Call Me Paranoid: Covid-19 Precautions Part 2 : Quarantine and You
Recognize the inevitable:
Somewhere in the not so distant future, say 2-5 years out, most or all of us will have contracted the novel corona virus and by that point it won’t be as big a deal. Our hospitals will have better protocols to combat the virus, they might have a vaccine, and the hospitals will be in normal state, not flooded with other victims. I have multiple risk factors, so I want the best possible care at some point in the future when we know a lot more about this virus.
So our goal is not to quarantine forever, but instead to delay our catching of Covid-19 for as long as we possibly can. We want our care to be the best and the doctors to really know what they are doing when they are treating us, so your personal goal should be to delay catching it for an extended period. 2-3 years from now would be so much better than tomorrow, or the next few months.
Prepare for the probable:
If you live in a household with multiple family members, like most of us, then you had better prepare for the probability that someone in the household will catch Corona Virus and they will have to quarantine with the rest of you. Most of us don’t have a guest house or alternative place to send someone who is infected, and we will likely have to cope with quarantining them in place in our homes. This is because 70-80 percent of people who do catch the virus are going to be told to go home and quarantine in place, they won’t be hospitalized unless they have visible or obvious life threatening conditions from the virus.
So it’s on you to plan what you need in your house to take care of that - what rooms would the quarantined person(s) use, and what rooms would the rest of you use? How do you stop air flow from those rooms to the others? What precautions should you take for feeding, bathing, waste disposal? If you think now, you will have a plan for when it happens.
Here are a few pointers: if you use a room, then remember to cover the return air duct(s) with plastic (trashbags, visqueen) & to crack a window for air flow once the return vent is sealed. If you segment off a section of the home, where would you staple up (sheets/ shower curtains / visqueen) to create a makeshift airlock?
Do you have disposable plates/ utensils & trash bags for feeding that quarantined person? What about disinfectant wipes, liquid hand cleaner,? The best care and feeding scenario: you hand them their food with gloves & mask on - it’s served on paper plates on a trash bag covered covered TV tray. When they are done they disinfect their hands with wipes or liquid hand cleaner, close that trash bag over the waste and hand you back the tray and bag through that air lock you constructed.
Other things you need to plan for : laundry, bathrooms - what will be the drills around them? Anyway this post should be a springboard for you to think about what you would do in your environment because all of us live in different places and spaces, I can’t recommend what’s best in your situation.