October 16, 2020

Warming up.

My friends have been having conversations about how to set up safe places outdoors to be able to visit and possibly even play tunes together, as we head into the dark days. Trying to get into the Scandinavian Winter Mindset. My friends have shared some good ideas, propane or infrared heaters, fire pits, carports, pop up shelters, lap blankets, old fashioned rubber hot water bottles, hot drinks, yes, whiskey helps, too. Don’t forget your warm hat and fingerless gloves! I finally learned in Santa Fe how much a hat helps.

The truth is, once we bundle up in the appropriate clothes and go out the door, we will feel better and warmer than we expected. The key is to wear the right clothes and keep busy. We will get through this winter, by getting outside and not staying indoors. It sure doesn’t look like we will be visiting indoors in large groups any time soon.

The Atlantic has a great article about assessing when it is safe to have dinner inside with people. It will probably be a while before we can feel safe, but will depend on where you live and how many infections are occurring in your county. The areas have flip flopped over the past few months. This website global epidemic, has detailed information about the metrics in your area and what level of risk in your area. New Zealand and a few other areas have been able to reach the goal <1.0 infections per 100,000. They are in the green zone so are safe to eat and visit in restaurants. Global Epidemic has also made recommendations for tracing contacts, isolation, and how many are needed to help contain the outbreak. The tracers talk with people exposed so that they can limit exposing others, a key factor in decreasing spread.

They also made an app where you can enter your county or address and find out your risk of infection. This is so helpful and amazing. For instance, I put in my zip code, that I was going for a walk outdoors for 30 minutes with 5 people and all were wearing masks. The app reported my risk is minimal. But when I entered that I will be indoors for an hour eating at a restaurant where half the people are masked, my risk goes up to yellow or medium risk. That risk is not acceptable to me. Your values may vary depending on your local rate of infections. This can be helpful for each of us to know what our risks are. I expect the answers for risk will change as the number of infections wax and wane, but the knowledge can help us decide what is safe and what is risky.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and make your outdoor space