I'm laying low - COVID exposure?
Last Post 01/22/2022 12:36 PM by 79 pmooney. 12 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/18/2022 01:13 PM
Saturday I did my weekly farmers market run. Until just before Christmas, I'd been seeing a vendor of "Street Roots" (a newspaper for and by the homeless and one of Portland's best reads). We've become friends. I knew she was planning to take on a new venture that would keep her on the east side of Portland where I rarely go, esp since this pandemic. The last Saturday before Christmas she wasn't there. OK, her new venture has started. She's probably way busy and tired. (She's a couple years older than me and has the health issues of a Black woman raised in the south and never handed a gift.) Wished her the best and figured I'd see her when it happened.

She was at her usual spot! Saw her just before I was planning to ride home. Went over to say hi. She told me in her soft, always hard for me to understand voice that she'd been sick with COVID. To hear that I had leaned in to withing a couple of feet of her. Had my quality McMaster-Carr mask on. She was wearing two but ear strap ones that kept slipping down.

Went home and washed up thoroughly. Laundry. Went out yesterday morn to shop for the next week or two of food. (Figure I'm not too contagious the first 48 hours.) Now it's on. Mask anytime I"m outside by bedroom/bathroom or study. Sani-wipes to the tune of pushing my toxin/health reactions. Airing the house a lot and re-heating. Try to protect my housemate.

He recently purchased a couple of test kits. I'll do the tests and we will go from there. We are both boosted.

Guess it's time to move my three little oak starters. That will keep me outdoors and away from people.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3985

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01/18/2022 01:53 PM
I doubt you picked it up form her....you were both masked and outside and it was a quick encounter.

Regradless, get a PCR test along with the home test. Home tests have less sensitivity to the Omicron variant. Home tests are definitely the way to start, but back it up with a PCR. And avoid pop-up testing sites, if possible. Some sketchy vendors out there.

Keep an eye out for scratchy throat adn mild cold symptoms. If you get any, retest immediately.

Fingers crossed...let us know what happens!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
smokey52

Posts:429

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01/18/2022 09:01 PM
Exposure does not equal infection, but your caution is admirable. CK is right: The RT-PCR test (IDs virus RNA) is the most definitive, more accurate than rapid antigen (IDs spike proteins).
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/18/2022 09:59 PM
I'm scheduled for that test 9:30 tomorrow morning. 2 miles from home.
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/19/2022 01:24 PM
Tested. Now it's the wait. They say 2 days but I'll believe that when I see it. Took 70 minutes to get tested with 20 cars in front of me, all by appointment. A team of 4, one in suit and face shield. A lot of discussion between tests. Beginners. My last two tests were with seasoned pros

Sometimes I wonder if I'm being a burden; getting tested so much. Then I do the (in my head) napkin math. Say 1:1000 gets COVID bad enough to need hospitalization. Say $10,000 each, 1:10 of those is an IC case. Say $150,000 each. Say tests cost $150 each.

So, say 100,000 people get 3 test each. $45,000,000. Or, 100 of those go to the hospital and 90 of them cost $10,000 each or $900,000. 10 cost $150,000 ea or $1,500,000. $2,400,000 total.

So tests are a bad deal. (If we are testing truly at random.) But if say it is 1:10 that someone who suspects contact and that test changes behavior and reduces the N by say 1 for those infected. Now that we are vaxxing, no one talks anymore about N so I have no idea the likelihood of catching COVID from a person who's had a breakthrough, nor the likelihood of me being a spreader.

But with a housemate who probably won't survive a mild case, I have no interest in testing that N. Now I hear that Omicron is more benign and I gather the deaths are not like the earlier versions which could be compared to death by waterboarding; a horrible way to go. I've been very close to death. I've been around the dead. I've watched someone go. My housemate may well pass in my house. But let him die at peace, please. (And not by my hand.)
Orange Crush

Posts:4060

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01/19/2022 02:03 PM
Omni is more benign. Here in BC there's been a massive rise in overall hospitalizations but the ICU number (i.e. severe cases) has barely gone up. There is a slight uptick in covid deaths though so with an at risk housemate it's best to play it safe. Omni is wiley and gets passed vaccinations, masks, etc. Unlike previous variants this time around I keep hearing about positives in my friends and work environment. None serious, fingers crossed. The crest of Omni wave should be in rear-view mirror in a few weeks is what experts think, fast rise followed by an equally fast decline. What's next is big question.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3985

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01/19/2022 02:18 PM
Sometimes I wonder if I'm being a burden; getting tested so much.


Nonsense....you are doing the right thing. If we could get more frequent and available testing, we could get ahead of this thing.

Good for you for being aware of the impact you have on others.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:4060

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01/19/2022 03:01 PM
Testing is important to risk manage this thing - as Ben is doing; but we won't get ahead of it with just testing. As a species and nations we have too many misplaced priorities to get ahead. We're smart enough and know what could be done, just not doing it. Valuable lessons from e.g. SARS were never implemented, just shelved. It'll be the same thing all over again until the next epidemic. For Covid, we'll just have to wait for it to evolve to the point where it can be managed without being intrusive on day to day affairs.
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/19/2022 04:15 PM
The playbook for COVID was written in the 1920s after the influenza. Had we followed it, we would be far better off.
Orange Crush

Posts:4060

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01/19/2022 09:11 PM
Ha, I don’t think we’ve done much worse than in 1920s, but also no better, and that’s where it rubs. It’s as if we’ve learned nothing since then.
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/22/2022 11:32 AM
Got the test results this morning. RT-PCR. Negative. (This weird new world where negative passes and positive flunks. So unlike the '70s when you could pay charmers to endow you with positivity. )

I still don't feel I'm totally in the clear. As far as I can tell there is no singe time after exposure that is guaranteed to show positive if you have become infected. I tested at 4 days. 5 might have been better but the test results almost certainly wouldn't be back until after the weekend. What I am pretty sure of is that I have infected nobody outside my home. Went for a solo ride the next day. Shopped Monday morning to stock up and haven't left the yard since. (From what I've read, exposing others the first 48 hours is unlikely, assuming you've washed and sanitized.) Still hoping I've spared my housemate. I've been pretty good at masking up when I go into the public spaces in the house but always remembering in my own house? That's hard.

So far, completely symptom free. (And that's both a challenge and now, pure luck as I have had sinus issues forever. Nasal drip and the ensuing sore throat when I don't play all my cards right has been my lot for 30 years.)

I haven't really thought out what to do after the test result. I think I'll just ride out the suggested 10 days. I've got enough food. Veggies will be done (and I eat a lot of them) but I've learned the secret to preserved "fresh" vegetables - kimchee. An acquired taste but I feel just as good after eating it as I do after eating really fresh, really good vegetables. Meanwhile, I'll keep on digging up my oak upstarts and putting them where I want them to be. (Hope they'll forgive me for the abuse they are seeing. Meant to do it last winter when they were substantially smaller but the surprise call "we've got an opening for hernia surgery this Friday" kinda scotched that plan!)

OC, what we've developed to a science since the 1920s is how to deliver sealed packages of infected people to every corner of the planet near instantly. Cars (yes, they existed in the '20s but not in every household and not with limited access highways) and jets. Far more people and far more huge events that people often travel long distances to acquire the virus, take back to their city and distribute using those oh-so-efficient 4 wheeled and winged delivery systems.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3985

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01/22/2022 12:28 PM
haven't really thought out what to do after the test result. I think I'll just ride out the suggested 10 days.


I don’t think that is necessary, Ben. You were briefly exposed to someone while you were outside and wearing a high quality mask and they were at least partially masked. Since then you have two negative tests and are symptom-free. By any of the standards that are out there, there is no need for you to isolate at this point.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2960

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01/22/2022 12:36 PM

Posted By Cosmic Kid on 01/22/2022 12:28 PM
haven't really thought out what to do after the test result. I think I'll just ride out the suggested 10 days.


I don’t think that is necessary, Ben. You were briefly exposed to someone while you were outside and wearing a high quality mask and they were at least partially masked. Since then you have two negative tests and are symptom-free. By any of the standards that are out there, there is no need for you to isolate at this point.

One test so far. I haven't done the at-home one yet. I'll do it Monday. And if my one rest was too early, basically I've seen none.


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