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Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:54 PM

Positive covid case in my senior living complex.

I live in a senior housing complex, a multi-storied building. Next door is another multi-storied building of seniors and the complex management office is in that building.

Today the management office informed all of us that there is a positive covid case in their building. Last week I saw several of them returning from a senior shopping outing in a van, part of the services provided by management for seniors who don't drive or have a car any more, or who need assistance getting around. I was in that building to pick up a package that I had ordered online. Since my mailbox is too small for packages, UPS and USPS deliver them to the management office.

The group crowded together at the two small elevators and got onto them in groups. I went home and decided to go back the next day for my package, double-masked and wearing gloves. Now I am so glad that I did. If any one of those shoppers was the positive case, the rest will be sick soon.

I knew this would happen sooner or later. I have dreaded this moment. There are signs in the lobby and in the halls and common laundry rooms on each floor reminding people to wear masks outside of their apartments. Only about 25% actually do.

To get my mail in the lobby, I need to walk the length of my hall, touch elevator buttons twice, and open two different doors, then repeat the same thing going back. Add a third door when I go outside.

I am worried that this will spread quickly through both buildings. I feel trapped for my own safety.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Positive covid case in my senior living complex. (Original post)
wnylib Dec 2020 OP
Chin music Dec 2020 #1
wnylib Dec 2020 #5
Chin music Dec 2020 #7
choie Dec 2020 #2
wnylib Dec 2020 #6
choie Dec 2020 #9
wnylib Dec 2020 #12
Irish_Dem Dec 2020 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2020 #4
wnylib Dec 2020 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2020 #10
LisaL Dec 2020 #11

Response to wnylib (Original post)


Response to Chin music (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:48 PM

5. I use cheap paper napkins

to touch elevator buttons and doors. I have stocked up on disinfectant spray, sanitary wipes, isopropyl alcohol, plastic gloves, disposable and cloth masks. I wipe or spray everthing I bring home. I change my shoes just inside the door and spray alcohol on the floor inside the door and on the soles of shoes or boots when I take them off. I wash my hands when I'm done with all this and then spray the faucet.

So I do what I can. I even bought a door draft blocker. The package I ordered and picked up was a set of safety goggles that seal at the edges, in anticipation of something like this.

But it is scary because one slip, one forgotten step, could leave me exposed.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #5)


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:04 PM

2. Do you live in NYC, whyib?

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Response to choie (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:51 PM

6. No. I am several hundred miles

west of NYC, at the opposite end of the state, near Buffalo.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:48 PM

9. Hence the "W" in wnylib

got it!

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Response to choie (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 29, 2020, 09:16 AM

12. You got it.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:15 PM

3. Stay calm and smart like you have been doing.

I know how scary this is. A man in the building next to me came down with Covid a couple of months ago
and I had been talking to him outside a few days before. But I had my mask on and always wash my hands when I come home.
And did not catch it.

I have also taken to wearing two masks when I am in a higher risk environment like going
to a doctor appointment. I wear the blue paper kind with folds like you get at the hospital. I don't know if it means double
protection, but so far I have been Covid free. I always wear a mask whenever I step out of my condo.

I think you need to wear your plastic throw away gloves every time you go out of your apartment.
I use a clean Kleenex or paper towel to touch elevator buttons or doors and then throw it away as soon as I see a trash can.
I don't care how it looks. Throw your plastic gloves away as soon as you get in your apartment. Put them in plastic bag and close the bag.

Contact your management and insist that they monitor mask usage and get better compliance, 25% is crazy.
Would someone from your management team deliver your packages to your door for a fee?
Ask, you have nothing to lose.

Good luck. And good for you being smart enough not to go shopping during the worst month of the worst pandemic in
American history. Your neighbors have been very foolish.

Edited to add: I have to pick up my mail in a community mail box area and I only pick up my mail once a week.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:17 PM

4. The primary hazard is breathing other people's air, not surfaces.

All over the world, workers are soaping, wiping and fumigating surfaces with an urgent sense of purpose: to fight the coronavirus. But scientists increasingly say that there is little to no evidence that contaminated surfaces can spread the virus. In crowded indoor spaces like airports, they say, the virus that is exhaled by infected people and that lingers in the air is a much greater threat.

Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds — or sanitizer in the absence of soap — is still encouraged to stop the virus’s spread. But scrubbing surfaces does little to mitigate the virus threat indoors, experts say, and health officials are being urged to focus instead on improving ventilation and filtration of indoor air.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/world/asia/covid-cleaning.html

Wash your hands after handling anything outside your home, and don't touch your face until you've done so. But the main thing we need to do is stay away from other people. Keep that 6' distance, wear a mask, don't spend more than a few minutes indoors among other people, and you should be fine.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:21 PM

8. I've read about the spread from

air more than surfaces, too. But I learned a lesson about that a couple years before I retired. Although I learned that lesson from getting very sick with flu and viral bronchitis, I am grateful for what I learned back then.

A coworker had bronchitis and kept coming to work without seeing her doctor. She kept saying it was just allergies. Every time I got a Zpak from my doctor and recovered, I would get sick again in a couple weeks. Another Zpak, etc. I have been highly susceptible to viral infections all my life. I also have asthma, and developed an asthmatic reaction to the bronchitis virus. Double whammy coughing spells that turned my face purple.

The fourth time I got sick that winter, I begged my doctor for FMLA papers to give me two full weeks off so I could be stronger when I returned. After I went back I noticed one day on my break that Bronchitis Mary was having her lunch at the table where I always sat, after her lunch or break was done. I changed tables and always wiped mine down with sanitary wipes first. I did not get sick again that year.

So I value wiping surfaces as much as avoiding air exposure.

HR finally told Bronchitis Mary not to come in until she had seen a doctor, who told her she had bronchitis, not allergies. No sh!t. I knew that much.


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Response to wnylib (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:06 PM

10. I'm not saying you shouldn't pay attention to surfaces;

only that it's not necessary to be paranoid about them wrt to covid19. Some viruses and bacteria do spread more readily from surfaces (norovirus, for example), and you can certainly get them from surfaces, but the science now seems to indicate that covid19 disintegrates on surfaces more rapidly than most others. Keep things clean, but more importantly, don't breathe other people's air. What they are telling us is that we really don't have to scrub our groceries or Amazon packages with Lysol.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:08 PM

11. You can use a little tool to touch elevator buttons and so on.

I wear gloves when I go out and then use hand sanitizer on the gloves instead of bare skin, because gloves can get contaminated too.

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