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ive noticed over the past months that there is a common lack of knowledge amongst my non-disabled friends around the protocols immunocompromised people are taught to manage infection risk. so i thought id lay some of them out again, incase its useful for other ppl right now
1) masks: every time we leave the house and will be near people we wear masks. either cloth masks that get washed/ boiled after every use, or disposable masks. before we put on the mask we wash our hands. the mask then only gets touched after we wash our hands or sanitize
the mask is only touched on the straps. so if i need to drink water while wearing a mask i wash/ sanitize, hold the mask at one strap, drink water, then replace the strap. i am aware of every single time i touch my face. i make sure not to touch my eyes, unless i wash/sanitize
2) sanitizer/ hand washing: we all carry sanitizer. every time we touch something we sanitize. every time. when we come home we immediately wash our hands. we wash our hands before every meal. after using the bathroom. we wash our hands randomly. we are always washing our hands
we dont go out much where people are, unless we can wear masks. my partner goes out once a week to shop for food. as soon as they get home they wash everything down outside, all food packages, all fruit and veg, everything. the packages go straight into the outside bin
when we get home from being outside all shoes are sprayed with a bleach spray. all keys, glasses, cards, phone are sprayed. all outside clothes are kept in a storage room outside. we immediately take off all outside clothes in the hallway and put them in the wash. we then shower
we always have to weigh up risks. our kid needs other kids, so she is in kindy. but her kindy temp check on arrival and wash hands all day and are on it. i go to rehab exercise and they are also very careful there and there are very few people. i wear a mask all the time tho
i cant go to a restaurant, or cafe, or cinema, or gallery, or library, or anywhere regardless of social distancing, because i cant afford to take off my mask/ be in a room with a lot of people for a long amount of time. if i see friends i have to hope they are being careful
if someone i am in a space with is sick, i will get sick, even before this. i am almost constantly sick. my immunologist said if i get covid, i will be hospitalised for sure. given how it attacks the immune system its a real consideration for me and a lot of others
ive probably forgotten things we do because they are so ingrained, but also, the things we do become normal quickly, if you have access to masks, soap, sanitizer, water. they can also be scaled up for housemates, family and so on. theyre obviously not perfect or foolproof
but they do cut down some risk. if you spend time with immunocompromised people, please be mindful of how you approach us. because many of the people dying from this are immunocompromised/ disabled and have preexisting illnesses
even more so for disabled Black and Indigenous people who have to deal with medical and state racism, and who are being triaged out of care.
im saying all this because a lot of people are very well meaning when it comes to considering how they manage transmission risk. and believe that they are being careful. but one of the transmission conduits here was a shared lighter. so perhaps its worth being even more careful.
also i understand there is a lot of mixed messaging about masks. as far as im concerned, if it cuts down some transmission risk, why not do it, if it is possible for you or does not put you at risk of racist violence?
oh! forgot to add (and probably will remember more): every day we disinfect the door knobs, light switches, tap handles, benches, table, toilet, sinks. also all mail that comes in gets sprayed, or left untouched for 24-48 hours.
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