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Old 05-08-2020, 02:12 PM
Chessic Sense is offline
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Back to work next week.


I'm getting recalled to my normal schedule (for now) starting next week. I thought we were starting to return to normal, slowly but surely ramping up. But then I got a text with details. Apparently I'm the only one getting recalled, and it's because my partner, who's been working this whole time, caught COVID-19 and is in quarantine. She says she probably got it from work.

So I'm going in to replace a person who likely got infected there. Eek.

Anyone else have a similar sitch?
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:41 AM
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My wife is VP of a loan ops department, and was (I think) the first in her company to get all her employees at home with IT equipment. She's getting pressure from the Prez to bring them back because reasons. So far she's holding him at bay with: a) the fact they were able to ramp up and triple their throughput* while at home and, b) several of them are high risk folks who really should stay put. She's gotten a few concessions, mainly their office will be locked and entry by buzzing in, rather than open to any who wander in. Also is pushing hard for a half at home one week, then the other half the next schedule so fewer people and much more separation. She has a separate office, but her workers are in cubicles and more vulnerable to airborne movement.

So, not next week but definitely in a few weeks. Hopefully on a rotating schedule to keep the transmission possibilities down. And definitely locked away from genpop and random officials "dropping" in because their problem can't wait.


*According to her, getting away from meetings and other forms of interference allowed a measurable gain in productivity.

Last edited by pullin; 05-09-2020 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:36 AM
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I'm getting recalled to my normal schedule
Being called back to work /= going back to work, necessarily. Just sayin.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:55 AM
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I'm getting recalled to my normal schedule (for now) starting next week. I thought we were starting to return to normal, slowly but surely ramping up. But then I got a text with details. Apparently I'm the only one getting recalled, and it's because my partner, who's been working this whole time, caught COVID-19 and is in quarantine. She says she probably got it from work.

So I'm going in to replace a person who likely got infected there. Eek.

Anyone else have a similar sitch?
Why should we care?
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:16 AM
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:50 PM
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They've been telling us "two more weeks" every two weeks since St Patrick's Day. Finally last week they said work from home has been extended indefinitely. So who knows when I'll go back.
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:40 PM
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Seems dumb to recall the partner of a Covid case, surely the sensible thing to do is to self isolate in case you are asymptomatic and potentially passing it on.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
I'm getting recalled to my normal schedule (for now) starting next week. I thought we were starting to return to normal, slowly but surely ramping up. But then I got a text with details. Apparently I'm the only one getting recalled, and it's because my partner, who's been working this whole time, caught COVID-19 and is in quarantine. She says she probably got it from work.

So I'm going in to replace a person who likely got infected there. Eek.

Anyone else have a similar sitch?
What do you do?
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:01 PM
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Seems dumb to recall the partner of a Covid case, surely the sensible thing to do is to self isolate in case you are asymptomatic and potentially passing it on.
I haven't seen her in more than a month. I'm the "designated survivor" so to speak. Now that she's out of commission, I have to rotate in to fill the slot. But one thing I'm worried about is if there's a "COVID Mary" in the office who's gunning down coworkers without knowing it.


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What do you do?
I work in an office environment. Cubicle farm.


So my plan right now is just to sit at my desk all day, talk to no one, go nowhere, and touch nothing but my desk. I've got some homemade masks and one, single N95 that's been in the garage for 4+ years (eww). I'm hoping that's enough.

Eventually we all have to go back to work, for those of us with a workplace to return to. How are you planning on handling it? What precautions are you planning to take?
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:04 PM
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They've been telling us "two more weeks" every two weeks since St Patrick's Day. Finally last week they said work from home has been extended indefinitely. So who knows when I'll go back.
If they recalled you, would you go?
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:16 AM
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How many people go inside your building - not just your immediate area, but your building? That, in my mind, is the big first question that needs to be answered. And it's not just how many people who work there, but people going in and out. If there are only a few people working tehre but you have regular UPS/FedEx/USPS delivery, then you have to factor the building traffic, not just workers.

What floor are you on? Ideally you want to be in a lower level but in a low traffic area with an exit that doesn't involve an enclosed elevator. You want to go in and out without spending more than a few moments in an enclosed area. People who've been in an enclosed area and coughing, sneezing, or simply breathing can leave droplets in that area that can remain airborne for up to 15 minutes (possibly longer).

Can you open windows? If yes, I'd probably suggest doing so the virus can be pushed out by airflow of the building.

Can you negotiate something like going into the office on 'peak' days and working remotely on other less important days?

Yes you should wear masks and bring sanitizer - absolutely.

Last edited by asahi; 05-10-2020 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:28 AM
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If they recalled you, would you go?
I've been in a similar situation, spoke up, and got my boss to agree to letting us stay home through August, but my field lends itself to online work. Not every job is like that.

If I were young, healthy, female, single, had good health insurance, and didn't live in the Northeastern U.S., I'd probably not fret if the boss demanded that I return to the office. But for each of those little criteria that aren't met: if you're not young, if you are obese or have any noteworthy health condition, if you're male, if you don't have good health insurance, if you aren't single and live with others who are more vulnerable, and if you live in the Northeast or another area that's heavily impacted, then I'd be thinking about finances and how much that job is really worth.

Last edited by asahi; 05-10-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:25 PM
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If they recalled you, would you go?
Well, I have an IT job so working from home is not a problem. I have had to go into the office briefly a couple of times since the work-from-home order (maybe an hour or so each time) to provide support for people working in the office. But it's been so deserted that I didn't really worry about it. (I do wear a mask if I have to go in.)

The company I work for is currently leasing space in another company's building, and frankly that other company is doing a terrible job when it comes to employee safety. So if I was told to go back to working in the office, my biggest concern would be having to go back into that environment.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:57 AM
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We just received an email from the division manager. All but the few who have been in office throughout all of this will be working from home through the end of the year. They gave two reasons: They can't ensure worker safety and to help with the budget. The County is facing an over $20 million deficit, so anything they can do to stave having to lay off employees and not have to spend on PPE/extra screening of clients/cleaning where it's simpler to keep employees at home is a start.

I'm of two minds regarding this. I'm glad they're putting our health and the health of our clients first, even if it's motivated by budget. Unfortunately, this means one aspect of my job is pretty much donezo through at least next spring. That sucks. I've been tapped to be on a few technology workgroups to help keep me busy, so that's something.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:02 PM
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I haven't seen her in more than a month. I'm the "designated survivor" so to speak. Now that she's out of commission, I have to rotate in to fill the slot. But one thing I'm worried about is if there's a "COVID Mary" in the office who's gunning down coworkers without knowing it.




I work in an office environment. Cubicle farm.


So my plan right now is just to sit at my desk all day, talk to no one, go nowhere, and touch nothing but my desk. I've got some homemade masks and one, single N95 that's been in the garage for 4+ years (eww). I'm hoping that's enough.

Eventually we all have to go back to work, for those of us with a workplace to return to. How are you planning on handling it? What precautions are you planning to take?
I go in for a dental appointment this week.

Among the new requirements they have added some sort of air purifier systems. Could your office put something like that in?
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:50 PM
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I go in for a dental appointment this week.

Among the new requirements they have added some sort of air purifier systems. Could your office put something like that in?
Do you have a cite that supports the use of commercial air purifier systems for prevention of transmission of COVID-19?

Here's what the FTC says about such claims.
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:36 AM
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Do you have a cite that supports the use of commercial air purifier systems for prevention of transmission of COVID-19?

Here's what the FTC says about such claims.
Well yes and no.

They dont filter out the virus. They can filter out droplets that carry the virus plus a good hvac system recycles the inside air with fresh air from the outside so virus containing particles in the air shouldnt last around as long.

No, these arent clean room, lab, quality air cleaners.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:08 AM
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I've been in a similar situation, spoke up, and got my boss to agree to letting us stay home through August, but my field lends itself to online work. Not every job is like that.

If I were young, healthy, female, single, had good health insurance, and didn't live in the Northeastern U.S., I'd probably not fret if the boss demanded that I return to the office. But for each of those little criteria that aren't met: if you're not young, if you are obese or have any noteworthy health condition, if you're male, if you don't have good health insurance, if you aren't single and live with others who are more vulnerable, and if you live in the Northeast or another area that's heavily impacted, then I'd be thinking about finances and how much that job is really worth.
What's the deal with the male/female part? I've been working this whole time, with extra, and I feel somewhat fortunate since I don't make much money but I don't have to worry about getting by. I'm M/40, with a HDHP and HSA I never use, not obese, no real physical current health conditions, midwest, live with 3 people I never see. Am I going to die?
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:01 AM
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What's the deal with the male/female part? I've been working this whole time, with extra, and I feel somewhat fortunate since I don't make much money but I don't have to worry about getting by. I'm M/40, with a HDHP and HSA I never use, not obese, no real physical current health conditions, midwest, live with 3 people I never see. Am I going to die?
For reasons that are not clear, it appears that males tend to die at a higher rate than females. This seems to be an issue particularly with older men compared to older women, though, so if you're 40 and otherwise in good health, you're probably in a demographic that would handle an infection well.

One thing to keep in mind is the dose of the disease. Getting smaller doses of the disease tends to make it more survivable; getting more of it tends to make it more dangerous. The dose makes the poison, as the saying goes.

So what does it mean in real-world terms? Let's consider a couple of examples.

In one example, let's say you happen to catch a few droplets as you walk through a doorway that an infected passed through five minutes before. He didn't sneeze; he just breathed air and maybe said "Hello" and a few utterances before moving onto his office. You might not even get infected, but if you do, there's a good chance that since the dosage of the virus is low, your body's immune system will deal with it in a matter of days or a week. It's more likely that your body will produce an asymptomatic infection or a moderate infection. Of course each individual has different chemistry, so it's possible you could get develop something worse but the averages would suggest that you'd be okay.

Now consider another example. You walk into the office the next day. You walk through that same door next day. Only this time, two or three infected people are standing in the lobby and talking. They've been talking for several minutes now. The viral load is higher. Worse, one of those guys is actually someone who sits beside you in the next cubicle beside yours. Not only are you at greater risk of getting an infection, but you're likely getting a higher dose as well.

Now compare a more extreme example: you're a healthcare worker and you're in an ICU where people are getting intubated all around you. The intubation process is the most dangerous mode of transmission because the droplets become aerosolized, which means that instead of a relatively usual combination of large and small droplets, you're exposed to fine particulate matter. Lots and lots of very small droplets. Lots and lots of doses of the virus. And this is what you'd be doing every single day you're at work. Your shifts are long. Your body gets physically and mentally exhausted. Your sleep and your eating habits are irregular. Your body is less equipped to deal with the common cold, let alone a new outbreak of a fatal disease. It's no wonder why so many healthcare workers - even young and relatively healthy ones - die or get seriously ill.
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:07 AM
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To add to what I said above, what seems to be happening a lot in the real world is that a family will hunker down, one person will go out shopping or have minimal contact with the public but nevertheless come into contact with an infected person. That infected person comes back home and infects everyone else. And because other family members are spending a lot of time in the presence of that person who went out and got infected, they are now not only getting infected, they are very likely getting infected with a high dose of the virus. They are at an increased risk of not just getting the disease but a high dose of it.

This is why people really, really need to understand what social distancing and protecting yourself from infection truly mean. People have to prepare for various scenarios, and we have to socialize and even live with each other in ways that may not seem normal. But strictly adhering to distancing measures and self-quarantining may mean the difference between no infection or a small one, and an expensive potentially bankrupting trip to the hospital or even a trip to the graveyard.
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:22 AM
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Among the new requirements they have added some sort of air purifier systems. Could your office put something like that in?
You can get your own HEPA air purifier to put in your work space. Orient the purifier so that the filtered air blows on your face so you're breathing filtered air. Even if the office has an upgraded air handler, the infected droplets will hang around in the air for a while until they get sucked into the return vent.
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:41 AM
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What's the deal with the male/female part? I've been working this whole time, with extra, and I feel somewhat fortunate since I don't make much money but I don't have to worry about getting by. I'm M/40, with a HDHP and HSA I never use, not obese, no real physical current health conditions, midwest, live with 3 people I never see. Am I going to die?
Well you can call me sexist but I think more people show compassion to women.
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:45 AM
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In one example, let's say you happen to catch a few droplets as you walk through a doorway that an infected passed through five minutes before. He didn't sneeze; he just breathed air and maybe said "Hello" and a few utterances before moving onto his office. You might not even get infected, but if you do, there's a good chance that since the dosage of the virus is low, your body's immune system will deal with it in a matter of days or a week. It's more likely that your body will produce an asymptomatic infection or a moderate infection. Of course each individual has different chemistry, so it's possible you could get develop something worse but the averages would suggest that you'd be okay.

Now consider another example. You walk into the office the next day. You walk through that same door next day. Only this time, two or three infected people are standing in the lobby and talking. They've been talking for several minutes now. The viral load is higher. Worse, one of those guys is actually someone who sits beside you in the next cubicle beside yours. Not only are you at greater risk of getting an infection, but you're likely getting a higher dose as well.
In the dentist office we are visiting that probably wont happen because you show up for your appointment, call the office, and they dont call you in until the other person leaves. Nobody is allowed to sit in the waiting room. You have to wear a mask at all times. They ask several questions ahead of time plus check temperature.

So infection could occur but they really work hard to prevent it.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:03 AM
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In the dentist office we are visiting that probably wont happen because you show up for your appointment, call the office, and they dont call you in until the other person leaves. Nobody is allowed to sit in the waiting room. You have to wear a mask at all times. They ask several questions ahead of time plus check temperature.

So infection could occur but they really work hard to prevent it.
The virus can linger in the air for some time after that person leaves. I'm not sure how long - that's still being studied and debated. But I would hazard a guess that smaller particles can remain airborne for at least 10 minutes, riding the air currents within the building. The masks are good, but they're better at preventing the spread of droplets and less effective at reducing inhalation, though any physical barrier would probably help in terms of reducing the 'dose' of the virus.

I'm not at to pee on anyone's hopes or sense of safety, and I certainly don't think we should try to lock ourselves in a basement for six months. But I think it's important to understand the possible risks. One reason people are getting sick despite social distancing is because they are not completely aware of how a person can get sick. It takes just one mistake - just one. And depending on your living situation, one mistake can easily lead to three or four new infections, some of which can turn lethal quickly.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:03 PM
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Chessic, does your office have a masks-required policy? If not, they really should.

I work for a very large IT firm and they are not rushing the return-to-the-office at all - aside from essential staff who've been going all along. Supposedly they will issue masks for everyone also.

I am extraordinarily fortunate in that a) I've been largely WFH for 6 years, and b) my company is not rushing it. I figure the longer those of us who CAN stay away, DO stay away, the better - not just for ourselves, but because we then provide fewer vectors for transmission.

Urbanredneck: "mask at all times" would make it tough for them to get a look at your mouth, wouldn't it? .

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 05-12-2020 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:15 PM
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Well you can call me sexist but I think more people show compassion to women.
I'm obviously missing something. What does this observation have to do with the fact that more men die from the virus? Are you saying women get better care???
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:24 PM
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Well you can call me sexist but I think more people show compassion to women.
Whether or not I think this is true (I'm skeptical), this has to do with the issue how, exactly??
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:33 PM
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Getting back to the OP, my wife and I are government statisticians, and so far, there doesn't seem to be any mention of a possible date for us to come back, and I'm totally good with that. I've been at least as productive at home these past two months as I was at the office in the 'before times,' which I really didn't expect to be.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:42 PM
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Getting back to the OP, my wife and I are government statisticians, and so far, there doesn't seem to be any mention of a possible date for us to come back, and I'm totally good with that. I've been at least as productive at home these past two months as I was at the office in the 'before times,' which I really didn't expect to be.
Your location says Maryland, so I'm assuming you're either near DC or Baltimore, which has some of the longest, roughest commutes in the nation. It stands to reason that you'd be more productive.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:31 PM
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I returned to the office today. The rules that were issued were that we would come to the office in teams, alternating weeks, so that about 10 people are there at a time. We would be temperature checked at the door. Non-employees not allowed in. Masks required in any common area (hallway, workroom, etc.), no group lunches, no meetings.

How it actually went:
I got there this morning and there was no one to take my temperature. I went looking for the guy with the thermometer. Most people had masks, but very few were using them correctly. The either had them down so they didn't cover their noses, or were pulling them down when talking to someone. One woman came by my office to talk to me about something and didn't have a mask at all. I told her to go back to her office and email me. I finally emailed management and had them send out a clarification on the masks, but half the people here don't even think the coronavirus is anything to be concerned about. There was one thing of wipes on the copier, but I didn't see anyone (except me) use them.

This is going to be a disaster. I finally just went into my office an closed the door.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:31 AM
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Update from my post (#2) above:

My wife's workplace has agreed to continue work-from-home as an option, but wants to see a partial return to the physical office. Workers were sent home with complete sets of multi-terminal workstations (they're not using their home PCs) and are allowed to keep them at home indefinitely. Although management is required to be present for some weekly gatherings, worker-bees are allowed to self-sort into partial-week shifts and limit this to as-needed basis. The biggest change is an edict that anyone facing difficulties getting to the office is allowed to stay home and work. This includes personal illness, child and senior care issues, even meeting home-repair folks and is pretty open-ended. They proved the workflow was not only sustained, but measurably increased by letting people stay home and self-coordinate, so upper management has decided to keep this option going forward.

Mizpullin has decreed a very minimal return for her department, with a non-negotiable mask requirement. The company has obtained a supply of good disposable masks and is covering the cost for everyone.

Most of the news from this pandemic has been bad, but this is a small bright spot.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:03 AM
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I've got some homemade masks and one, single N95 that's been in the garage for 4+ years (eww). I'm hoping that's enough.
No no no no. A mask like that should only be used for a total of one day. You are breathing into all day and it collects your own bacteria and flem and sneezes. Plus it collects what ever is in the air around you. That and you will not be operating on people, no need for an N95 level mask.

A bandanna that you can run through the wash is just fine for your situation as long as everyone else is wearing them as well when they come within six feet of you (further if they are singing!).
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:17 AM
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Walked about 18 miles the last three days at my restaurant. Had to wear a mask*, paper menus (unnessecery. Laminated menus sanitized are just as well. After all, the tables arnt disposable and they are contaminated way more then a menu you handle for five minutes is.) and tables six feet away from each other are the only diff between today and last year. It was packed.

*I don't care what those FB memes say supposedly written by 'expert nurses'.... I. Am. Not. Getting. Enough. Oxygen. My body is not getting its lactic acid flushed out and I can barely walk at the end of my shift. Took off my mask most i could last night and things were fairly better.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 05-23-2020 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:57 AM
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My own office I restarted in late April. I have told my associates to stay home, unless called. Temperature checks for everyone and no outside visitors. Sorry, no exceptions. I stay in my office for the most part and masks are mandatory.

So, fairly easily done. Its a law office and my word is....errr Law.... there.

My parents run a software company, not far from my own office and since they are both in the vulnerable group, they have been working from home.I have been going there to see how its going and the office manager is running things. Its a 100 person office and 4/5 are in. mandatory masks, regular cleaning of all surfaces, fittings and fixtures, social distancing enforced, more recently by adding plastic barriers between desks, temperature checks, sanitizers everywhere. Outside visitors limited and packages disinfected.

The people there have been fairly cooperative, no one like having "the owners son" being on their heads, yet they have followed everything I asked. The afore-mentioned office manager is ex-military and is pretty firm on enforcing rules.
Despite everything, I still see masks down, we have had to send a person home, twice for not following the rules.

What C3, said upthread, the solution is stricter enforcement and harsher discipline. Maybe its not strictly in the HR handbook, but these are different times.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:46 AM
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*I don't care what those FB memes say supposedly written by 'expert nurses'.... I. Am. Not. Getting. Enough. Oxygen. My body is not getting its lactic acid flushed out and I can barely walk at the end of my shift. Took off my mask most i could last night and things were fairly better.
The mask will impede the air coming through and make it harder to breathe. It might be comparable to working out at high altitudes. In fact, athletes wear masks to limit their air intake for just this purpose. It puts stress on the cardiovascular system, which then adapts to provide more performance on less oxygen. It's not at all surprising that you feel this effect, but you should notice it gets easier over time as your body adapts. One side effect is that you may notice you have much more performance when you're not wearing the mask. If you do vigorous exercise without a mask, you may find your performance has improved since the mask forced your body to make maximum use of the oxygen it can get.

Hmmm... just a thought... but I wonder if this kind of oxygen adaptation would help if you actually got sick from the virus. Since oxygen deprivation is common with CV19, perhaps getting your body adapted to a lower oxygen environment could allow it to be healthier even as the virus is killing off lung cells. Since your body is already adapted to a lower-oxygen environment, maybe the reduced lung capacity wouldn't have as much of an effect. In any case, being healthier is correlated with better outcomes, so anything you can do to increase your fitness will help if you get sick.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
The mask will impede the air coming through and make it harder to breathe. It might be comparable to working out at high altitudes. In fact, athletes wear masks to limit their air intake for just this purpose. It puts stress on the cardiovascular system, which then adapts to provide more performance on less oxygen. It's not at all surprising that you feel this effect, but you should notice it gets easier over time as your body adapts. One side effect is that you may notice you have much more performance when you're not wearing the mask. If you do vigorous exercise without a mask, you may find your performance has improved since the mask forced your body to make maximum use of the oxygen it can get.

Hmmm... just a thought... but I wonder if this kind of oxygen adaptation would help if you actually got sick from the virus. Since oxygen deprivation is common with CV19, perhaps getting your body adapted to a lower oxygen environment could allow it to be healthier even as the virus is killing off lung cells. Since your body is already adapted to a lower-oxygen environment, maybe the reduced lung capacity wouldn't have as much of an effect. In any case, being healthier is correlated with better outcomes, so anything you can do to increase your fitness will help if you get sick.
Doesn't work. It's the living at high altitude that results in adaptation. In fact, working out at high altitude can result in lower performance due to the lower force production. (it's actually more complex than that but I'm not going into details here.)
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:30 AM
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Doesn't work. It's the living at high altitude that results in adaptation. In fact, working out at high altitude can result in lower performance due to the lower force production. (it's actually more complex than that but I'm not going into details here.)
I know that athletes do things like train at high altitude and use training masks to reduce their air intake when practicing. There's even the Olympic training center in Denver. If those things did not help performance, why are the athletes doing those things?
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:42 AM
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I know that athletes do things like train at high altitude and use training masks to reduce their air intake when practicing. There's even the Olympic training center in Denver. If those things did not help performance, why are the athletes doing those things?
Living at altitude. Facilities and coaching. Also, if you're planning to compete at altitude, you need to do some training at altitude.

The ideal is to "live high, train low". Impractical to undoable most places.

There are systems from a CPAP type mask to sealing an entire house (more common is a single room or a tent over the bed) that create a low pressure environment for living in.

it's not the low intake that counts, it's the low pressure the body reacts to.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:45 PM
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Walked about 18 miles the last three days at my restaurant. Had to wear a mask*, paper menus (unnessecery. Laminated menus sanitized are just as well. After all, the tables arnt disposable and they are contaminated way more then a menu you handle for five minutes is.) and tables six feet away from each other are the only diff between today and last year. It was packed.

*I don't care what those FB memes say supposedly written by 'expert nurses'.... I. Am. Not. Getting. Enough. Oxygen. My body is not getting its lactic acid flushed out and I can barely walk at the end of my shift. Took off my mask most i could last night and things were fairly better.
Annnnd my calf ruptured/popped near the end of my shift. I warned them they were gonna break me.
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