Quantcast

Just looking at email

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
UVM is aiming to do instruction f2f this fall. They're spending August getting the campus ready to have students/faculty/staff tested and instruction on how to be safe. It seems non-essential staff will have option to work remotely. Any advice on what I should do? (As a reminder I do diversity outreach and training. Roger is a professor)
 
Last edited:

op user

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
565
Location
,
Would you be comfortable to carry a mask for the whole time spend at work?
 

op user

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
565
Location
,
It is a kind of vicious cycle. You have the pregnancy and you need to be protected from contamination thus a mask is a good solution (if not the only one). But you need to constantly wear one.
 

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
I sent my supervisor an email. In it I announced my pregnancy (revealed EDD), and let her know that I don't feel comfortable working onsite under the current circumstances.
 

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
Joyce got back to me.

1. She's VERY happy for me about the pregnancy
2. Is VERY understanding about me not wanting to work onsite.

Roger unfortunately doesn't have the option to work remotely. Any advice to mitigate my risk?
 

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
According to a Google search, the precautions I'm currently taking should be sufficient, BUT the data is VERY limited.
 

op user

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
565
Location
,
From my US experience I can confirm the point of removing shoes as soon one arrives at home- maybe do the same with the outer layer of clothing (I don't want to go further on that).

Treat each food item as contaminated and keep clean it before consuming it.

Make sure you husband is as protected as he could be at work -wearing a full face mask all the time while at work.

Maybe I am talking nonsense so I will stop here
 

BigElectricKat

Have a question? PM me!
Staff member
Global Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
1,583
Location
The Midwest
I work at a very large hospital on a medical campus in an inner city. Of course, all of the precautions that people know to take are helpful. However, there are some aspects of keeping yourself and your loved ones free of infection that people don't think about. I take a train to and from work each day so there are loads of places viruses can linger. I haven't missed a day of work since this whole thing started. I just take the prescribed precautions.

There are a few things a person can do to decrease their chances of catching any virus:

  1. Be careful how you take your PPE (mask, gloves, etc) off. Always pull off (and put on) using the ear straps only. Touching the front part of the mask with your bare hands defeats part of the purpose of using it. If there is any virus in the air, it has probably stuck to the front of the mask.
  2. Avoid touching any part of your face when out in public. I have a bad habit of resting my face in my hands when thinking. I have to continually check myself on that.
  3. Carry hand sanitizer in your car. Put it on any time you enter BEFORE you touch anything else in the car.
  4. Washing hands goes without saying, BUT... Use the paper towel that you dry your hands off with to open doors on your way back to your area and then discard it in the trash.
  5. When you get home, take off your clothes immediately before you sit down anywhere.
Dealing with all of this can be done. It just takes extra effort on all our parts. Hope this helps.
 

op user

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
565
Location
,
Add also that should gloves are worn they need to be remove first with a glove hand regularly grabbing the glove and then put an ungloved finger under the glove and peel it of.
 

Tad

Dimensions' loiterer
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
13,314
Location
The great white north, eh?
What is the university doing to help keep professors safe? Hopefully he can do 'office hours' remotely rather than having students in his office? Are they requiring students to wear masks in the buildings? Providing face shields for profs when they are lecturing? Marking the floor to ask students to keep a certain distance from profs (for everyone's protection)?

It would seem to me that it might make sense to call on students less than usual, because to be heard from back in a classroom they need to be projecting their voice. (on that same logic, if there is a chance for him to use a mike and speakers it might be good, for the students' safety?) Obviously carry a small thing of hand-sanitizer with him to use after handling any common use items (doors, light switches, microphones, etc). And maybe also for him to tell classes that he has more vulnerable family members so that he will be exercising all possible caution, and asking the students to respect the safety measures to help him keep his family safe.

For higher degrees of safety you can consider semi-isolating him. Having him sleep in another room, no kissing, if you have two bathrooms designate one for each of you, being really good about hand-washing frequently at home, trying not to sit too close together, etc. It is no guarantee that if he gets it you won't, but it at least gives some chance that if he shows symptoms fairly quickly that you will still have time to fully isolate from him before catching it.

All of that said, from what little I have read, it doesn't sound like mild cases seem to pose any particular risk to pregnant women, over any other flu like infection (which is to say some, but nothing extraordinary). The danger of course is getting a severe case. There has been some limited evidence that initial viral dose may have some correlation with severity (not in everyone, but on average), so those home precautions might provide some better chances? Good vitamin D levels also look like they may matter, so do make sure you are getting your time in the sun while it is still strong, and consider supplements at the equinox passes.

Fingers crossed for all of you to come through this without undo stress or health issues.
 

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
@Tad they are doing many classes by hybrid method, and when they DO have f2f classes it's in extra large spaces. They've also closed common areas.
 

Sonic Purity

Jiggle Junkie
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
289
Location
Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Good vitamin D levels also look like they may matter, so do make sure you are getting your time in the sun while it is still strong, and consider supplements at the equinox passes.
^ This. They matter, for immune health in general. That’s been long established.

The recommendations i keep seeing emphasize that there’s no way a person can know their vitamin D status without a blood test for it, and that the goal optimal range is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL (U.S.-preferred units, the articles say), a.k.a. 150-200 nmol/L (European-preferred units per the articles). I’m around 65 ng/mL, and that’s with about half an hour of sun exposure (short sleeves, short pants, so exposed arms, legs, and face/neck) between local hours of 11 AM to 3 PM (centered around solar noon. Shifted that way because of Daylight Stupid Time) at 34°N latitude (34.17 if one wants to be more precise) and additionally taking one 5000 IU (125 mcg) gel pill of vitamin D daily.

Here’s an interesting chart:
1596760392835.png
To my dismay, the site from which i got this graphic failed to link to the original study. I did not attempt to go to GrassrootsHealth to seek it out.

I truly do not understand why keeping the immune system maximally functional in general and people’s vitamin D status in particular are not daily parts of the COVID-19 narrative, along with the numbers (i’m trusting less as time passes) for infections, deaths, and so on.

Decent nutrition, good vitamin status (by whatever means are appropriate for a given individual), stress minimization, a good night’s sleep every possible night—the usual stuff that helps keep the immune system primed ought to keep most people out of the more dire outcome categories.
 

Sonic Purity

Jiggle Junkie
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
289
Location
Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Sonic, regarding vitamin D I think we pay the price of years of lecturing about staying away from the sun-shine..
Yes.
Somehow moderate, reasonable exposure gets lost—and individual specifics Matter. The sun heals, the sun harms—both. Many places around the world in modern western culture seem to have gone to extremes:

* Avoid the sun! It’ll hurt you!: Skin cancer! [other diseases i’m probably forgetting]! Blemishes! Wrinkles!
* Bake in the sun for hours! Tans!

Humans evolve, but not that fast. When i’m in doubt about whether a health or other recommendation is reasonable or not, i think back to many millennia ago: hunter-gatherer times, approximately. How did people live then? As a general rule they sure didn’t spend all day inside caves or other sun shelters—they were in the sun. But my body tells me via the very start of burning sensations that more than about 20-30 minutes of full midday sun exposure is too much. I don’t know what the hunter-gatherers did. Maybe they sought shade under trees or other existing objects, or went back into their caves or wherever else they slept for breaks.

Same general idea with exercise and movement: humans evolved to move. No way do i move as much as a hunter-gatherer likely did, likely to my detriment. But any movement that is not strongly painful seems to be good movement, and the pain (when it happens) is a signal.

Nutritional information that was hard scientific fact when i was in college has now been found Very Wrong, through further investigation and learning. In general i think those giving advice mean well, but the pronouncements and/or their interpretation may be taken as accurate beyond what they should be relative to the current state of knowledge.
 

Tad

Dimensions' loiterer
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
13,314
Location
The great white north, eh?
Check the contents of the prenatal vitamin for Vit. D, maybe? We do get some from food, but most foods don't have much. But it is the one vitamin we make ourselves, from being out in the sun (when the sun is strong enough, in my part of the world we don't make much in the darker half of the year but I'm not sure how much farther south you are).
 

Sonic Purity

Jiggle Junkie
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
289
Location
Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Everything i’ve read indicates that one has to has to has to get vitamin D level measured by an appropriate blood test, due to individual variations (guessing genetics etc.). Recommendations for sun time and amount of supplementation are educated guesses, which need verification with before/after blood tests 2-3 months apart. In other words get a baseline vitamin D blood test to know where you are, make adjustments if needed, then test again in a few months. I keep seeing this from those who recommend optimizing vitamin D levels.

The Wikipedia article reminds us that Vitamin D isn’t technically a vitamin, rather a hormone. Seems like a pretty decent article, though as typical for Wikipedia it tends to be medically conservative/orthodox (feature or bug, depending on one’s personal understanding of the world and beliefs). According to the article i’m out of bounds with taking 5,000 UI a day as a supplement, and the article suggests that around 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) is generally regarded as closer to optimal. But look again at that chart i posted above, and you’ll see that that’s right on the edge.

I spent some time re-reading all the possible side-effects of excess supplemental Vitamin D (the body naturally limits production from sunlight, so there can’t be excess): to the best of my and my physician’s knowledge, none of those symptoms/harms of excess are so far affecting me, and i’ve been supplementing as well as being out in the sun for at least a decade now, aiming for that 60-80 ng/mL (150-200 nmol/L) range (so far i’ve always been in the 60s when tested in mid-springtime). Then again i have Crohn’s Disease (mentioned specifically in that Wikipedia article) and i’m missing about 14 cm of my small intestine, so all kinds of nutritional absorption stuff differs for me (and between that and scar tissue from the surgeries makes eating difficult and ensures i will never be a lusciously fat person via food consumption).

* Measure with blood tests, else you (anyone) don’t know
* “Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before taking a vitamin D supplement” (Wikipedia article and common sense. Doctor or other qualified healing professional with whom one works.)

At least sunshine’s totally safe in terms of Vitamin D production, if one has enough of it and there’s no contraindication with skin conditions etc.
 

Barbsjw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Vermont
As I expected, my situation is EXACTLY the type who can stay home. So I got the go ahead to work from home. Will need to install Zoom on my computer. If we're STILL remotely working during Spring semester, I'll have to warn them that: if you suddenly can't see me, it's because I'm doing something you probably don't want to see.
 

Latest posts

Top