Barbershops were among the businesses ordered to close in B.C. on March 21. My regular barbershop closed about a week earlier just as I realized I badly needed a haircut.
At the time, I joked that I would have to grow hippie hair. But by early April, my hair was growing wild and out of control and the extra weight was starting to hurt my neck. OK, that’s exaggerating a bit, but I wanted a cut.
As my fridge and kitchen cupboards got emptier and emptier in recent days, I realized I would have to make another dreaded trip to the grocery store.
I’ve been trying to limit my grocery shopping to once every two weeks to avoid unnecessary exposure to other people. But I only managed to hold out for 11 days. My eggs, bread and other items were all gone. The remaining small amount of milk in my jug was starting to smell.
I’ve also been holding out on a few other items I’ve needed or wanted. Prescriptions down to the last pills. A needed hardware item. And, since I don’t intend to give up all alcohol until a vaccine is available, a trip to the liquor store.
Health agencies in Canada and the U.S. have now done a 180-degree turn on their previous advice that healthy people should not wear homemade face masks.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s public health officer, in the past has opposed the use of homemade masks, arguing that they give people a false sense of security and that people might spread infection when they remove the masks. She continues to make those arguments.
There’s a growing international movement advocating the use of homemade face masks in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
As pointed out in a story last week about masks on OsoyoosPersists.ca, the official line from such respected organizations as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is that the general public should not wear masks unless they are infected or are caring for someone with the virus.
The advice from health authorities on who should wear masks for protection and when is mixed. This article will outline the advice, look at the research and discuss how some people are are busy sewing masks either for themselves and their families or to provide them to emergency workers.
Hand sanitizer these days is extremely difficult or impossible to find. That’s in part due to the high demand, but there have also been some egregious cases of hoarding.
The most notorious case involved brothers Matt and Noah Colvin of Hixson, Tennessee, who drove around their state and neighbouring ones scooping up every bottle of sanitizer they could find. In the end, they had more than 17,000 bottles, along with other much-needed supplies. Continue reading “Distillers shifting from whiskey to hand sanitizer”
The main way that the coronavirus causing Covid-19 spreads is by human-to-human contact.
It forms as tiny droplets when people sneeze or cough, etc. These travel through the air and you breathe them in — where they infect your respiratory system.
The recommended or required distance is two metres or just over six feet to avoid this. Aim for more if possible to be safe. And no, it’s not safe to shake hands from two metres or any distance!
But people also sneeze and cough on surfaces. They cover coughs and sneezes with their hands (why you don’t shake them) and then touch elevator buttons, card transaction machines, and all those other surfaces in our normal lives. If you handle these, then touch your face, you can get the virus. It enters through mucus membranes like your nose, eyes, mouth — you get the idea!
Washing hands thoroughly and as soon as possible after touching surfaces without touching your face is a must. But it’s hard to avoid touching faces because we do it without thinking — for some people many times in an hour.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield has released a short YouTube video with tips on self isolation. It’s called “An Astronaut’s Guide to Self Isolation.”
The audio on the 2:05 minute video is a bit low, so crank up your speakers.
Hadfield commanded the International Space Station in December, 2012.
“I’ve spent a little time self isolating — onboard a spaceship,” he said.
Among his tips:
Understand the actual risk. Don’t just be afraid of things. Seek information from a credible source about the true risk you’re facing;
Decide your mission — what do you want to get done;
Consider what are the constraints;
Take action to do things — not necessarily the same things you did before. This can be a time to take on new challenges that you can do while in isolation, like starting a new project, learning guitar or learning a new language, read a book or write.
“It’s a chance to do something different that you’ve never done before. And then repeat,” he said.
“There has never been a better time to self isolate,” he suggests, with some much information about everything available on the internet. “You have the entire written work, all the body of everything right there at your fingertips.”
As the pandemic spreads, the rules for social distancing are changing.
Less than a week ago, public health authorities throughout North America were calling for cancellation of events with more than 250 people. Things change quickly and now even small gatherings are being called off.