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COVID Q: Curious, what will it take for you to feel safe going out again?

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  • COVID Q: Curious, what will it take for you to feel safe going out again?

    As folks are starting to venture out in New Mexico, friends have been asking me when I'd like to join them out and about. That's a darn good question. I likely won't be able to get a vaccine for another year, as I just my Ocrevus infusion and that mutes the effectiveness of vaccines.

    With masks and social distancing standard, outdoor dining seem plausible with precautions. But indoor dining? Hmmm.

    Venturing back out on the bike trail during non-busy times seems safe-ish.

    Having people over to the house? I'm afraid not yet. Too many variables for me.

    You guys?
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    Not so much as restrictions relax

    Great question Dave! I am not comfortable at all here in houston Area
    Our cases have been rising since opening up several weeks ago and I think everyone has pandemic fatigue. An alarming number go out without masks. Social distancing reminder tape on floors have been removed from some establishments. I must carry on somehow, so I grocery shop in store 1x a week with n95 mask. I wear a label that says I'm immune compromised because sometimes a yahoo gets too close to me and I point to my label instead of yelling at them to back off. I go outside and social distance. But sometimes that means I'm standing way off by myself. It heightens my feelings of having a disability. My teenagers don't get together with groups of friends like before. They have a select group of likeminded friends to do Outside get togethers, social distance, bike rides and walks. We don't let anyone in our house yet and don't visit other houses. We avoid establishments that are crowded or poor air circulation. We would not enjoy eating at a restaurant anymore out of fear, but we have gotten take out dinners a few times and carefully transfered food out of containers.(never thought it could happen but--margaritas are allowed for pickup!!! 1 positive change) As more people venture out and relax social distancing, my family feels inversely more vulnerable because I am still at risk. I've told my kids that we are in it for the long haul and they have to figure out what level of risk they are personally comfortable with. It is really hard emotionally for all of us. I'm afraid its going to be this way for awhile.


    • #3
      The news is getting more complicated with Ocrevus. New research suggests it takes about a year after your last infusion for your immune system to recover enough to build antibodies to the virus. Which means no matter how quickly a vaccine arrives, I'll likely have to wait until June 2021, as long as I skip my January infusion. Gack.

      And I just read that the risks of getting Covid are essentially doubled if you take Rituxan (similar to Ocrevus), and that if you do get it, recovery is much harder to boot. So, yeah....
      Dave Bexfield


      • #4
        That is a good question Dave and I hope you get a lot of response since different opinions should help us all decide how we deal with the situation. With one notable exception, I'm not terribly concerned given reasonable use of common sense and taking certain precautions. This in spite of being an immunosupressed senior male who may be at higher risk of serious complications if I do get Covid.

        In general I attempt to minimize potential exposure as much as possible without completely sacrificing my quality of life. If a place is particularly crowded, I'll come back at another time. I wear a mask in public places and I am more likely to patronize places that require it of staff and patrons. If I dine out I prefer an outdoor venue and I try to order food that requires minimal human intervention between the oven or fryer and my plate. (Ex, fish and chips dumped directly from the fryer into my basket or a smothered burrito served directly from the oven sans lettuce, tomato, guacamole or sour cream. Disposable cups, silverware and plates please.) I am not inclined toward fast food as there is too much human intervention required to serve a hamburger with lettuce and tomato, or any other sandwich for that matter. Fried chicken - maybe, pizza only if I can put it into a hot oven at home for a bit before consumption. I haven't been to my neighborhood brewery since they recently reopened, but, being a quasi outdoor venue, if they are serving in plastic or paper cups I'll be comfortable, otherwise I'll have to order by the bottle or can on which I can use an alcohol swab before drinking.

        I'm not concerned about going out on the bike. My friends and I have found numerous uncrowded times and places where any risk of exposure is very low. We are even beginning to consider eating afterwards subject to limitations already discussed. Additionally, I consider the exercise critical for my physical ability to recover from an accident or disease as well as the health of whatever is left of my immune system. My blood tests show a normal C-cell count but a very low B-cell count.

        My biggest concern at the moment is my next Rituxan infusion scheduled for this coming week. Unfortunately, after postponing for an additional 5 months, it's come down to accepting more MS damage or risking a trip to Covid central where I'll undergo a too lengthy check-in procedure followed by 3 hours in an enclosed multi-patient space breathing recirculated medical center air while being infused. Even wearing a mask and coming directly home, taking a shower and changing, I consider this much higher risk than a trip to the store, restaurant or brew pub. Short of full hazmat gear, I see no way to minimize the risk to what I consider an acceptable level so will have to hope for the best.

        I particularly feel for you Suebee with kids at home facing the prospect of going back to school. But, I hope and believe this virus will have largely run its course by then and any risk of exposure will be significantly less.

        All the best friends,
        Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 06-13-2020, 05:47 PM.