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Paul Goldfinger photo. Downtown.  Click to make him taller.

 

MAROON 5   “Memories”

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A safe spot to shop this morning, Monday, March 16, 2020  in Ft. Myers, Fla.  It was just me and the farmer. It was social distancing.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor at Blogfinger.net

A friend in Manhattan took a walk this morning and found it to be “eerily” quiet.  Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts were open, but no customers.   Another friend in New Brunswick, NJ found ShopRite to be well stocked for the relatively few shoppers.  Only the paper goods shelves were bare.

The usually busy roads in Ft. Myers, a resort center at peak, were lightly occupied today.  A neighbor returned by air this morning from Boston and reported that the plane was “half full.”

The news sources are flooded with information, some of it confusing.  The CDC in Atlanta said that soap and water is just fine for hand washing, but it’s still hard to find anti-bacterial products.

I walked into a coffee shop this morning and found 2 customers and 2 workers—much different than usual.  I spent about 15 minutes there, felt a little nervous, and left.   I did  not actually feel  threatened by that visit, but I still felt uneasy.

The concept of “social distancing” seems valid, and my coffee shop was OK in that regard. This idea says that you can go out, but keep your distances.  The CDC recommends no gatherings of more than 50 people* for the next 8 weeks.

But it seems that many people are radically isolating themselves, and that could be psychologically troublesome.  The need to self-isolate partially depends on where you are:  eg out in the country or in the crowded city.   But it is a moving target.  Some experts suggest that anyone over age 70 should self-isolate.

Last night we were invited to dinner at a neighbor’s. When we arrived there was another couple.  But that couple had just come down with a “cold,” and they were coughing mildly when we sat down to eat.  They covered their coughs with their napkins.

We stayed for dinner anyhow, keeping our distance, and then we left.  We should have departed  immediately, even though it did seem like a “cold.”

The advice is to avoid anyone with an acute respiratory condition,  even though the vast majority  are just”colds.”  And those with viral symptoms, even if mild like a “cold,” should self-quarantine.

We all need to get smarter about these matters.  It is reported that young people are still going to crowded bars in the City.

Eileen and I were to return from Fla today, but we stayed put at the request of our family, however that advice has a flip side, namely that travel plans should still be considered if possible because if you are going to get sick, it’s better to be in a place  where you have family, friends, and neighbors who could help out if you became ill.

If we get sick down here, we would not have that sort of help, and all our doctors are in Monmouth County.

We probably will leave for home by the end of the week unless something persuades us otherwise.**

And, by the way,  Corona testing is done is to identify a certain genetic pattern in a specimen such as a throat swab.

CNN says:  “Just like how every species has unique DNA, every virus has a unique genetic code. This code, called the viral genome, provides the blueprint for the virus as it replicates. Essentially, the corona virus test works by determining whether any given specimen contains the distinct corona virus genome.”

If you have any interesting  experiences to report, send us a comment to Blogfinger either by clicking on the comment button below or sending us an email at  Blogfinger@verizon.net.

 

* That has today been changed to 10 people.

** By tonight we have been persuaded to remain in the safe embrace of warm, humid Fla.   How long??

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