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COVID-19 Alert #6 - Where We're At Now

COVID-19 Alert #6 - Where We're At Now

Time to Settle In

Assuming you have been following our advice for these past two months, you should be safely tucked away somewhere, with enough everyday supplies to last quite a few more weeks.  If not, we have some strategies for you below.

As for us, we have hunkered down in our Greenwich HQ, at least until May.  Given the severity of the spread in NYC and surrounding areas, I can't image things will have started to calm down before then.  

Assuming we are still tracking about 2-3 weeks behind Italy, that would put our peak in the NE around mid-April, but remember that Italy put the entire country on "lock down" back on March 9th, and are just now starting to see the daily new case numbers just begin to slow down.

Unfortunately, the US Fed Govt still hasn't put our entire nation on a shelter in place strategy yet, and in fact there is even talk about trying to loosen what is in place by April 12th.  If so, I suspect that this pandemic will go longer and harder for us than its current projected trajectory, so stay tuned to the news (but not too much).

Lastly, if you have been sheltering at home and vastly limiting your exposure to other humans as much as possible, your risk of catching COVID-19 should be low.  If you are concerned that you or a loved one might have it, this is a great resource to try to determine that.  If you aren't feeling well and have any worries about it, your health insurance company probably has a telemedicine service to consult with a doctor remotely (or call your personal doctor).

If You Do Have To Venture Out

It is hard to stock up on everything you might need for several months of staying at home, so you might have to go out to the pharmacy or grocery store to get additional supplies.  I did that this weekend, to both Whole Foods for fresh veg and Costco for some extra items and here is what I saw.

At Whole Foods, very few people were taking this seriously, as it seemed like a regular shopping day,  and only one other person in the entire store had a mask on.  Very concerning, as it is a great way to catch the virus if you go unprepared with all of those unprotected people coughing and touching everything.

At Costco, on the other hand, about half the customers were wearing PPE and the overall mood was quiet and serious.  A very big difference from WF and hopefully a sign that people are beginning to wake up and realize that this is real.  

If you are going to go to a store, here is what you need to do:
  1. When you leave your vehicle, put on your N95 mask, your gloves and safety glasses from one of your Black Umbrella emergency kits (you might feel self-conscious about this at first, but keep in mind that this is how you keep your family safe and who cares what others think).  Also, bring the Wet Wipes and hand sanitizer from your kit in with you as well.
  2. Wipe down your shopping cart handle and your gloves after you push the door open.
  3. After you finish shopping, but before you open your car, take out another disinfectant wipe and wipe down the outside of your mask, your glasses and your gloves.  If you touched your phone, wallet or credit cards in the store, wipe them down as well.
  4. Then take off your gloves and use the hand sanitizer to clean your hands again.  Get into your car and put your PPE in the footwell of the passenger seat, and then load up your vehicle.
  5. Then wipe down the car door handles and your keys.
  6. When you get home, take off your shoes and wash your hands first thing.  Then change out of your clothes and put the dirty ones in the wash with hot water and soap.
  7. Lastly, it isn't a bad idea to wipe down everything you purchased in the stores, and wash your fruit and vegetables if you bought them.
  8. Then take a breath, and enjoy the comfort of knowing that you just extended your family's ability to stay home in safety and comfort.
I know this sounds like a lot and is a pain in the butt, but really is the only way to play it smart when going into "enemy territory".  Try to limit the number of outside excursions and be careful and thoughtful when you do, and you should be ok.