Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Hunkered Down in New Hampshire

Barbara and I are still hunkered down at the end of our dirt road in New Hampshire. Everything is pretty much the same as it was a month ago when I published our last update.

One difference is that I am far enough into my current new clinical trial that I now have to check in every two weeks instead of every week and last cycle, I talked them into letting me get the blood test done up here in the lakes region instead of going to Boston. This is all good since I figure the two most dangerous places I visit are Dana Farber and the Supermarket.

I am doing the shopping. I have a very tight fitting N-95 respirator which I am confident provides much better protection than the blue surgical masks everyone is wearing. It is also much easier to breathe through. Barbara's face is smaller and we don't have a respirator that fits her tightly. We figure that even though my immune system is more compromised, the protection afforded by the well-fitting mask more than makes up for it.

I last went shopping two weeks ago. Our market has one hour early every day that is reserved for older people. During this hour, every older person in the county shops there. Older people make up most of the people in the county, so this hour is an absolute mad-house. So far there are 28 known cases in our county out of a population of 61,000. People are all wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. That could be why there are so few cases.

I wanted to get all our shopping done in one shot. I spent more than twice as much as I have before spent at one time and I did not buy toilet paper. There wasn't any. When I got home, I backed the car into the garage and wiped everything down as we unloaded it. Then, when I went into the house, I stripped off my clothes, put them in the washing machine and then headed for the shower.

Did you see that guy in the video showing how to sanitize market purchases? He spent 20 seconds washing each orange. I had bought grapes. I decided not to wash them individually. Since we were not in a particular hurry to consume most of what I had bought, we left non-perishables in the garage for a week before moving them into the house.

I had my appointment at Dana Farber today. Everyone entering the building gets channeled to a check-point where they ask a bunch of screening questions. Then they send you to a check-in desk where they ask the same questions again. I then went to the second floor for "Labs" where they asked the questions again. And then up to the 7'th floor where they ask (drum roll) the same questions a fourth time.

I wore my fancy N-95 respirator again. Can you believe that the second checker handed me one of those blue paper things and asked me to wear that instead. I said something to the effect of : "Are you kidding? That little paper thing is not going to protect me? What I am wearing is a tight fitting N-95 respirator that is much better than that surgical mask." They relented after some discussion.

I also wore a set of coveralls that Barbara had ordered for me. Recall that after my last visit, I hid behind the car in the parking garage, stripped to my skivvies and changed clothes. Barbara thinks that is funny. She got coveralls for herself as well. Hers are hot pink. Quite fetching.

Elevator protocol is also interesting. I was by myself in a large elevator this morning. When it stopped at an intermediate floor and the doors opened, a woman was standing there. I could tell she was wondering what to do. Without saying a word, I walked to the back of the elevator and she came in and kept to the front. We were both wearing masks. Strange times.

My nurse told me that she has not heard of anyone at DF getting Covid-19.

Barbara is still spending a lot of time on Fox Hill Village finance stuff. She has also discovered an on-line Mah Jongg site. Fortunately, the site limits her to 8 free games per day. Because she finds it addictive, she is pleased with the limit. Her birthday is coming up and I have threatened that if she is not nice to me, I will buy her an unlimited subscription for the next year. 

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