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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Coronavirus MELTED!

 Coronavirus M-E-L-T-E-D!

What does that mean?  We’re all trying to figure out ‘The New Normal’ since Covid19 might be with us for . . . years?  I've been trying to find a 'formula' for making decisions on what to do, where to go.

This is my new ‘Formula’ for deciding what feels safe to me.  

I’m giving numerical values to 6 factors to consider.  This is the overview.  I’ll describe each in more detail below.

M = Masks:  If needed, are they worn (appropriately!) by most people

E = Exposure:  Are the people I’m with high risk for exposure?

L = Location:  Is this a fairly safe location re: Covid 19?

T = Time:  How long is the time of contact?

E = Exhalation:  Are people engaging in excessive exhalations?

D = Distance:  Are all people maintaining appropriate physical distancing?


Rating Scale:  0 – 3 for each factor

0 = No risk

1 = Low risk

2 = Medium risk

3 = High risk

Examples for each factor:

M = Masks

0 = not needed   1 = all people wearing masks appropriately  2 = 75% of people wearing masks appropriately  3 = 50% or more people not wearing masks or wearing them haphazardly


E = Exposure

0 = not needed (only with my immediate family, all of whom are extremely careful)   1 = all people have low exposure, similar to mine  2 = with anyone who has moderate exposure (e.g., goes to large group events)   3 = with a group of people of unknown exposure


L = Location

0 = not needed (in nature only w/ bubble partners)   1 = outside, at least 10 feet away from others  2 = inside, large area, well ventilated, not many people   3 = inside, crowded, possible poor ventilation


T = Time

0 = < 5 minutes  1 = 5 – 15 minutes    2 = 15 minutes to 1.5 hour     3 = > 1.5 hour


E = Exhalations

0 = not needed (silence)   1 = other people, no heavy breathing  2 = some people exhaling (singing, talking loudly, shouting)   3 = Many people exhaling strongly (singing, loud talking, shouting)


D = Distance

0 = N/ A            1 = at least 6 feet apart    2 = 4 feet apart                     3 = 2 feet apart


How Will I Use This:  Examples

Grocery Store Total: 10:   M= 2;  E= 3;  L= 2;  T= 1;   E= 1;   D= 1

Decision:  I am changing my grocery store.  I will go somewhere with more people wearing masks appropriately.  Also, the new grocery store has a checker making sure that all people are wearing masks, and limiting the # of people who are there.


Eating Lunch with Friends Outside, Sitting 10 Feet Apart:  Total: 7

M=1  E=1  L=1  T=2  E=1  D=1

Decision:  This is an important social connection that is safe and delightful.


Kayaking with a Friend – Driving Separately:  Total: 4

M=0  E=1  L=0  T=2  E=1  D=0

Decision:  This is an important social connection that is safe and even giving me exercise!!


Shopping At An Outdoor Venue (e.g., Popup Craft Table):  Total: 6

M=1  E=2  L=1  T=0  E=1  D=1

Decision:  This is an important social connection that is safe


Going to Eat at a Restaurant Inside:  Total:  10

M=2  E=3  L=2  T=1  E=1  D=1

Decision:  While I REALLY want to do this, it does not feel safe to me at this point. 


Eating Outside at a Restaurant with Small Party (Not Going Inside Even To Be Seated Or Pay): Total:  6

M=1  E=1  L=1  T=1  E=1  D=1

Decision:  This feels much safer to me, because I have more control over the people I am coming into contact with, and don’t need to worry factors outside my control such as: poor ventilation, people who do not wear masks when not eating, etc.    


Going to a Bar: Total:  18

M=3  E=3  L=3  T=3  E=3  D=3

Decision:  Are you flipping KIDDING me?  I enjoy bars.  But this is just NOT the time!!!

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