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ToddF

The virus strikes

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On Saturday morning I found out my partner of 25 years, who was home in Minnesota and planning to join me in Florida next week, became ill and tested positive for the virus. I left Selma, NC (RVacation campground) at 3AM on Sunday morning and arrived home last night at 11:00PM after a 1700 mile trip driving alone in 2 days. Camping in the driveway until we can determine if it is safe for me to go inside. With this virus, there is no way to know what course it will take, so returning to MN seemed like the only choice. 

Even with a quick recovery, I don't think I have it in me to drive back to Florida to complete the rest of the trip that was planned through the end of December before our tax season starts.

Be safe. Be flexible.

(I managed to camp for 5 weeks and have a great time, mostly outside, only 2 meals in a diner that was very clean and empty). And managed to visit the Hershey gardens outside, spend 3 weeks biking and walking on the beach, and visited an old Aunt and Uncle on their front porch.

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Yes, MN Dept of Health called and all contacts have been notified. I'm living in the RV in the driveway until we establish it is safe to go into the home.

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Todd,

I am rooting for you and your partner. Scary times but it is good to know you made it home safely.

Linda

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Todd,

I hope all goes well with minimum symptoms, no long-term effects, and a quick full recovery.

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It seems that it can strike anyone so we all need to do everything possible to lower our degree of risk. As far as I know, this is the first reported case among our forum regulars or their families. Our family had been planning for a wedding and a large gathering at Thanksgiving but we are rethinking all of that now. The wedding has been postponed (may just go with a small civil service) and several family members have delayed travel in this direction. Your wife any you will both be in our prayers. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

It seems that it can strike anyone so we all need to do everything possible to lower our degree of risk. As far as I know, this is the first reported case among our forum regulars or their families. Our family had been planning for a wedding and a large gathering at Thanksgiving but we are rethinking all of that now. The wedding has been postponed (may just go with a small civil service) and several family members have delayed travel in this direction. Your wife any you will both be in our prayers. 

I'm trying to figure out about Thanksgiving and it is not looking good. In years past I had more alternatives but this year its not looking good. Good chance I may be strictly by myself for the entire time. One year I volunteered in Fla. and was welcomed to come share a meal and visitation and the skp club at Wachula nearby. Last year I shared a meal at church near my location.  Hope they can work out an alternative for the wedding.  My grand-daughter had hers postponed back in March due to the venue and is reluctantly holding out to see what happens.  good choice ???? I can't decided.

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Listened to Minnesota Dept of Health update this afternoon. They attributed over 600 cases to 71 different weddings. 1 death. This doesn't include untraceable infections that resulted from coming into contact with an infected wedding attendee.

Also listened to a story on Minnesota Public Radio that featured a doctor with experience treating covid.

Here is what I've learned...

Everyone knows the medical experts recommend mask wearing and thorough hand washing.

Outdoor interactions are safer than indoor. (The weddings in some cases were outdoors but some had indoor receptions).

The amount of time one spends with an infected individual is critical. 15 minutes is mentioned as a threshold for increased risk.

Picking up the virus from packages and grocery items seems less an issue. (I'm not sure on this but I will say I never stopped going to grocery stores frequently. I wear a mask, get my items, self-checkout when possible, and put everything away when I get back to the RV or home, and wash my hands. )

Indoor dining is a high risk activity.

Have a plan. Mine has always been in any emergency to point the RV toward Minnesota and head home. The plan worked: I knew I could make it alone and did so in less than 48 hours. This included rest breaks and no compromise on safe driving. However, I did have to drive at night which I prefer not to do under ordinary circumstances.

Consider buying an oximeter. A key tool in the initial management of a covid case is managing blood oxygen level. One might not be available when you need it, I lucked out, Walgreens had them in stock. But if this pandemic continues raging, they could become hard to find like masks were in March. (An oxygen level at or below 90 would imply a need for an urgent care visit). 

Have cough syrup and cough drops on hand.

If you live in your RV, try to partition off an area with plastic bags and seal the area. It should be well ventilated. You want to try to separate the sick from the healthy.

Have non-perishable foodstuffs on hand that are easy to prepare. You can become very weak, making a cup of tea becomes an effort.

Have Clorox wipes on hand and wipe down door handles and other frequently touched surfaces.

Call your Doctor or clinic and get a case started even if you end up self resolving at home.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's "one day at a time" with Covid.

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Todd,

Thanks for the tips. We have most of those items on hand.

Sending virtual hugs to both you and your partner.

Linda

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37 minutes ago, 2gypsies said:

It would be difficult in a RV if one has the virus and the other doesn't.  You'd be sharing the bathroom. 

It would be difficult for us even without the RV since we have one bedroom and one bathroom as well. We are in a facility which has other bathrooms available, though, and the fitness center recently reopened the locker rooms with their showers so we do have options if we felt a need to go that far. That would be about as convenient as using campground showers but at least ours don't require quarters. And we have each napped on our couch but I don't know how long either of us would like sleeping there all night every night. Still, you do what you have to do. It's better than one of our friends who has now been in the hospital ten days with this thing and we got a report that he is now more lucid which is a scary thought in itself.

Linda

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The pulse oximeter is a good thing to have, not just because of the virus, but because as we all age our lungs become less elastic and often subtle changes in how well the lungs are working will show up in the pO2 level (oxygen level).  One of the tell-tale signs for a lot of Covid patients has been O2 levels that are way down but they feel fine - until the point that they are almost dead.  And if you have any heart condition, they are just another tool that help you monitor how well you are doing.  

I figure that if one of us gets it, both of us will have it.  So we approach everything that way.   With Dave's heart/kidney conditions, he only goes to medical appointments.  Very, very seldom do I do in store shopping - mainly just pickup and when available, I use curbside pickup where they bring the already paid for merchandise out to the car.   

 

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on the Pulse Oximeter: get one anyway - it's not just Covid that affects the lungs - and some health issues are much more subtle but can be picked up by monitoring blood oxygen content.

 

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I didn't know how shallowly I normally breathe until I was hooked up to a monitor after a colonoscopy. I had to actually remember to breathe deeply to keep from setting off the alarm.

Linda

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4 hours ago, Rich&Sylvia said:

on the Pulse Oximeter: get one anyway - it's not just Covid that affects the lungs - and some health issues are much more subtle but can be picked up by monitoring blood oxygen content.

 

Mine arrived today, it's amazing to me how the O2 level changes. It was 94, walked across the room-it was 92. I have what the Dr. called acute chronic bronchitis and asthma. I expect when I walk down to the mailbox and back up to the house it goes under 90. Amazing gadget.

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9 hours ago, Rich&Sylvia said:

on the Pulse Oximeter: get one anyway - it's not just Covid that affects the lungs - and some health issues are much more subtle but can be picked up by monitoring blood oxygen content.

 

I have one, two actually. After my second heart incident I could never get off oxygen at elevation. I found that by using the SPO2 I found that below 3500' or so I could quit using the portable oxygen concentrator. I have one that you use on a finger, and the other is part of my smart watch. I find the two are pretty close to each other. The smart watch also does blood pressure, which is again close to a cuff type. As we get older the more we monitor our physical selves the better off we are. 

 

Edited by Chalkie

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