June 22, 2020

Live like the mountain is out

Summer arrived and the mountain was out today. Here in Seattle, “the” mountain is Mt. Rainier. We know its presence is always here, even though it is often hidden by clouds. We forget about it until, suddenly on a clear day, you turn a corner and there is the stunning volcano in all its magnificence, larger than you can imagine. Life feels better when you see it. Really, Mt. Rainier has that effect on people. Some views make it appear smaller but others make it appear so grand that you understand that you never want it to blow like St Helens. We like it when the mountain is out, maybe because we don’t see it all the time. Maybe because we understand its hidden power. I am stunned by it over and over again.

I was happy to read this reassuring advice about riding elevators in this article. Mask wearing is protective, nice to know the brief time of the ride is short enough to avoid transmission. Also this is good reminder that talking is a way to transmit virus so being quiet is better, not just the elevator but in other areas where people can’t distance correctly. Now if I can only get people not to talk during the ride. NPR has had a couple of good stories, such as this one that has more confirmation and explanation about how masks help, The ideas may be helpful to reassure others that masks work. Along with that the New York Times has information on wearing a mask during exercise.

All the information and advice out there can be confusing and conflicting, so you can read or listen to this interview on NPR with an epidemiologist from the University of Minnesota about how to assess which situations are risky and which aren’t, as we start to open up. He reassures us about the low risk of getting COVID-19 from surfaces and that we still need more data on the amount time as a factor in exposure. He emphasizes masks, distancing, and being outdoors. Yay for summer.

Which brings me to the last article from The Washington Post about summertime activities and COVID transmission It covers everything from farmer’s markets to swimming pools. Helpful information as we start to open up. Reading it reassures me that I can probably make it to some farmer’s markets this summer and going camping with Jamie is a go. It has tips on public restrooms and eating out, among other things, that are helpful.

We are getting more information and data that supports that the methods we are using keep us safe. So far, they have worked well. Don’t get discouraged that others are not following the guidelines and that infections are going up. Just remember to wash your hands, cover your nose, and keep safe six. Spend time outdoors when you visit others, so you can enjoy them and the beauty around you.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/22/going-back-office-what-public-health-experts-say-about-riding-elevator/

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/06/21/880832213/yes-wearing-masks-helps-heres-why

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/well/move/exercising-while-wearing-a-mask.html

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/17/879255417/amid-confusion-about-reopening-an-expert-explains-how-to-assess-covid-risk

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/what-to-know-about-the-coronavirus-and-summertime-activities/2020/06/19/6a4417c6-ae74-11ea-8f56-63f38c990077_story.html