The Changing Face of the Pandemic

Masks are recommended for everyone  |  photo by Flo Hoylman
Dave Pangaro practices social distancing from a goose
Tom Mikita solos on his SUP  |  these photos by Susan Huxtable
And Susan herself goes out for a row  |  photo by Joe Novitski  |  post by Larry Clinton

The Marin County Public Health and Human Services Department  receives regular updates on cases of respiratory illness from all Marin County Emergency Departments (ED), and from Emergency Medical Services (EMS). As of Monday, April 13, the HMMS reports there have been 2,145 people tested for COVID-19 in Marin, resulting in 170 confirmed cases and 10 deaths attributed to the pandemic. These numbers may be updated by the time you read this.

Southern Marin has been one of the hardest-hit areas of the County, with at least 38 confirmed cases, including possible infections on one or two docks in this community.

Issaquah Dock residents have compiled a list of tips for floating homes residents to minimize the risk of infection. Here’s a lightly edited digest of their suggestions:

  • SOCIAL DISTANCING – Step back onto finger piers to let others pass. Polite signs have been posted on some docks asking strollers not to come on the docks for now.
  • SHOPPING CARTS/GARBAGE HUT – Disinfect cart handles with Lysol spray before and after using, and wear dishwashing gloves when taking the garbage out and touching the door handles on the garbage hut. Composting bins are particularly virulent, so exercise extreme caution when using them.
  • NO FREEBOX – Personal belongings can carry the virus, according to recent scientific reports. The virus can stay on cardboard/paper up to 24 hours and glass/steel/plastic for up to three days.
  • MAILBOXES – A good idea to Lysol before opening.
  • HOUSEKEEPERS – Alert housekeepers to the protocols around carts and maintaining 6 feet distance.
  • SANITIZING PROTOCOLS AT HOME – If you are going out, upon re-entry to your home wash your hands, then Lysol the front door handles outside and inside. Take off outer clothes and leave them outside to air in the sunshine. Wipe down phones with alcohol wipes, then wash your hands again. Wash your face if you may have touched it while outside.
  • DELIVERIES – Leave containers outside for 24 hours before bringing them in (having removed any perishables with gloves) and then follow hand sanitizing protocols.
  • WELLNESS POSSE – Consider creating a Wellness Posse to act as a focal point for the exchange of information, sharing supplies, willingness to make grocery store runs, and to determine who needs help.

The following insights were posted online by a physician:

The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (and RNA) 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 converts them into aggressor and multiplier cells. 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, 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 (C  1.8=45 F) 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 breaks the protein down from the inside.

NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. Shaking causes the virus molecules to float in the air for up to three hours, and they can lodge in your nose.

The virus molecules remain very stable in cold or artificial environments, such 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 them faster. The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.

UV LIGHT breaks down the virus protein and is good for disinfecting masks. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.

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. Moisturize hands that may be dry from so much washing, 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.