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    Default O.T. - Coronavirus Mitigation Tips thread

    We're in this for the long haul, so might as well start collecting some basic information for dealing with the virus. There's some obvious stuff that's been well published, but perhaps there's some more obscure things that may be helpful.

    These should be in the "can't hurt, might help" category, so no suggestions to drink bleach or anything stupid, please.

    1) From this thread: What can we do to help in the Coronavirus/COVID-19 era? #106 (originally posted by JPW062, with my response) some thoughts on N95 mask sterilizing and reuse.

    2) When shopping, buy goods that you don't need right away, then set them (in their bags) aside for 3+ days to allow for virus deactivation. Most studies show plastic surfaces to maintain CV-19 viruses for three days, so more is better. Cardboard seems to kill it off sooner, so your cereal box is safe to handle after a couple days.

    3) Freezing Corona-family viruses DOES NOT seem to harm them, so frozen goods should be treated with care until cooked. Handle the box such that you can remove the food item with minimal touching, dispose of the the box and after putting item in oven wash hands. You can go crazy with this, but try to minimize contact with oven controls and handles before hand cleaning. Even a dry paper towel as a barrier from surfaces is better than nothing.

    Please follow up with your own tips and tricks.

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    This was sent to me by a friend, purportedly by Johns Hopkins. What I question is the first sentence (it being a DNA rather than RNA assemblage). It also is at least four days old and doesn't cover the aerosol issue. The handling of exposed clothing before washing could have a bit more info. Also not sure about UV being fully effective in sterilizing face masks (but certainly wouldn't hurt to put them out in the sun for three days straight). Still, the characterization of how the virus does / doesn't die seems about right to me:

    Johns Hopkins University has sent this detailed note on avoiding the contagion:

    * The virus is a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.

    * Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

    * The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.

    * HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.

    * Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

    * Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.

    * Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.

    * NO BACTERICIDE SERVES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; they cannot kill what is not alive with antibiotics, but quickly disintegrate its structure with everything said.

    * NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between 3 hours (fabric and porous), 4 hours (copper, because it is naturally antiseptic; and wood, because it removes all the moisture and does not let it peel off and disintegrates). ), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.

    * The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars. They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.

    * UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin, eventually causing wrinkles and skin cancer.

    * The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.

    * Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

    * NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.

    * LISTERINE IF IT SERVES! It is 65% alcohol.

    * The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.

    * This is super said, but you have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.

    * You have to HUMIDIFY HANDS DRY from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.

    * Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.

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    I have been lurking on this site lately because I'm trying to decide which machine tools to buy. I am a radiologist at my day job. If there are medical questions I will try to answer. Much of what I know about COVID comes from docs only facebook pages where docs are sharing information and trying to figure out what to do. I am out of the hospital through next week, taking call for procedures from home.

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    I'd probably point out that super-spreaders have been a problem. One guy apparently had it and went to parties, played soccer, etc etc. Another person, a health care worker, had just returned to Philly from a vacation in Italy. Fever and cough. Went to the doc, who did tests but told him to self quarantine. So that night he goes to a mixer. (What is WRONG with people? This is a healthcare worker of some form).

    Anyway, adjust your schedule so that if you have the virus, it won't spread. Assume you have the virus. And adjust your schedule so it won't spread. Visit Mom for dinner? Not unless you want to kill her. Babysit the kids in the neighborhood? Nope, cuz Ditto.

    Oh, and if your pastor/rabbi/imam tell you to come to services I'd pass. [I don't mean to offend those who don't share my faith, but as a Christian I'm getting pretty pissed off at some so-called Christians who are doing very stupid things in God's name. Grrrrrr] Some Christians think "This is a matter of faith, if I show faith, God will protect me". Getting out the old Boz Sermonology book here, I seem to recall that Jesus said the exact opposite. In the wilderness fasting 40 days when Satan says to him, "Look, I know you are the son of God. If you jump from this here cliff. God will have his angels protect you. They will catch you and you won't even bump your foot on a stone". Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ As a Christian, I've always felt that the Almighty gave us cool stuff like science to help us. Probably best not to ignore the stuff we've learned about the Universe we've been given to live in. Don't test the Almighty, lest you be a tool of ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    * Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
    Good stuff, Pete.

    I think that's true for viruses, but for bacteria pure isopropanol seams to preserve some bacterial.

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    Thanks, guys! And Bos, there's an awful lot of "WTF" that''s been associated with this plague, especially among the young. I think it might have been a mistake to emphasize the "safety" of being younger, that wasn't a good message to be sending out.

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    I spray all items incoming to the house with straight isopropyl. Mail, deliveries, packages/items from grocery delivery, etc

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    The "anti-bacterial" wipes that are so common.... do just about nothing.

    A virus is not a bacteria or a germ, and getting rid of the virus TAKES CONTACT TIME. Like 5 minutes wet time !
    Soap and water is much more effective, just more of a mess.

    You need to be patient if you want to make a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuffDan View Post
    I spray all items incoming to the house with straight isopropyl. Mail, deliveries, packages/items from grocery delivery, etc

    Not sure it applies to all viruses, but in general 70% isopropyl alochol is cheaper, safer, and more effective for a mix of viruses and bacteria. Apparenty the water helps permeate or disrupt membranes. Whether this applies to the thin protective fat layer the above indicates for CoVid-2 I don't know:

    Why Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) a Better Disinfectant than 99% Isopropanol, and What Is IPA Used For?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuffDan View Post
    I spray all items incoming to the house with straight isopropyl. Mail, deliveries, packages/items from grocery delivery, etc
    Some of the stuff you don't need right away can just be set aside, like most mail and the like. If you live in a safe area, you can put it on the porch for fresh air and sunlight exposure.

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    Another thing it would be useful for people to understand is how large groups increase the chances of coming into contact with the virus. While it's basic statistics, it seems counter-intuitive to many.

    I have a family member who is an "essential worker" at a Home Depot returns counter. People (seriously) are returning things like respirators they say don't fit right.

    Right now we have a County with about 250,000 people and about 50 cases (just to make the math easy). The real number of cases, given our limited testing is likely 500 (10x) based on other countries' experience. That's not a 1 in 500 chance of coming into contact (500/250,000) with someone with the virus (as he seems to think). For a store like Home Depot, with more than a 1000 customers per day, it's more like a near certainty that someone will be in the store, in any given day, who has the virus and is handling merchandise, interacting with cashiers, etc.

    It is entirely possible that someone who doesn't understand basic probability, including many of our essential workers, will underestimate the risk and thus fail to be careful in terms of washing hands, keeping distance, etc. Indeed, some are actually making light of the whole thing, going out of their way to expose and be exposed. Witness several "advising" here, CPAC, New Orleans, Spring Break and any other large group event; including shopping or facing the public.

    See why keeping groups small can save lives in the era of COVID-19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Not sure it applies to all viruses, but in general 70% isopropyl alochol is cheaper, safer, and more effective for a mix of fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Apparenty the water helps permeate or disrupt membranes. Whether this applies to the thin protective fat layer the above indicates for CoVid-2 I don't know:

    Why Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) a Better Disinfectant than 99% Isopropanol, and What Is IPA Used For?
    IPA with detergent is better still. It's used all the time to clean up wound areas. Water and IPA mix!

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    I wonder if the fat layer is dissolved in hydrocarbon....I used to wash my hands all the time in a sort of odourless white kerosine,and sometimes in trichlor ethane ,which is possibly the best fat solvent ever.And often in diesel too ,out on the job.I dont recall ever having a seasonal flu or cold ,last virus I had was an unidentified thingy that cause three days of high fever ,and disorientation ...no ,cough ,sniffle ,gastro ,anything but high fever ..think I got it pumping out a filthy pit that flooded at work.Full of mosquitos ,and whatever else from sandblasting sewerage pumps ,traps ,grids etc.

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    so is ipa better than ethanol?

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    I wonder if the fat layer is dissolved in hydrocarbon....I used to wash my hands all the time in a sort of odourless white kerosine,and sometimes in trichlor ethane ,which is possibly the best fat solvent ever.And often in diesel too ,out on the job.I dont recall ever having a seasonal flu or cold
    A good friend died a few years ago from liver cancer. Teetotaller, never touched a drop in his life ... but he had decades up to his elbows in the parts washer, solvents, gasoline, diesel, methanol, etc.

    Might be good for avoiding colds and the flu but not recommended for longterm health

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    Very difficult to find 70% right now and even aloe as people have bought it all up to make their own hand sanitizer. I have a single bottle of iso 70, and waiting for the aloe I ordered from Amazon week before last.
    I do have several gallons of denatured alcohol and have it with a little water in a sprayer bottle. One in my car, one at home, one at work. I wear my regular winter gloves and currently have little contact with any public surface. If I do I just spray my gloves down. Spray the mail, spray my keys.
    Today my GP doc is coming by my house to pick up 2 full boxes of N95 masks left over from my cabinet shop days. I still have enough in open boxes for wife and I.
    Also have several freezers filled with food, 1000 gallon propane tank and backup generator.
    I work alone in one building and one man in the other building. 2 other employees are staying home. One of them will come in to pick up a big box of "work at home" material. Boxes will be placed outside.

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    What should we do? The normal protocols we should be following EVERY season when colds and flu-like diseases are rampant.

    The number one rule should be that while sharing in many cases is a kind and generous thing to do, sharing an upper respiratory illness is not one of those. Year after year I am disgusted with the number of contagious people who self-medicate and then go out and act as if nothing is different from normal. I still remember the guy who a few years ago approached our lunch table, coughed into his hand, introduced himself, and then stretched out that same hand for me to shake. He looked hurt and angry when I didn't reach out my hand and to this day the jerk probably still hasn't a clue why I refused to shake his hand while eating my lunch.

    I read all of these descriptions of attempts to sterilize everything with some amusement, and wonder what are the same people's normal habits during a typical cold and flu season. We are taking the normal seasonal precautions and expect they will protect us as in past seasons.

    If you feel you must do all this than by all means do so but don't expect the rest of us to donate supplies if yours run out. My personal opinion is that people are needlessly burning through supplies that they may need later if a family member becomes sick from coronavirus, influenza, the common cold or whatever.

    We've been using the same detergent and hot water cleaning we've practiced for years and don't feel that we are being careless in any way.

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    So face masks are in super short supply. I'm at the market yesterday, and there are lots of people wearing face masks which can't be new, and are obviously showing signs of getting ripe. What diseases are we opening ourselves up to with people wearing the same mask for two weeks on end? It's like giving a baby one pair of diapers to wear for a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    So face masks are in super short supply. I'm at the market yesterday, and there are lots of people wearing face masks which can't be new, and are obviously showing signs of getting ripe. What diseases are we opening ourselves up to with people wearing the same mask for two weeks on end? It's like giving a baby one pair of diapers to wear for a year.
    Yup, sometimes the cure really is worse than the disease. That is not the only issue related to this panicdemic. One of the local stations had a doctor on who said many elderly will suffer severe depression from having no visitors, and many others staying at home will suffer stress related ailments. Another problem is that many are so frightened that they not only avoid going outdoors but are even afraid to open their windows on a nice day, depriving themselves of healthy fresh air. As a "non-essential" person I've got extra time on my hands so I'm going outside for fresh air and sunshine whenever possible and getting a head start on yard work and other projects. The people who confine themselves will likely prolong the cold and flu season by having weaker immune systems when they emerge.

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    I carry a fresh wash rag wet with dish washing solution and clean my hands and parts of the car that I touch regularly. Janie uses sterile wipes. Wash my hands on return home and wash the door knob.


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