We all know that all the professionals In the U.S. and worldwide have stepped up to keep us healthy. I for one applaud all their actions and I’m sure I join you as I appreciate each and every one of them.
But, even as our supply chains have ramped up production and delivery of health related supplies, we are still experiencing shortages of certain items. I, for instance, ordered surgical gloves from a major online retailer two weeks ago and they have been delayed until the middle of next month (if I get them then).
So, what are we to do in the meantime? How do we supply our needs without further stressing the needs of healthcare providers?
The Red Cross recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of germs during this situation: (My comments are in italics)
- Stay home if you can and avoid gatherings of more than ten people. Sometimes Easier said than done but use common sense if you have to go out. Don’t take the whole family. Go alone and don’t linger in stores.
- Practice social distancing by keeping a distance of about six feet from others if you must go out in public. Not to hard considering some people you might run into.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Ironic that hand sanitizer has become the thing that is not readily available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. This seems to be that hardest thing of all. My nose started itching the second I heard this.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. I am sorry we even had to say this. I know that some situations require exposure to sick people, do the best you can.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. This is a no brainer. This is also the group that most needs to wear some sort of mask to stop droplets from sneezing, coughing and just breathing from infecting others.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw used tissues in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands. Also another reason to use some sort of mask. Since surgical masks are in high demand, make sure you get something washable.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them – use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Full information on how to disinfect found here.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick. You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
So what can you do if you cant get the supplies you need? Here are some alternatives:
- Delivery services for groceries and supplies. Most larger stores and local restaurants are offering food deliveries to your door often with no delivery fee. Also free curbside pickup is available at many restaurants.
- Many local organisations are making face masks that not only will help protect you and others but hopefully will remind your hands to stay away from your face. You can also get sports masks (above) that will perform the same function and are washable.
- Glove alternatives. You have to touch some things and gloves are a good defense to spreading the virus if you remove and dispose of them often. It defeats the purpose if you wear them all over town. The best alternative is to wash your hands often. You can also use little hacks like taking that huge pile of plastic bags under your sink and using them as makeshift glove at the gas pump. Then dispose of it immediately. Oh yeah., wash your hands.
- Home made hand sanitizer. No. There are so many conflicting reports on if these are even effective, that I do not recommend them. If you can find a recipe that is endorsed by a reputable science and medical based organisation, and you feel inclined, then by all means go for it. I have not found one I trust. Go wash your hands.
- We are twenty years into the 21st Century. Gather online. Use Social media to stave off loneliness. Read more blogs.
- Use online medical advice. Most hospitals (and many doctors offices) have set up some sort of online medical visits to cut down on people piling in to emergency rooms and doctors waiting rooms where they can infect other people and can get infected from the patients waiting to be seen.
- Disinfectants. These seem to be more and more available as people adjust to the new norm and supplies have balanced with demand. If you can’t get them though, use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, vinegar or even vodka. (medicinal purposes only)
To sum it up there are many ways to get around shortages and a little common sense and ingenuity go a long way.
As always, please comment with your suggestions and let me know what you think. Please also remember that clicking on ads helps me keep this site going thanks! One last thing, wash your hands.