Blog Post #1 Here if you didn't read the first one.
So, yeah, I used to be a real-live microbiologist who pipetted live virus stocks into cell culture in a hood and worked with radioactive isotopes and everything. More info at the Blog Post #1, link right above there.
Okay, so let's talk about Covid-19, this piece of crap virus that's hitting the whole world in a pandemic right now.
First, just general advice.
If you're not sick already, please, for the love of God and all that is holy, stay home. Stay isolated. Stay in for as long as you can.
Every additional day that you can stay in your own place and not get infected is an additional day that the medical people can deal with the pandemic before you become a part of it.
If you can stay in for a week before you go out and get groceries, good. If you can stretch that to 10 or 12 days, better. If you can go for a month, even better.
If you can keep yourself well for a month or two, you might be treated with drugs instead of getting really sick.
I know on good authority (and just plain common sense and in the literature out there) that there are clinical trials going on now that are showing good results. Tablets should be manufactured before the end of the summer.
If you can shelter in place and delay getting sick until August, chances are good that you'll get a prescription at the pharmacy that will make you feel better in days instead of weeks, and it'll keep you from getting really sick or infecting other people.
If you get sick now, things might go badly. There's no treatment right now.
Also, this virus is obviously airborne. It's not just on surfaces. It's obviously floating in the air and transmitted by aerosol and droplet spread. I mean, duh. Of course, it is.
If you have to go out:
Decontaminate as soon as you get home. Wash your hands with good soap for a few minutes as a quick stopgap. Gargle with Listerine or something else “antiseptic” until you think you're going to drown. Throw your clothes directly into the washing machine with a lot of detergent. And then get into a shower and soap everything and wash your hair.
Yes, really. That's minimal decon.
It might help. It might keep you from getting it once or twice. Do no use this instead of trying to isolate yourself. Isolation will actually work.
Another thing, MASKS. I am now recommending and begging you to wear a mask when you must leave the house.
All precautions above still apply. Don't go out. Wash your hands thoroughly and well. Shower if you can.
Okay, if you have N-95s or surgical masks, please, for the love of Jesus and all that is holy, drop them off at a local hospital. Or mail them. Or put them in a paper bag and hurl them through the doors without touching anything and run.
But, other masks? YES. They are better than nothing. If you're near or downwind from someone who is just breathing who has it, a homemade mask will probably cut your chances of getting it by around 50%. That's a lot.
Yes, my dear readers, it has come to this. If you go out, put on a mask. If you or someone you know can sew a mask for you, do it.
If you can sew and have a fabric stash, make masks for others. I'm in a mask-sewing group on Facebook for just my state that is taking orders for non-Covid-patient health centers, like cancer chemo centers, dialysis centers, hospices, and pain clinics, because they can't get any masks at all. We've made and donated over 3000 washable masks, plus headbands, covers for N-95s, and gowns. We use TWO LAYERS of tightly woven 100% cotton on the outside (good quilting fabric or high-quality bed sheets), and tee shirt material for the lining (3 layers, total).
What does this virus do? (Short version) See long version at my #1 blog post.)
There is some bad, bad information out there that Covid-19 disease is “a bad flu.” Deep-Fried Crispy Christ on a Cracker, that is wrong.
This virus should be called something like the “Ground Glass Fills Up Your Lungs Pneumonia Virus.”
One of the major problems is that it starts slowly for 3 days or so. It's a little tickle, a mild fever, if that. That's another reason why you and everybody should wear a mask.
If you get this horrible disease, have a fever, or feel sick:
Stay in one room in your place. Don't be around other family members. Don't go out. If someone else gets sick from you, they'll be competing for your hospital bed when you are close to dying. Keep away from everybody and try to get through it without infecting anyone else.
Tylenol / Paracetamol / Acetaminophen is the best fever reducer. There was some info out of France about Advil which may or may not hold up, but try to just use the Tylenol. If your fever is really spiking, you might want to ad Advil every 6 hours, too. First, save your brain from the fever. Then save the rest.
Best sore throat remedy: half and half mix of Children's Liquid Benedryl and Liquid Gaviscon. Gargle as long as you can then swallow it slowly. Pro-Tip: Get them both in cherry flavor, not 2 different flavors.
Okay, so what else?
Act like your life and your loved ones' lives depends on what you do, because it does.
1. Stay inside. Stay inside. Stay inside. Stay away from other people.
2. Cancel all concerts, vacations, plays, plane flights, organizations, clubs, church meetings, Sunday services, school, work, restaurants, take-out, lunch dates, dinner dates, golf league, and going out.
3. If you're a boss or an employer, close your place of business unless it's a pharmacy or a grocery store, and then continue to pay your people while it's closed. I have 5 people whom I will be continuing to pay during this time, no matter what. I get it. It's going to hurt, but it will keep those people safe. If you're an employee and your boss laid you off, first, remember that. Remember that when you're looking for a new job next time. Seriously. Then, file for unemployment benefits. (USA site to file here.)
4. Consider delivery services. I love Misfits Market, which is produce delivery. If you buy a box from them and use the coupon code COOKWME-GC7RTY, you'll get 25% off your box. I will, too, and I will use that 25% off to buy boxes for a local food bank. Also, Instacart.
5. Bake bakery items or take-out food into your oven at 250F/110C until heated, at least 10 minutes. Heat kills this virus. Freezing it does not.
6. Starting now, you will probably want to spray the outsides packages of your groceries with bleach spray (not on the carpet or couch! It's bleach!) and wipe them down. You can make 1% bleach spray in an old spray bottle with 1 part bleach to 99 parts water. Obviously, don't spray this directly on food. Just on the plastic packages. Again, this is bleach. Do not eat or drink the bleach.
Do rinse the soap off of any produce you wash very well. Like, a lot. Really wash it off. Soak it in clean water. Don't eat soap, either.
7. Do not go visit elderly relatives. OMG. Seriously. If you need to give them food, drop it and run while you're healthy. If they need supplies, shop now while you're healthy. And wipe it off with bleach.
Okay, so what can I do?
I get it. Even though I as a writer have been training for self-quarantine my whole life, it can be weird. So, what's safe-ish to do?
1. Stay home. Sorry, but I had to emphasize that.
For 10 more things that are safe, see my Blog Post #1.
What You Can Do to Boost Your Immune System:
1. Get enough sleep. Seriously on this one. Getting 7-9 hours really boosts your immune system. That might be the difference between a mild case and being hospitalized.
2. Drink water. Ditto. Immune system. I know, but it's something you can do.
3. Maybe 30-60 minutes of mild exercise if you can. Yoga is great. I do Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. There are hundreds of easy beginner videos on there, or some really challenging ones. It's free on YouTube. Just go there and watch.
4. Try to eat some fruits and vegetables, not just chocolate and wine.
Essential oils or anything like that will not help. Don't waste your money.
That's my info. Virtual hugs to all. I will try to keep in touch. Don't panic, but do everything you can to be a fire-break for this pandemic. Go home and stand firm.
One of the big things is that our governments, pretty much all of them, aren't coming to rescue us on this one. So, you need to do what you can to protect yourself and your family. And that means not getting sick, and not passing the virus to others if you do.
Please stay home, my dearest friends.
I am praying for you and the whole world. Pray for us all, too. We're all still healthy here in Chez Babylon. I'm doing my best to write and get things out to you.
Love, and Stay Safe,