT wear a mask is that they are in short supply (like the tests).
I am so outraged about the testing, and the drumbeat of “if you feel sick” … What we now know from China is that of folks who tested positive for the virus 4 out of 5 (80%) were exposed by contact with people WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE HEALTHY!! This was discovered by tracing the contacts of those who were initially tested. This means that you can be positive for Covid-19 and be spreading it to everyone you encounter, without feeling ill. The current restrictions on testing are because the government has totally failed to get enough tests where they are needed, or to even test front line workers and those who are seriously ill. Therefore, I assume that everyone is a carrier unless I am intimately aware of the precautions they are taking.
Rather than detailing every possible scenario, I am just going to do one in detail – a (safer) trip to the grocery store.
- Get a bucket of soapy water (with a bit of bleach if you have it) and a rag of some sort and put it outside your home (or apartment), or just inside your door. You can alternatively use some sort of disinfectant (carefully). This is for cleaning your groceries (and shoes) when you get home.
- Get a clean box or bags to leave at home. You will place your cleaned groceries in these.
- Get dressed in a double layer of clothes as you are going to strip off the outer layer outside when you get back.
- If you have cloth grocery bags, then bring them with you.
- If you have rubber or exam gloves, stick them in your pocket.
- If you have a hat, scarf, or dew rag, wear it. (Or sweatshirt with hood)
- If you have a mask, take it.
- You should always have hand sanitizer with you
- If you are driving, take a sheet to throw over your car seat
Arriving at the store
- If there are a ton of folks there, try a different store or come back another time.
- Put on a mask, head covering, and gloves. Grab your bags (if you have them)
- Get your cart and clean the handle (if you can).
- Try to keep your distance from others
- Do your shopping
- At the checkout, don’t rest anything on the check-writing stand, and if they have a separate person bagging, bag your own groceries (to reduce others handling them). Most times I would argue against self-checkout, but during this emergency, I recommend self-checkout to reduce the number of people handling your groceries.
Back at the car. The goal here is to not contaminate your car.
- Remove ONE glove, or sanitize your hands, BEFORE you touch your keys or car.
- Use the clean hand to get your keys and open your car.
- Load your bags with the gloved hand and close the car
- Put the cart away
- Remove the other glove (or re-sanitize hands) and head for home.
- Re-glove and haul groceries to your door, or place where you can clean them
- Grab the sheet as well. It will need to be washed and you can also put your outer layer of clothes in it.
- If the cleansing water and clean grocery containers are not outside, then grab them.
- Strip your outer layer (you can put in your empty bag(s) shortly, and these you will wash)
- Wipe down each item thoroughly and place in your clean box/bag
- Set aside fruits and vegetables to clean separately. (Unless prepackaged)
- When all groceries (except fresh) are washed, wipe your door handle and then either remove your shoes or wash the soles of your shoes (they have been in contact with the most likely disease vector – the floor and parking lot)
Fruits and veggies
- You will need to clean fruits and vegetables. I have been putting solid fruits and veggies in a soapy water bath, rinsing thoroughly, drying, and then bagging if going in the fridge. Veggies like artichokes, broccoli, and greens are rinsed thoroughly, let dry, and the bag sealed. These are for cooking only.
- If you have bought prepackaged fresh veggies, wash the containers outside and then clean as usual before use.
Your home – however humble or grand
The goal is to make and keep, your home a safe environment. That means regularly cleaning all surfaces, handles, switches, and devices. It also means cleaning EVERYTHING that comes into your home. Shoes and hands are the most easily contaminated and they must be cleaned. The message of “wash your hands” is everywhere, but those shoes need to be wiped down – especially the soles.
People are a problem. If they have been out in the world in the last two weeks, then they are possibly carrying the virus —whether they feel sick or not. If you feel they have been as cautious as you have been, then let them in. If they haven’t then visit by video chat.
Many people are having things shipped to them, and most get mail. Assume it all packages are contaminated and the items inside are contaminated. I carefully open all mail and packages outside. I then putt all boxes and envelopes directly into the recycling and clean all packages (and my hands) before bringing them inside.
Many are going to see the directions above as either over the top or obsessive. Unfortunately, keeping a clean space and avoiding contamination is exactly that. It requires focus because it is so easy to cross-contaminate. At one point in my life journey, I had a medication that was delivered under the skin with a pump. I followed an equally long list in preparing to refill the pump and set the subcutaneous patch. It was a written list and I used the buddy system with both of us checking each step. If one of us dropped something off the clean area, or unconsciously scratched our nose, then we’d call a halt and change gloves.
All of us are now dealing with a pathogen that has a long incubation period which continues even after a person is “well”. Many who come in contact with it will not experience symptoms or only mild symptoms, but who are carrying the virus and can both shed it and spread it. Seemingly healthy people are the biggest threat of contagion (in my opinion). Lastly, the virus should be assumed to be everywhere or everything.
^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.
All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.
The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.
CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.
Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.
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