Protecting Yourself and Your Community from COVID-19

In my previous article I wrote about the spread and potential impacts of COVID-19 if we fail to “flatten the curve”.

Since that article was getting a bit information dense, I wanted to split out this article into its own write-up, for the information below can be crucial.

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Masks

Most people do not need to wear a mask during their daily activities. If you are often in crowded areas (unlikely these days), it might be prudent. If everyone wore masks outdoors, it would probably slow the infection rate. However there are not enough masks. Every box of masks you buy means that health care workers don’t have those masks for treating patients, putting themselves and others at risk.

If you have a stock of masks, please consider donating it to a local hospital – they are all hurting right now.

If you want to wear a mask, research has shown that teacloth (Sources 1, 2, 3) is roughly 83% as effective as a surgical mask at stopping particles smaller than the Coronavirus. Fashioning a mask out of teacloth is a good alternative for most people and will save masks for our health care workers. Wearing them outdoors will also reduce the risk of you spreading the disease, should you be infected and asymptomatic.  

Alternatively, during the height of the crisis, a Chinese university developed a mask alternative that is also extremely effective and can be made using ordinary household materials. Watch the video below to learn how to make your own.

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Painkillers/Fever Reducers

The French Health Ministry has found that painkillers like ibuprofen may exacerbate the symptoms of Coronavirus. They suggest taking paracetamol instead, which can be found in Tylenol.

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Symptoms

This is a breakdown of typical symptoms of the virus:

(Note: Some people do not exhibit symptoms for up to a week or even ever).

Note, too, that many young people are extreme vectors for this – they have it and never show. That’s why it’s critical that we practice social distancing. Source: Dr. Margaret Stager:

“Twenty somethings are MAJOR vectors for the virus. Current US protocols won’t get them tested but S Korea data shows they are spreading the virus everywhere. It’s time for the healthy young adults to stay home and stop spreading the virus.”

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Quarantining

This virus can live for a very long time on virtually every surface (so be careful with those same-day and next-day deliveries):

This means that if someone in your house has it you should all assume that you have it, and if you have pets – don’t let others pet them because they can carry it too. Once infected, you should quarantine for at least 30 days.

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Organizational

If you are a small city or city government, some measures that other places have adopted are;

  • Bulk purchasing of masks and respirators from hardware stores to build a stockpile.
  • Bulk purchasing of food to feed people who are stuck out of work.
  • Taking out a large loan to pay businesses and people in your town who are out of work during the time of crisis.
  • Promote the praise of medical workers as heroes to encourage citizens to self regulate and regulate others when it comes to the purchase of PPE.

If you are a small order manufacturer, hospitals could use help with filling out orderes for PPE, especially face shields. Reach out to a local hospital to see if they need help. If you’re a hospital, reach out to anyone you know in the community who makes stuff. Get that resource in your pocket for later.

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