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⬆️ But don’t they emphasize social distancing outside as well? Me and this guy were definitely not 6 feet apart.
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⬆️ But don’t they emphasize social distancing outside as well? Me and this guy were definitely not 6 feet apart.
Being outdoors is definitely safer than being indoors. But the general rule is to avoid being within 6 feet of someone for any prolonged amount of time.

Do you have any of those masks that are tied instead of with elastics? That way it just hangs around your neck when you aren't using it but you just pull it up if you encounter someone.



⬆️ But don’t they emphasize social distancing outside as well? Me and this guy were definitely not 6 feet apart.
If we're going to get technical, masks only stop droplets, but they don't stop aerosols - if they did, you wouldn't be able to breath through them.

Here we're talking about vehicles for the virus - which itself is microscopic and can easily penetrate any mask.

First: the most common form of spread is tactile, especially via fecal matter - hand washing after using the bathroom is the most important preventative measure to protect yourself & others.

(I recommend also frequent face washing around eyes, nose & mouth, and increased oral hygiene - using an alcohol-based mouthwash regularly, brushing teeth, using saline solution on nasal passages and hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab to clean the ears - basically keeping all the orifices of the head; the entry routes for virus, clean!)

The second most common form of spread is from aerosols produced by the body: Sneezes are bad as they are so powerful they can project over 15 feet and create aerosols that can linger in the air and masks will only stop the solid droplets created by them, but not the aerosols.

The third & least common form of spread is from droplets (which can be saliva or mucous expelled from the body): Droplets are pulled by gravity to the ground within a couple feet of their exit point, but aerosols can linger in the air (aerosols from humans are generally produced through sneezes or a very strong cough).

There's really no protection from aerosols whether you wear a mask or not - thus distancing is one way to protect from aerosols - hoping air currents dissipate the breath of one person before it reaches another.

Outdoors, distancing is less important than indoors - again, due to wind & air currents that don't exist indoors. But to be safe, I'd stick with staying 6 feet apart from people outdoors and even further if possible indoors.

If someone is about to sneeze or coughing in your direction, whether indoors or out, it's best to get far away from them and best for them (or you if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on) to move away from others and try to cover your mouth and nose with something, be it a hand, hankie, tissue or preferably an elbow, even when wearing a mask (again, masks will stop the droplets you spew out but not the aerosols), move away from people, cough or sneeze in a direction away from others, and, if inside, run to a door or window to cough or sneeze outside.

Just for the record, I've had multiple encounters as you described with people and their dogs outdoors since the start of the pandemic and I've never worn a mask while taking a walk or walking my neighbor's dog. I always ask the dog owners' permission if I can pet their dog, but have also stood outside; talking & petting for lengthy periods of time. Neither I, nor any of the locals or any of their dogs I've petted - or my neighbor's dog which the locals have petted - have become seriously ill and I still see & talk to those same people today.



Please don’t shout at my clouds
We had our “year in review/ year going forward” meeting yesterday. One focus was “mask wearing” and its importance. In a room of about 25, I was 1 of 2 wearing a mask. Please, hold your applause.*

I’m perfectly fine with people not wearing masks. It’s a statement, whatever statement it may be can vary. Es lo que es.



Just for the record, I've had multiple encounters as you described with people and their dogs outdoors since the start of the pandemic and I've never worn a mask while taking a walk or walking my neighbor's dog. I always ask the dog owners' permission if I can pet their dog, but have also stood outside; talking & petting for lengthy periods of time. Neither I, nor any of the locals or any of their dogs I've petted - or my neighbor's dog which the locals have petted - have become seriously ill and I still see & talk to those same people today.
Thank you Captain for your long post. I appreciate the facts & advice. So anxious almost every day. Horror stories to read each evening in the Times. I.want.my.vaccine.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Coworker is out this week having tested positive. That's her, her husband and son. She described it as a sinus infection. There are twelve of us total in this building and we're all pretty well spread out, but the numbers are crazy. Of 12, she makes the third positive test in our office. The previous two also described it as a cold/sinus infection, weak flu and both worked from home during the course of it. One of those two fell ill soon after her husband tested positive. The husband of another coworker came down with it back in November, I believe, but she never got it. Another coworker's husband tested positive right as we shut down for the holidays. So what's that? Three staff, three partners, and one youngin'. The youngin' is 16, I think. All cases have been and seem to be relatively mild. I did have a friend from school days post on FB that his mom had been in ICU for maybe two weeks before she passed of it.

Weird, the extremes.
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Do you have any of those masks that are tied instead of with elastics? That way it just hangs around your neck when you aren't using it but you just pull it up if you encounter someone.
Funny you ask since I wore one of these for the 2nd time today. Awkward at first to tie it in 2 places, but I like them. Good advice from you & I will do this. This has been my number 1 fault - chatting in the street without a mask.

Got to church early today for rosary prayer & discovered piece-of-junk paper Chinese mask was missing an elastic on one side. So totally useless. Had to improvise with my scarf, which was irritating, but doable.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
It's a weird headspace, for me. I'm usually the paranoid type I guess, looking over my shoulders for one reason or another but with this I find that I'm more concerned with mom than I am myself. I guess I do trip in and out of that. It's a freaky-elaborate balance of so many pieces in motion. She works from home and has done so for most of 2020 as a result of her company and state restrictions. So on that front, I'm not SO worried, but I can get hung up on the reality of her general health (or lack thereof?) and will beach myself in thoughts of where that road may go should it ever be travelled. Then that sends me into a minor tailspin, if I let it. It's just all very strange. I'm practical about it all for myself, I think, and I'm cautious for as much as my workspace allows. People in general aren't nearly as concerned around here (the community), but I try to stay positive in that the numbers don't seem to equal the potential. Not here at least, not yet.



It's a weird headspace, for me. I'm usually the paranoid type I guess, looking over my shoulders for one reason or another but with this I find that I'm more concerned with mom than I am myself. I guess I do trip in and out of that. It's a freaky-elaborate balance of so many pieces in motion. She works from home and has done so for most of 2020 as a result of her company and state restrictions. So on that front, I'm not SO worried, but I can get hung up on the reality of her general health (or lack thereof?) and will beach myself in thoughts of where that road may go should it ever be travelled. Then that sends me into a minor tailspin, if I let it. It's just all very strange. I'm practical about it all for myself, I think, and I'm cautious for as much as my workspace allows. People in general aren't nearly as concerned around here (the community), but I try to stay positive in that the numbers don't seem to equal the potential. Not here at least, not yet.
You're doing fine. The main thing is to be careful, remember not only about yourself, but also about those people who surround you. There is a civic consciousness in this, even if it mostly manifests itself in relation to relatives. But you better calm down and find something to do that will reduce your stress levels - then you will feel good and it will be easier to adhere to reasonable limits.



It's a weird headspace, for me. I'm usually the paranoid type I guess, looking over my shoulders for one reason or another but with this I find that I'm more concerned with mom than I am myself. I guess I do trip in and out of that. It's a freaky-elaborate balance of so many pieces in motion. She works from home and has done so for most of 2020 as a result of her company and state restrictions. So on that front, I'm not SO worried, but I can get hung up on the reality of her general health (or lack thereof?) and will beach myself in thoughts of where that road may go should it ever be travelled. Then that sends me into a minor tailspin, if I let it. It's just all very strange. I'm practical about it all for myself, I think, and I'm cautious for as much as my workspace allows. People in general aren't nearly as concerned around here (the community), but I try to stay positive in that the numbers don't seem to equal the potential. Not here at least, not yet.
Speaking of “tailspins”, I worry about a thousand times more now than I did a year ago. I am terrified I will get the flu (again) as I have the past few winters (so much for my annual flu shot) & will think I have the virus. Glad I “retired” from my church volunteer food pantry as I was dealing with way too many people inside. They can manage perfectly well without me & I don’t need all those germs.



As a Germophobe the conversation on this page is relatable.


PS: I wear three masks (yes, three) everytime I step out. Have been ridiculed for it by friends, office colleagues, etc and even received stares from strangers but I don't care.



As a Germophobe the conversation on this page is relatable.


PS: I wear three masks (yes, three) everytime I step out. Have been ridiculed for it by friends, office colleagues, etc and even received stares from strangers but I don't care.
If I saw someone wearing 3 masks I wouldn’t give them a second glance. People have to do what they have to do. It’s none of my business.



Just a note on pets & animals...

A few dogs (and a couple tigers) are known to have contracted Covid19, but the cases are so rare that experts are not even counting them as routes for spread of the virus to humans. Thus, there's really no need to limit your pets' contact with humans or vice versa.

But a few safety tips just in case:

1.) Give your pets regular baths (as often as they or you can tolerate).

2.) Wash your hands BEFORE going out: in case you pet someone else's dog or cat on the street. (At least you'll be sure your not leaving any traces of anything you might be carrying on their coats that their owners might later pick up).

3.) Wash your hands AFTER you return home, especially if you've touched someone else's dog or any animal.

4.) Wash your hands & face frequently if you pet or touch your own pets and have any other household members do the same.

5.) Wash hands frequently if you touch someone else's pet inside their home or if they bring a pet to your home.

6.) Avoid oral contact with your pet (kissing, etc.) and especially with anyone else's pet (because you don't know if other owners have been kissing their pet). Just best to eliminate all kissing, nose or face rubbing for the duration of the pandemic.

7.) Similar to #6: try to avoid letting your dogs or pets lick your face or anyone else's face. If they try, move your face away from them.

8.) In between baths, try to keep up with your pets' hygiene: frequent hair brushing, hair cuts as needed, nail clipping, tooth cleaning, and pay special attention to cleaning their hind quarters (where they poo-poo) and wipe their paws with a pet-safe "personal wipe" before they re-enter the house.

9.) If you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms of Covid19 it's best to isolate yourself from your pets as much as possible, just as it is to do so with fellow household or family members.

10.) Clean up all pet waste consistently & expeditiously (whether it's inside, outside, in a litter box, etc.) i.e. don't leave it sitting around for any length of time even if it's in the yard. And of course, always wash hands afterward.



Give your pets regular baths (as often as they or you can tolerate).
My cats are telling me “Don’t even think about it.”

Avoid oral contact with your pet (kissing, etc.) and especially with anyone else's pet (because you don't know if other owners have been kissing their pet). Just best to eliminate all kissing, nose or face rubbing for the duration of the pandemic.
My cats are telling me “Mom, no kissing? Who is this guy?”


Just messing with you Captain.



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I have another co-worker out because of COVID, but it's because his wife has it. He has tested negative, which strangely enough means he may be out longer. If he tested positive, he would only have to wait until he tests negative. Instead, he has to wait until she tests negative, and then he has to test negative. They're trying to figure out how she got it because she works from home, but I think there's a good chance he gave it to her. We had an outbreak a couple of weeks ago and he works closely with all of those people. He probably got it and was asymptomatic, but passed it to her, and now it has passed through him. That's my guess anyway. She has asthma so she had symptoms, but she is doing well.



That's wonderful, Johnny!
We found out a few days ago that Hubby's brother has COVID-19 Pneumonia, and he is in the hospital. (I didn't even know that there was such a thing as COVID-19 Pneumonia.)

We don't talk much with that side of the family, so it's been hard to get updates on his condition, but we know that he's a high risk due to pre-existing health conditions, and his age and weight.

Unfortunately, he is one of those people who thinks the pandemic is a hoax, and since the beginning of the pandemic, he has refused to wear a mask, so hopefully this will be a wake up call for his wife and kids.
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