Casa 62- Levels of Risk- COVIV- Winter 2021-2022
Daniel’s Note Spring 2022:
These Protocol Documents were all created uder duress in the face of an ever evolving Pandemic. New Variants of the Virus, new rules from the CDC, and weekly meetings in our household. So now they are like time capsules. Our thinking and behavior keeps changing, and we have yet to update these written rules again. But they do serve as a foundation for our oging decision process. Please keep that in mind.- DT
December 2021. This document was created collectively in Summer and Fall of 2021. Now it is almost the New Year of 2022, and the Omicron Variant has only just arrived in our area. Cases are on the rise, as are hospitalizations. Unfortunately, how this will effect our agreements as described in this document is not yet known!
The members of Casa 62 have come up with an approach to stratify the possible situations that will put a person at risk of contracting COVID-19. The following information breaks down the possible levels of risk and what it means if you happen to be in one of these situations.
Note: Although this document refers specifically to the tenants of Casa 62, it also serves to advise any close friend or contact who we know will be in contact with our household, and with whom we are required to communicate about the different levels of risk listed herein.
High risk situations:
These are situations in which one is required to wear a mask, or is highly encouraged to do so, by the authorities or organizers.
Anything that involves indoor activities and that puts you in close proximity with someone you do not know is considered high risk.
This also extends to public transportation of any kind (buses, planes, trains).
One important key component for high risk situations is the high level of unknowns. In other words, if you are in a public event that you have no information about who is and who isn’t vaccinated, then that is a high risk situation. Note: since we are not so sure how legitimate the proof of vaccination is, we have decided that even if public events required this, that is not an excuse to make it less of a high risk situation.
In summary: High risk situations have the following conditions:
- Masking is required or highly encouraged. Example: crowded restaurants, bars…
- Any public transportation – Planes, buses, trains
- Public events – dancing events, concerts, movie theaters…
- What to do if you decide or are forced to be in a high risk situation?
- The first thing to do is to inform the house that you will be attending a public event. The next step is to get tested 3 – 5 days after the event and maintain isolation until the test results are back
- What if the public event is outdoors?
- We have agreed to make an assessment of the situation and try to maintain social distancing as much as possible while also wearing a mask. This may then qualify as a medium risk situation. (Pending further discussion which you should request if you have doubts.)
- Medium risk situations:
- These situations are more under control because the majority of people who are present in the environment are vaccinated. For example, someone who works at a college would be considered medium risk because the majority of the college students are required to be vaccinated and because there is an easy way to get tested and be informed about any positive cases. Similarly, any work related activity or trip would be considered medium risk because you will know who is and who is not vaccinated.
- What to do if you are constantly in a medium risk situation?
- Maintaining your weekly test is necessary (or recommended). Most universities require students to be tested at least once a week. If you work in a place where no testing is required nor available, is it your job to report to the house in case that there is a positive case in your work environment. At that point, isolation and testing would be required before being allowed to share communal places in the house. Make sure to wait 3 – 5 days before you are tested.
- Low risk situations:
- These are more one-to-one interactions with people that you know. Any friend being invited into the house should be considered low risk. It is preferable that the friend is vaccinated but if for some reason that is not the case, testing and constant communication with your friend will be required. Note: it is imperative that you maintain communication with your friend in case that they are positive.
- Levels of Risk beyond COVID-19
- The Common Cold, Flu, and various unidentified bugs:
- Now that we as a household have been fully vaccinated, and most of us boostered, we still need to acknowledge that with the advent of our various levels of return to work and socializing, we are again vulnerable to catching the kinds of seasonal illnesses that used to be considered mundane before the pandemic. However, there are various changes to our behavior necessary now when confronting such a “mild”, “normal” illness.
- With any such illness there is the possibility of COVID, which calls for the vigilance described earlier in this document, from onset until a negative PCR test result. And any symptoms, like fever, congestion, and achiness call for the taking of a COVID test, and to isolate until a negative result. And as COVID surges again, and testing unfortunately becomes more scarce, and results paradoxically take longer to get, this means that real isolation during the first stages of illness becomes necessary.
- The combined effects of not knowing whether one has COVID, combined with the possibility of real suffering, changes the experience of having these common, supposedly milder, sicknesses. One will find oneself very alone and possibly afraid of COVID at the worst part, the initial part, of these brief, “common” experiences. One may have to isolate at precisely the moment where one is used to having the comfort of loved ones and friends.
- Thus “common” is no longer what it once was; that is common.
- In our household, we stay informed on our group chat, and update each other on the state of our illness and of test results.
- Note: Again, it is imperative that we maintain communication with each other, and watch after each other, offer moral support, and the delivery of supplies, even as we have to keep our distance waiting for test results.
Dancing in the Corona Vortex
A Suite of Papers by Daniel Trenner authored during the Pandemic of 2020-2022