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My Personal COVID-Protection Plan

June 23, 2020

I teach high school.

In my professional world, universal social distancing and mask-wearing on campus are aspirational, not practical.

So, I have been working on a plan to distance myself from contracting COVID to the best of my ability, if/when I am teaching on campus in 2020-21.

Here are my plans and the thinking that led up to them:

I can contract COVID via my eyes, nose, and mouth. For nose and mouth, I have purchased a pretty decent adjustable mask that I could wear all day, if need be.

As for my eyes: I shopped protective eyewear and found goggles that convert to glasses. They were not sealed completely around the face, so I created a seal using black duct tape.

Thus, what I now have is reasonable barrier to protect eyes, nose, and mouth in situations in which others are not doing the same on my behalf. Mind you, this is not the same as official hazmat gear, but it creates a really good barrier, and creating that barrier is what I am after.

Social distancing is important, but I believe barriers in general are also important for protecting myself (and others) from COVID. It is better to sneeze into a napkin, or to even put one’s head inside one’s own shirt for a sec when sneezing, or yawning, or even talking, in the absence of wearing a mask.

I feel more comfortable speaking indoors to someone within a couple of yards and without a mask if there is some eye-level barrier (e.g., a bookcase or even a tall decorative plant) between us.

The reality is that I will be around people (students, colleagues, the general public) who do not wear masks.  As for my students, I can teach them a mindfulness about barriers, even if they refuse to wear masks. For example, I can ask them to hold up a personal item (a folder, a sheet of paper) when they speak– a request easy for those unwilling to wear a mask to agree to.

In our COVID reality, creating such barriers is critical.

As for my eyewear-mask combo, I tested it out today at my gym. I usually wait until late afternoon to go to the gym because that time has few patrons. But today, I donned my eyewear-mask and went at lunchtime. The eyewear and mask fit well; the eyewear is anti-fog; even though some moisture accumulated on the lenses during my 30-minute workout, I was still able to see well. And I felt comfortable about having that barrier since all but one other individual had no masks on, and, frankly, most have no concern for social distancing.

When I returned home, I easily cleaned the exterior of my eyewear with a little hand sanitizer, and I machine-wash the mask daily.

Much of my COVID-affected world is out of my control, but not all of it. I can continue to keep my distance when possible, and when not possible, I have my eyewear and mask.

This is my plan. I hope my readers find it useful.

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7 Comments
  1. ira shor permalink

    Yes, good plans to protect yourself. Washing your face and hands and putting clothes each day in the laundry may help too. Would gloves also help? I wear gloves whenever I go shopping or to a doctor’s office, rubber pull-on gloves.

    • Hi, Ira. I find gloves cumbersome, so I frequently clean my hands instead. Also, one must remember how to remove masks and gloves in a manner that avoids unduly contaminating oneself.

      • ira shor permalink

        I don’t like the feel of rubber gloves, either. I did see on TV news that a health worker took off all her clothes when she got home an put them in the laundry. Take good care of yourself.

  2. Threatened Out West permalink

    The goggles are a good idea! Can you get them in prescription?

    • The ones I bought are not prescription, but there must be some company that makes prescription goggles.

  3. You people are hopeless and lost! Wake up to the Great Reset that is destroying our nation.

  4. Mercedes, I have been researching this as well. I am going with a high quality face shield. I believe I will be more protected this way. I think we should push for face shields for teachers and students in classrooms. Besides added protections, we get to see and hear each other. Love snd blessings from CT.

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