I haven't gotten Covid. I don't know anyone personally who has.
I do know someone who was exposed, tested, and luckily tested negative. If he had gotten it he knew where. He is my hairdresser. One of his clients came in. They were both masked, her temperature was taken, she didn't feel ill. But, later on she lost her sense of taste and smell and got tested. She kept telling my hairdresser how careful she'd been. What she didn't tell him was that she'd traveled out of state, to South Carolina (a hot spot) for a business meeting. I doubt she knows where she got it. But the fact that she didn't tell him has made him very wary. He would like to tell his clients that if they travel out of state they should self-quarantine for 14 days (which is required by our state anyway) before coming in to see him. But he's afraid they would lie, or go elsewhere.
Since we can’t interview personally everyone who got it we can only go on available information. Most people are getting it because they refuse to wear a mask.
That is The Who and The What. And what alias posted was showing what needs to happen or else. Those who didn’t heed the guidelines are the “or else”. You saw that with the people who invited you to the party and then turned out to get it. You have your answers right in front of you.
You’re doing all the right things. You understandably don’t feel safe because others are not being as diligent as you. We wear the mask to protect others from our droplets. When selfish people refuse the mask they put all of us at risk. But at least we can wear the mask to minimize our risk of getting it. It isn’t foolproof but it’s better than full exposure.
We have woman who lives in independent living at the retirement community that had to get a COVID test for an upcoming medical procedure. She was stunned to get a positive test result. Asymptomatic, always wears her mask. All staff is screened daily at the retirement community. We all have to wear masks when we are in the facility. Where did she pick it up? That is the million dollar question. We are in a part of the state (western suburbs of Chicago) where mask wearing in stores is 99.99%
I'm really concerned what is going to happen when students start coming back to campus at the end of next month. We will have a mix of face-to-face (labs), hybrid, and online. Masks will be mandatory for all. They have upgraded the filters in the ventilation system from MERV 8 to MERV 11. I will be teaching a lab with 5 students. I can control the actions in my lab so doors will be open and fans will be running to improve ventilation. Masks mandatory plus the addition of face shields when we are doing procedures where we can't maintain social distancing.
I feel like the fall is a the virus version of Russian Roulette.
Jennifer - while some educational programs can be taught online, those that involve hands on patient skills really can't. My graduates go on to work in cardiac rehabilitation and non-invasive cardiac diagnostics. I see both of these professions growing especially with the long-term consequences that survivors of the virus are likely to face. Our graduates also work with pulmonary patients. I need them to be competent in certain skills so that they can be successful in their clinical internships. And this is just a very small portion of the next generation of healthcare workers that we are going to need.
While there have been a lot of improvements in technology, bandwidth is still an issue for many. My students have experienced that already this summer with the synchronous online classes they have been taking. And we are in a major metropolitan area. I can't even imagine trying to run classes like this in more rural areas. I don't have to travel all that far even in my own state to have poor or no cellphone reception.
I am wearing a mask anytime I am at work or out in public, keep my distance when I can and I'm washing my hands, if that's all we had to do why don't I feel safe?
Like finreporter said, you don't feel safe because a smaller group of people refuse to wear masks. They're confusing 'individual freedom' with 'public endangerment'. I feel that if we had a different leadership at the national level, we wouldn't be where we are. Instead, science and the public health professionals would be leading the way, and informing leaders of what rules and regs should be in place. I personally feel that anyone not wearing a mask should be subjected to a heavy fine, and a 3 strikes and you're out rule. But that's not going to happen right now so all we can do is be responsible citizens and wear our masks to protect others and ourselves to the best extent possible.
One thing people can do is switch to the KN95 masks, which I believe protect the wearer a bit more than cloth or typical masks do. They're not as easy to breathe in, but they offer a bit more protection to the wearer if I understand them correctly. You can also use the filter inserts in your cloth masks, I think that at least does a bit more than plain surgical masks but perhaps gadgetgirlil can confirm/deny those recs?
Jennifer , I understand why you feel as you do coming into contact with people in your job and not knowing with absolute certainty if they're being truthful when they say they've been 'safe'. But I also hear a certain level of fear/panic in your posts so I want to try to help you with a different mindset, maybe it will help you, it helped me. Three years ago my husband suffered what should have been a lethal 'widow maker' heart attack. It's a long and scary story but the short version is that I had gotten home from an overseas trip two weeks prior and if I'd extended my trip and not been there, he wouldn't be here today. I was home though, and I heard him at the onset and was able to start CPR before he became unresponsive. Medics arrived within minutes and everyone along the emergency care line adhered to best practices protocol and he is not only alive today, he has no heart or brain damage whatsoever. He is a medical miracle, yet he remembers nothing about the event. I, on the other hand, ended up with PTSD and am still working my way through that. I'm so much better than I was, but at the beginning I kept panicking about what would happen if I wasn't right next to him to save him if this happened again?! I have heart disease in my own family, so I did my own baseline cardiac study - a full battery of tests - and at the final appointment with my cardiologist, when she gave me a clean bill of health, I told her I still feel panic about 'what if' with regards to my husband. I asked her 'do you think this event is likely to happen again to him?' Her answer is what I want to share with you because it's the only thing anyone has told me that has helped me calm down and catastrophic 'what ifs'. She said, "there is no way to know if this will happen again, but I can say this, if it's his time to go, it's his time to go, and nothing you do will be able to change that, even if you're right there next to him." I thought about that and something about it resonated in my brain and I was able to slowly let go of the notion that if I'm not there if/when it happens again, the outcome will be different. What I'm saying to you is this, if it's your time, then COVID or otherwise, it's just your time. I hope that's not true for anyone here right now, but we cannot control the future, only our actions in the present. And right now, if you are trying to stay home as much as possible, wearing a mask every time you go out, social distancing when you're out and about, you are doing everything YOU can do to protect yourself. You cannot manage everyone you come into contact with so you have to focus on what YOU can do to protect yourself while also protecting others - the latter being our civic duty. And if you're doing those things, then you're doing everything you can. If you feel unsafe, you can order groceries in and order supplies and such online, so you can further limit your exposure by not having to go into stores. But at the end of the day, I believe fate is fate, and we can only do so much to sway that.
I don't know if this sounds crazy or what, and I've hesitated to post it here, but it's helped me a lot in reducing panic when I start to feel overwhelmed about this situation right now. I'm doing everything that I can right now to protect myself and others.
gadgetgirlil, thank you for the work you do! Because of well-trained, awesome cardiac rehab specialists, my husband had an amazing recovery, and our cardiac rehab team is amazing!
I don’t necessarily know that my answer will be comforting, but - it did help me with acceptance of Covid. What I mean is, I was and well ok am still really worried about getting it. But, I realized i can do everything I’m supposed to do and still be exposed and possibly get it. My husband had Covid. He’s considered not contagious anymore because he has no signs and or symptoms. He has not retested though since having it. Could he have done anything different to keep from getting exposed ? No. He’s an essential worker. Where did he get it? Most likely work. He wore an N95 mask. Hand washing. Sanitizing. Vigorous cleaning. He went from work to home. He didn’t go out otherwise. Door delivery for groceries. Once the first person at his work got Covid - we decided for him not to come home - he works out of town. His first test was negative. His second test about 5 days later was positive and he was in the ER for that one. He was in ICU for 3 days. He lived. Considered not contagious anymore because he’s better and absolutely none of the 11 or so s/s. But having kidney disease - they were damaged some - more than they already were - and they really will just have to wait and see what other “after” complications he will have. I’ve had two tests in the last 7 days. Both negative. It was iffy for me getting it from him but I got sick the weekend after he got out of icu, and I was also exposed at school the weekend after I had seen my husband last. And I was only going to campus for two hours one day a week. Then staying at home otherwise except for necessary runs to the grocery store. All this to say - Aside from never leaving my house - there’s just no way for me not to possibly be exposed. A person can do all they can and still get exposed. There are just too many unknowns from Covid. You just gotta do what you can to be ok with yourself and the choices you make. Example - I’m an LVN- but I’m a nonworking nurse. I will not work with Covid going on. I am currently in a nursing program to be an RN. When bringing up my concerns about doing clinicals in the hospital - and unnecessary exposure since I would be there as a student and not a worker - I was told -“that’s your decision - I understand your fears and anxiety “ “but this is kinda what you signed up for when you decided to be a nurse. “. Ok. No. I became a nurse before Covid. I did not sign up to work with a contagious disease with: no cure and no vaccine. Oh and you may die from it. Healthy or not. So - I’m leaving the RN program. And I’m ok with that. Like, Really ok with my decision. My husband having it - the possibility he could have died alone in the hospital - I would rather minimize my risk and live at this point. And live life without lifetime complications from having had Covid - if I were to get it and not die. Some people may say that’s extreme thinking. But. I’ll tell you. My husband was healthy and tested negative. A few days later he was positive and in the icu and trying not to die.
So basically - Covid is extreme - so my thinking is going to be as well.
Take care of yourself. Do what you can. Process the anxiety and fear. And keep trudging on.
Oh and p.s. - Moderna’s vaccine trials are looking really good - producing antibodies - getting an immune response. They can make it thru phase 3 clinical trials - I feel like FDA will fast track it. They are getting doses ready to ship on their approval. . So if anything - that’s a positive thing for you to focus on. 😊