Partially Stepping Down Isolation

post by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2020-07-08T11:40:02.776Z · score: 18 (7 votes) · LW · GW · 10 comments

On March 13th our household started isolating. We've relaxed our rules about surfaces a bit since then in response to changing estimates of risk—we've stopped sanitizing our groceries—but otherwise we haven't changed things much: I haven't gone into any buildings, or been close to anyone outside of my household. While the country as a whole is still seeing increasing cases, Massachusetts is doing pretty well:

The other indicators are also good: testing is way up, hospitalizations and intubations are way down, and the fraction of tests that are positive is below 2%.

Our house has decided to step down our isolation somewhat, while still being pretty careful:

If the improvement in MA reverses or anyone we've been in contact with seems like they might have COVID, we'll put this on hold.

I know other households that have been using a closed bubble approach, but while I think that approach can work it's not a good fit for us. We have multiple housemates who would like to spend time with people outside the household, and there isn't a perimeter that would work. Additionally, we're much more wary of going indoors than the people we would potentially be bubbling with; most of them are still going into grocery stores.

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comment by Dagon · 2020-07-08T14:49:32.315Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for sharing. How big is your household, and what risk bands do you consider yourselves in? This is more regimented than anyone I know, except for a few immune-compromised friends (and they aren't relaxing much based on current trends).

comment by adamzerner · 2020-07-08T16:22:52.516Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is more regimented than anyone I know, except for a few immune-compromised friends (and they aren't relaxing much based on current trends).

FWIW I've been a bit stricter, and I assume a chunk of LessWrongers have been as well.

comment by mingyuan · 2020-07-25T19:30:38.590Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is much less strict than most people I know, so this is probably a filter bubble thing?

comment by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2020-07-08T19:49:22.708Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How big is your household, and what risk bands do you consider yourselves in?

Six adults in our 20s-30s, two young children, no one at especially elevated risk.

comment by remizidae · 2020-07-08T13:41:56.969Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, that's incredibly strict. Thanks for sharing. I take it all of you are having groceries delivered (I've found it impossible to go to the store without getting <6 feet with multiple people). Are you concerned at all about taking up grocery delivery slots that high-risk people might need? Or are there plenty of grocery delivery slots in your area?

comment by David Chudzicki (dchudz) · 2020-07-08T18:51:44.303Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(I'm one of Jeff's housemates.) Going to the grocery would violate our rules even if you could stay 6ft away, because it's inside.

I guess there's one market in our area that's (a) outside, with (b) careful distancing. Going there would be fine I think, but I don't know if any of us have.

comment by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2020-07-08T14:01:23.941Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

At this point, you can place an Instacart order here and have it arrive in a few hours; Instacart seems to have gotten over their scaling issues.

Earlier we were organizing group buys from a restaurant supplier (our first one: https://www.jefftk.com/p/organizing-a-group-buy-of-flour)

comment by Kenny · 2020-07-25T17:56:31.642Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for this post!

I've been thinking about this – there's a particular person I'd like to start seeing in-person, unrestricted (e.g. inside, without a mask, hugging OK) but my concern is that my network of contacts isn't very strict at all.

After reading your post, I'm leaning towards waiting to see the particular person until I can move to a more strictly isolated network.

I am tho (slowly) updating towards less restrictions being reasonable. I've observed many people that are probably pretty close to pre-pandemic behavior in terms of unrestricted contact, and with many strangers, and I'm surprised that that doesn't seem to be spreading the virus, or if it is, there's no significant observable consequences (AFAICT).

Have you thought about milestones for stepping down isolation further?

comment by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2020-07-25T18:49:17.121Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Where are you? A lot of the analysis in the post is based on Massachusetts doing pretty well now, which isn't universal.

comment by Kenny · 2020-07-27T21:08:03.831Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

NYC