Covid Advice #12 (11/16/2020):
Robust Personal Protection!
Robust Personal Protection!
- from Dr. Dennis Fong -
I write to say: make sure your personal protection is robust. Back on 07/05 I had warned of a bad winter, and unfortunately it's turning out to be correct. Last week there was one day when US Covid cases jumped by 200,000. And it's getting worse: it took 15 days for U.S. Covid cases to increase from 9 million to 10 million, but only 6 days to increase from 10 million to 11 million.
The problem is the silent spreaders. People who will come down with symptoms have 5 days or more of pre-symptomatic silent spread, and then there are people who will never come down with symptoms but may spread it silently for 2 weeks or more. There are probably 4 times as many asymptomatic silent spreaders as there are diagnosed cases. Calculating with those numbers, we can estimate that as of today, for the whole U.S., about 1 in 20 are silently spreading Covid; for California, about 1 in 50, and for Contra Costa County, about 1 in 80. Those are the chances of running into someone silently spreading the virus, in stores, at work, when people visit, etc.
Making your personal protection robust means 1. personal protective equipment (PPE), 2. decontamination practices, and 3. social distancing.
1. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE):
- Mask: make sure your mask is saliva proof. Put some water on the outward surface of the mask then flick it off, and if there's a water stain on the mask it's not saliva proof. This is especially important for cloth or N95 masks. Unlike medical N95's, industrial N95's tend not to be saliva proof, only dust proof. Also even saliva proof cloth masks may no longer be so after washing one or more times. On the contrary, those inexpensive blue masks have many years of standardized manufacture behind them and are saliva proof.
- Goggles or face shield over a mask: protect your eyes. Even Dr. Fauci said end of July to do so. Because of the gaps, I think glasses aren't quite good enough.
- Shoes: dedicated ones for going out.
- Head covering and outer clothes for going out.
- My suit for going out: see my 05/17/20 email and website page. It's based on the "hazmat space suit" that Dr's and nurses wear for taking care of Covid patients in the hospital and ICU. Studies have shown that such Dr's and nurses get Covid at the same rate as people in administrative jobs who never take care of patients, so this stuff works.
2. DECONTAMINATION PRACTICES:
- Hands: this means hand washing and hand disinfectiing with alcohol get etc.
- Objects and Foods: see my posts of 04/05, 04/06, 04/29, and 07/05.
- *Note: I must mention refrigerated foods: some days ago reports came out that actual Covid cases have been individually traced to refrigerated foods. This proves that my advice to wash your vegetables, meats, fish, etc. in dish soap is correct. Covid lives 4 weeks in refrigerators, and coronaviruses live up to 5 years in freezers.
3. SOCIAL DISTANCING:
- Shopping: online delivery if you can, including groceries. Wear my suit above if you can't.
- Dining with others: since you have to take off your mask and talk, make this outdoors, it's way, way safer than indoors. I would say keep a distance of more than 6 feet, 12 feet ideally. I have not seen a single scientific study on Covid safety when people are together without masks on for an hour or more at only 6 feet apart.
- Family or friends coming from out of town to stay with you for the holidays: make sure they get tested for Covid before the trip then stay quarantined form the time of testing to the time they show up at your door. You should do the same for them.
Wish you happiness! Stay healthy and stay safe!
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