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Richard Rider

How we geezers (my wife and I) lessen the risks when we have home visitors

COVID-19 is a dangerous if somewhat overblown threat — especially lethal to those over age 60. As geezers, my wife and I (mid-70’s) have decided that we want to see our kids and young grandkids every couple of months in our home.

They stay overnight. Usually 2-3 nights each visit. My wife and I are functional, active senior adults with all our marbles. We are in reasonably good (far from perfect!) health who fully understand the very real risk to us both. And it DOES scare us.

There are steps that we take to significantly reduce the risk. But the risk remains. Here’s what we do:

  1. We have a “whole house fan” that can draw air from outside and then blow it out through the attic. On full blast, it’s like being outside. Even at a lower speed, it still provides a healthy flow of fresh air. Originally installed to reduce A/C costs (cutting our A/C bills by about 85%), we find it’s a wise option to employ during this pandemic. Tough to use in winter, but we live in a temperate climate and dress for the discomfort when it’s running.
  2. We have central air. The conventional filter itself is of some small value while running. We improve its efficiency somewhat by spraying the central air filter with a product that seems to improve the filter’s effectiveness against viruses and germs. When we have visitors, we run that central fan 24/7.
  3. We utilize a couple of expensive ($250 each) portable air filter devices that run the air through a U-V light that largely kills all things — including supposedly the coronavirus. It’s of little use in larger spaces with significant air flowing through the space, but can be effective in smaller rooms such as a bedroom.
  4.  When air is flowing in the house, we try to position our visitors “downwind” from the vulnerable — my wife and myself.
  5. Social distancing is sporadically employed. Masks are seldom used.
  6.  Hand washing is required regularly — especially before meals.
  7. We try to have folks spend time outside the house. Especially the visitors.

I can’t overemphasize that these steps do NOT make seniors having visitors safe.  We literally may be dead in a week.

We do what we can to lessen the risk, but the we’ve decided that — for us — the slight risk of death is worth it to see our progeny.  To each his own.  Well, in a free society, at least.

I wonder if Gavin Newsom will send a SWAT team to arrest us for our exercise of liberty.  A mildly amusing thought, until you realize what California has become under one man rule.  What’s legal today can be declared illegal tomorrow by Der Kalifornien Führer.