Covid Advice #1 (04/06/2020):
General Advice, Masks, Quarantining, Shoes, Going Out, Visitors
General Advice, Masks, Quarantining, Shoes, Going Out, Visitors
- from Dr. Dennis Fong -
1. HOW THIS VIRUS SPREADS:
Microscopic saliva droplets is the main way that Covid spreads, the same as how all respiratory viruses spread.
When people talk, cough or sneeze, they spray out a cloud of come frommicroscopic saliva droplets. You can actually see them in the sunlight, especially when people sneeze. The droplets that come from talking travel 3-6 feet before dropping to the ground and onto any surfaces that are in the way. Droplets that come from coughing and sneezing can go up to 10 feet or more. And when there's an air current as from air conditioning or heating, the droplets can travel a lot farther and may stay up in the air for a long time, as proven by Covid's spread in buses and subway cars
You breathe in the droplets plus the viruses that are on them through your nose and mouth, or they land on your face, or they land on your eyes and the virus gets in.
You must wash or disinfect your hands because saliva droplets land on door handles and so forth, and your hands can pick up the viruses on the droplets, then touch your mouth, your eyes or the food you eat, and then the viruses get in.
Infected people may be totally fine and not ever show any symptoms, or show symptoms only after 14 days, and 80% of people who show symptoms get just a cold or something mild. So these people may be going around talking to people and not wearing masks, touching things, visiting grandparents and bringing them their groceries, and generally spreading the virus without knowing it, thinking they are fine and virus-free. We think that's why this thing is exploding so much so fast.
2. GENERAL ADVICE:
With the viral infection exploding around us, you should treat everyone outside your daily household as possibly infected. Same with everything that others have touched.
Don't go out to places with people unless absolutely necessary. From people is how you get this virus, plus things or surfaces people have touched.
If you must go out to places with people, only one person in the household goes and only once a day maximum.
Don't touch the objects and surfaces, especially plastic and even worse, metal, that other people have touched, and if you do touch these objects and surfaces, disinfect or wash your hands. If your clothing or shoes touch those surfaces, wash or quarantine (see below) your clothing or shoes.
So stay your house and backyard and avoid other people than those in your household as much as possible. Do not go to places where there are other people if at all possible.
Disinfect immediately or quarantine everything that other people have touched, including the credit card, the groceries that the supremarket staff had touched to put on the shevles, the bottles that hold the pills the pharmacist had given you you, etc.
Always alcohol gel your alcohol gel bottle and Clorox wipe your Clorox wipe bottle every time you clean your hands, because usually you will have touched the bottles before your hands have been disinfected.
Covid likes metal and stays alive on metal for up to 9 days. So pay special attention to door knobs, car doors, and car door handles.
3. ABOUT MASKS:
If you have to go to places where there are other people, wear something over your nose and mouth, like a mask.
Medical N95 masks are good, but medical or nurses' masks are enough. Cloth masks like the ones doctors used in the 1960s to operate on people and to work with infected patients are not as good, but you may have to make do since there's a mask shortage. A mask from the hardware store or paint shop is much better than not having a mask.
Even a scarf or a handkerchief will be much better than nothing.
You should take off the mask correctly. Every time you are with people, the outside of your mask should be considered infected. Do not touch the outside of the mask when taking it off or disposing of it, unless you disinfect your hands immediately. Put your fingers around the masks's ear rings or ties and take the mask off that way. Then drop the mask off into the garbage or into a quarantine box to be reused (see below about quarantine).
4. QUARANTINING INSTEAD OF DISINFECTING:
We are facing a shortage of masks, disinfecting agents like alcohol hand gel, germicidal wipes, bleach, alcohol, household cleaning sprays, etc., soap, detergent and even paper towels. Both this pandemic and the shortages may last a lot longer than we might think. Quarantining infected objects allows you to be safe without using up your precious supplies.
Quarantining just means leaving the possibly infected object untouched for enough days for the virus to die.
You can leave the objects to be quarantines in a box, say, either outside, in the garage, or inside the house if nobody touches the objects or the inside of the quarantine box.
We usually quarantine things for enough days for the virus to die, then add one more day to make sure.
10 days quarantine for metal, like cans of food, the metal caps of jars, door knobs, car bodies and knobs on the car's dashboard, gate latches, etc., because here Covid takes 9 days to die.
6 days quarantine for rubber like shoe bottoms, for glass, and for plastic like your eyeglasses' frames, plastic bottles, plastic bags, and the clear thin plastic wrap that groceries, mail and newspapers, etc., often come in, because here Covid takes 5 days to die.
3 days quarantine for most other materials, like masks, paper, cardboard, clothing, etc., because here Covid takes 2 days to die.
5. OTHER WAYS TO CONSERVE ALCOHOL GEL, DISINFECTING WIPES, AND PAPER TOWELS:
Often you need things right away and can't wait for quarantining, but your supply of disinfectants might not last.
Make a tub of water with any soap that suds up and wash things in it. They can be plastic packages, things that come in bottles, vegetables, meats wrapped in plastic, metal objects like cans of food, and so forth. This will save you a lot of disinfectant wipes.
Use cloth towels that you wash in your tub of soapy water instead of using your supply of paper towels.
Instead of throwing out old magazines and older papers, rip a piece out and use it as a one-time shield to grab something, open a gate, etc., then immediately discard the paper. This way you don't have to use up disinfectant gell or wipes for your hand.
We used to think shoes were fine and didn't recommend disinfecting the bottoms of shoes like the Asians do, but now there are studies showing the virus can live on shoe bottomes for up to 5 days.
After going out, and even after just walking on the walkway to your mailbox or on your driveway, your shoes may pick up virus from the shoes left by other walkers, visitors to your home, the mailman,or delivery people. Disinfect the bottoms of the shoes, quarantine the shoes you wear to go outside, or just reserve a pair of shoes for going out and just always take them off at the door and never bring them into the house.
7. GOING OUT, TO PLACES WITH PEOPLE:
To go out, wear a mask, eye goggles, jacket with a hood to protect our hair, outer pair of pants and a dedicated pair of shoes for going out that you never bring into the house.
When you come back, take off your hood, jacket, outer pants and the going-out shoes at the door, before you walk into the house.
Leave the going-out shoes at the door, but pick up the jacket and the outer pants with you hand or hands, go straight to the washer and drop them in. Then first disinfect your hands and then put in the detergent and turn on the washer.
Take off your mask and goggles touching only the loops and out the outside of the mask or goggles. To reuse your mask quarantine it for 3 days after each use. Disinfect the glasses or goggles, or quarantine them for 3 days. If you go out 6 times a week and you want to use the quarantine method, you will need at least 3 masks and 3 pairs of goggles.
8. VISITORS WHO COME INTO YOUR HOUSE:
*Note: this section has changed from the original that was on the 04/05/2020 email
Of course, they must wear a mask, and they are to keep their mask on throughout their visit.
At the door, give them booties to put over their shoes. Then give them a jacket with a hood or a hoodie, and a pair of loose outer pants (pajamas pants are quite alright as long as they are long enough if it's just family) to put over what they are wearing.
They also must gel or somehow disinfect their hands or the gloves they have on (gloves get contaminated too) before they come in.
9. FINAL WORD:
Go about everythign really slowly and think about contamination before you touch anything. Otherwise you will end up contaminating lots of things that you won't be able to clean, or worse, might not even realize you've contaminated. As soon as you know that you are contaminated, disinfect yourself. It could be your hands, or a sleeve, or a part of your jacket, and so forth.
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