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Thread: Masks/going out ?s - Bae?

  1. #1
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    Masks/going out ?s - Bae?

    Or other medically trained persons.

    sorry to start a new thread related to this topic, but the medical personnel I know irl are kind of busy and exhausted and not people I would normally call up to chat.

    the studio where I do pottery work is opening with what seem to me to be responsible guidelines - hand sanitizers at the door, masks required, byo brushes, sponges, and towels, disinfecting wipes at every station, stations marked off to keep people 6 feet apart. I would have to touch common use buckets with lids. There are sanitizing wipes to wipe them down. When I was there before the shutdown, staff was cleaning handles, knobs, and other ďhigh touchĒ surfaces in their area every 15 minutes.

    I have unfinished work at the studio that must be removed by July 8 or it will be thrown out.

    i could just let it be thrown out, but I have hours of work in it.

    i could just pick it up as is and give up the opportunity to glaze it that I have already paid for (A significant, but not Painful expense)

    I could put on my used N95 that I use for fine plaster casting, or a cloth mask, go down, and glaze it, which would involve long visits on several days.

    i am having trouble making the decision - I am not high risk (Iím a ďyoungĒ healthy 51 - my pre existing conditions include bad knees and macular degeneration) there are many people who use the studio who are high risk, but they have the option to not go in. I have not been there, so I donít know how much use the studio is getting.

    The only public places I go are the feed store (5 minutes inside in a mask, sanitizing my cc and hands afterward every two weeks, leaving the bags untouched in my car for five days) And my classroom and school gym - wash hands after touching key pad and front door, not touching handrails, no one else has been allowed in my room since March - touching only student pick up bags in the gym, no one else in the gym with me, washing hands before and after touching bags and wearing a mask in the halls and gym. And every few weeks I open the lid on the community recycling dumpster, throw my recycling items in, close it and sanitize my hands.

    dh picks up curbside groceries and our mail and he plays golf. Every week or so he brings home a carry out pizza and I help eat it. He thinks I am paranoid.

    i am looking for guidance on what choice is reasonable and responsible about my pots. I am open to comments on my other choices from people with relevant Training or education. (Not anecdotal experience)

    also, I know you are not supposed to reuse masks, but I donít understand the science behind it. I reuse my plaster masks until they start smelling like Iím breathing plaster - us it ok to reuse this one (I only have the one) in the situations where I have been using it and the pottery studio? I touch the outside of the mask with washed hands and the elastics. It sits untouched for at least a week between uses. Or would a washable cloth mask be better?

    thank you.

  2. #2
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    Does the studio require social distancing? Limiting clients at any given time? Since you will be there for long periods of time you need to know they are protecting you and others. Do a quick visit to assure they are enforcing what they say. This "common bucket", can you scoop out what you'll need at once so you minimize the contacts as well as work disruption?

    What is the current status of COVID in your community? If it is quite low, I would consider it as safe as it will be for a long time. You seem to have sound habits of self-care anyway so up those a degree when you venture out.

    Should we reuse masks? Well, no, however, d/t the huge national shortage (yes, there is still a shortage in real life HC so don't believe what you hear), hospitals are requiring staff to reuse masks. Exposure to UV light is a great idea as it has been proven to destroy COVID. What I haven't seen is the impact on the quality of the mask.

    Cloth masks are what my husband and I use. Masks will become damp over time from our breath and should be changed if the need is for long periods of time so be aware of your cloth mask. In surgery we change often because of accumulated moisture.

    Our cabin is in a community with no COVID. We are practicing safe distancing and mask wearing when away from the cabin even though there are no requirements for masks here. Social distancing is expected and businesses are protecting this small community and ask that anyone coming from outside "bring love not COVID to the mountains".

    I understand your willingness to lose the work and the desire to finish the work. What matters is that you are comfortable with your decision. The great thing is you have a choice. You could go work and if it becomes uncomfortable, you can ask management to reinforce rules and you could walk out.

    Best of wishes whichever fork in the road you take on this.

  3. #3
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    What is a long time to use a mask?

    The buckets are on wheels and each is a different glaze - I would wash my hands, wipe the bucket off, wheel it to my station, use it, wash my hands, return it, and wipe it off.

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    I think I would just let it go. It took me until 2 days ago to feel safe enough for a haircut. First one in 4 months and I usually go every 6 weeks. And Iím working and not at home, so I looked pretty unprofessional this whole time.

    These questions are going to be part of our future for a long time and thereís no clear answers. You make it as safe as you can if you think you need to do it.

    I just read that one of the people at the Ozarks big weekend party is covid positive.

  5. #5
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    I reuse a surgical mask at work and Iím a director, so in an office alone most of the time. I just replaced my mask after 3 weeks.

    How long to use it depends on why youíre using it. Mine is to prevent my germs from spreading when I talk. So reuse is fine. Nurses on the floor replace it every time they leave an isolation room, so many times a shift. The purpose there is to protect them from the patients germs, so a different rationale,

  6. #6
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    As you can see, you'll get different position statements from people in the same field. Unlike Tammy, I haven't gone for a haircut. I have only gone to grocery stores for a very fast trip w/list, no browsing. And I've picked up curbside takeout.

    It really does come down to your comfort zone with your surroundings. Will you sleep well tonight based on the decisions you make today? My decisions in life are based on my "sleep test".

  7. #7
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I'd go with Gardnr's approach:

    - what is the risk level in your community?
    - how able are you to maintain distancing in the studio?
    - what sort of airflow do you have in there, and how long will you be in? (Consider that low-air-exchange situations with other people in the space will in essence "dose" you over time, if it is that situation maintain wider distancing in the space, and try to limit your time in the space).

    I personally wouldn't worry about your scenario much in my community, which has low infection rates, and semi-outdoor pottery studios. I wouldn't be happy going into the cramped stuffy pottery studio at the high school I went too.

    If you do it, wear eye protection too, which is probably wise in a pottery studio anyways.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Maybe this is the appropriate situation for a face shield. (All the artistic types wear them! )

  9. #9
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    Face shield doesn't offer the protection of goggles.
    That said, I would ask about option 3. List the colors of glaze you need, and see if you can get small quantities where you could glaze at home, and return the item for the final kiln.
    But I haven't been in a studio since I was a kid in a neighbors one, and found a Little Lulu thing, before my mom's birthday.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    If the infection rate is low and the studio is taking precautions I wouldn’t worry. I am 65 in a high risk group and got a haircut and color but they are only letting in one person at a time. Our local rate is low and we have also started going out to eat.

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