Social distancing is tough and working

With the stay-at-home order enacted, I am keeping close to home and really trying to observe the precautions set for the greater good. We are going through all the things in our pantry, including the emergency dry beans and rice. Only dare to dash out for true necessities. And then with a whole procedure of changing on the porch, mask, gloves, followed by a reverse decontamination on the return. 

Going about in all the get-up makes you feel self- conscious and a little unsure of how to react when you see a neighbor or even someone that you don’t know coming down the sidewalk right at you. The isolation makes you eager for social contact but there is also the need for reserve.

With so far thankfully low numbers of cases in our area, it is tempting to say “Oh it’s being blown up, or is fake.” Instead, it is fortunate that people are following the guidelines and that is slowing the spread of the Coronavirus. State health officials on Wednesday reported that Oregonians appear to be reducing the transmission of the novel coronavirus between 50% and 70%, the first positive sign that social distancing is helping in Oregon. 

“It appears that staying home to save lives is working,” said Dean Sidelinger, Oregon’s State Epidemiologist.

It also gives us some breathing room as we work out our procedures of keeping our exposures down. We can afford to make some mistakes now while the chances for contracting the virus are lower.

What to work on? Neighbors are sharing what they are doing as we safely keep our distance. Rigorous hand washing, limiting virus loads by avoiding going out, and if you do, using a mask. Developing a clean system for changing the clothing that you went out in. That might include a strip off at the door, mask last, having the washer ready and putting the dirty stuff straight into the washer. With the cool weather it is possible to leave food outside in the trunk or back of your vehicle to decontaminate for several days. Packaged items can be sprayed down with a bleach solution or washed thoroughly. Some stores aren’t letting you bring your own bags so keep that in mind.

Vigilance will keep us safe, but we are only as strong as the weakest link, so practice and keep reading the guidelines. Share your procedures with your friends and neighbors safely and stay healthy and safe.

Contact Dana at [email protected].



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