You've Been Exposed to COVID-19: What Do You Wish You Knew?

post by Elizabeth (pktechgirl) · 2020-03-06T19:57:33.607Z · score: 50 (14 votes) · LW · GW · 4 comments

This is a question post.


    24 James_Miller
    17 elityre
    11 elityre

A thing I've been really frustrated by with a lot of coronavirus advice posts is lack of specificity. What does "quarantine for 14 days" mean? Do I need to poop in a bucket? Can I use my private yard? Let deliveries be placed on my doorstep? If I'm recovered but my housemate is still sick, what are my obligations?

This is a thread for all of those questions. Nothing is too trivial to include, and I ask that people not downvote things they think are obvious (although still upvote the questions you find most useful). Note that even though these are questions, please submit them as answers to this question, rather than as related questions, just for simplicity.

How we plan to use this thread:

More example questions:


answer by James_Miller · 2020-03-06T20:17:12.919Z · score: 24 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If the hospitals get overwhelmed and a family member in my home gets critically ill, what should I do to help them? Are there good YouTube videos that will teach me the basics of caring for someone with whatever lung problems the virus can cause absent my having medical equipment?

comment by jmh · 2020-03-07T02:26:03.103Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

While potentially a morbid approach, you could check with any of the area hospice providers/organizations. They deal with people in very bad health situations all the time. Based on my experience (both parents died in 2017) end of live situations seem to get to a breathing ability management stage.

They might even be a source of oxygen machines that could be used if hospital ICU space is not available. (Not sure if those systems are included in the various counts people bandy around for the hospital ability to serve COVID-19 demands).

They can probably also give you advice on dealing with the situation where you would likely be feeling this might be an end of life situation for those people you care about. (If you have not been though that I can tell you, you are not prepared)

answer by elityre · 2020-03-10T03:21:02.933Z · score: 17 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How bad is it to share a bathroom with someone who is infected? Are there things you can do to make that better?

comment by Soothsilver · 2020-05-28T19:24:04.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The WHO guidance is that the person who is infected uses a mask as much as possible, that they use the bathroom for evening routine last (after you) and that they clean it/disinfect it after use.

answer by elityre · 2020-03-10T03:21:43.486Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How much does wiping down an object with disinfectant wipes reduce the risk of infection from that object?

comment by leggi · 2020-03-10T04:30:12.388Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It depends on:

  • what the object is/its surface material.
  • how effective the disinfectant used is.
  • how thorough the wiping is done. All clean, all disinfected, all good.
  • (how the now potentially infected wipe is handled).

If you're looking for specifics then try researching "fomites" (objects that could carry infections) and how to clean what can be potentially contaminated.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by gwillen · 2020-03-06T23:30:21.899Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Given that you posted this as a question rather than a post, are you looking for people to post using the "Related Questions" feature? I see one question posted as an answer already, so worth clarifying how you'd like us to use the thread in the body of your post.

comment by Elizabeth (pktechgirl) · 2020-03-07T01:08:41.489Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm looking for [questions in English] to be delivered as [answers in LW]

comment by clearthis · 2020-03-06T23:40:56.608Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Just as a small piece of evidence:

I've read an interview of a patient released from a swiss hospital. She isn't allowed to leave her appartment but can spend time in her garden and is allowed to recieve deliveries (there was no specification about how deliveries are done). This points towards the doctors not being very concerned about aerosolized infections.

comment by gwillen · 2020-03-06T23:49:04.873Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Worth keeping in mind: The goal of public health authorities is not zero transmission events. Rather, it is keeping the R value -- the number of new infections per person -- below 1, and as low as practical. From that perspective, what they want to do is eliminate the primary routes of spread, rather than all possible routes. (And I suspect this is what they mean when they say things like "asymptomatic carriers are not a major driver" -- not that you can't get infected from them, but that their R value is comfortably below 1, so from a public health perspective they aren't critical. The pandemic can be stopped without addressing them.)