Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Being Cautious

In the beginning of March, I reached out to the doctor that deals with my long term cancer issues.  I explained to him, that I was concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak, but my heart was set on travelling to see my daughters, one who was about to celebrate her birthday.

I knew I was high risk because of the different factors I have been exposed to over my life, but I also knew how to protect myself around contagions as that was once a job I had in my past.

Of course I had concerns for my children as this outbreak commenced.  Initial reports were that the virus did not have much of an impact on kids, other than at worst a “mild” reaction.  The bigger risk would be that they could be a carrier of the virus, which would of course put me at risk as well if they were unaware if they had Covid19 or not.

I was confident of what I needed to do.  But I still asked my doctor what else could I possibly do to keep myself safe on this trip.  Of course I got the usual “wash hands frequently”, wear a mask, avoid contact as much as possible.  It was the last thing on his list that caught me off guard.  “Make sure you wash your clothes first chance you can.”

Of course, that made sense.  Because the virus could spread with coughs and sneezes, and was able to live on surfaces for up to two days, that would mean the germs could live on any clothing exposed.

Think about it, how many times have you gotten sick, and wondered how?  You did all the proper hygiene stuff like washing hands or hand sanitizer, cough into the crook of your elbow, and avoided contact or sharing things.  But you still got sick.  Because when you got home, you did not get out of the clothing that you were wearing, which probably had been sneezed on or coughed on by someone, and you had not realized it.  And throughout the rest of the evening at home, you thought nothing of it.   You went about your business, which includes touching your face up to twenty times and hour with the hands that have touched your clothes probably just as often.

My doctor’s advice was perfect.  And honestly, for all the viruses every year, I have managed to avoid all of them.  And that is my plan.

Of course now, with businesses in the process of resuming operations again, a thought occurred to me.  We will all assume that restaurants will do their part to keep their facilities and staff as free from the virus as they can.  But what about other businesses?  Car part stores.  Book stores.  Clothing Stores.  The list goes on.  It is up to the business to make sure that everything is kept sanitized and that customers abide by recommendations.

But here is one thought to leave you with.  Male or female, if you go shopping for clothing, do you try clothing on at the store?  We have been told that the bacteria can last for days, so how do you know if the clothing you are trying on, or buying, has not been worn by someone asymptomatic for the virus?  Thereby exposing yourself to the virus.  Or, for the business owner, what do you do with clothing that has been tried on, not knowing if the customer had the virus?

This is all new territory for all of us and we are all learning as we go along.  I am not saying you should stay home, but there are things you need to think about, and most importantly, be cautious about.

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