March 5 Corona Virus Update

You might want to check in with your neighbors to see if anyone is particularly vulnerable to the virus. Safety could be as simple as a single daily text back and forth, and if the text doesn’t happen, a phone check-in. And if that doesn’t work, call for medical assistance for them. If everybody on your block has a buddy (and it doesn’t have to be you) we’ll all be much better prepared.

If you know folks who live in elder residences, this is a good time to phone them (or see if you can set up a video visit). Elder housing complexes are desperate to prevent transmission, as they should be. But the folks who live there can be stuck in their apartments or rooms and it can get boring and lonely. I remember when my folks lived at the Willows. They’d get locked down by some bug that someone had caught somewhere in the complex, for sometimes up to a week. My folks would go out of their minds. Do NOT go visit in person but it’s a good time to check in. And the same goes for any elderly or immunocompromised neighbors. Or far flung family and friends. It’s a good time to connect!

From the incomparable Tom Noddy: Solid, understandable information
Soap and detergent molecules are odd.
One end of a soap molecule is a lot like grease, it doesn’t like water, it’s “hydrophobic”.
But the other end of soap molecules are “hydrophilic” they like water (they are attracted to water molecules, electrically, like when your socks are attracted to the other clothes in the drier).
So, unlike grease, soap goes into solution with water when each molecule works to attach itself to a nearby water molecule.
But meanwhile, the end that doesn’t like water is looking for some place to go to get away from the water. Everywhere it turns there is more water and water repels that end of the soap or detergent molecule … where can it go to get away from the water?
Well, if you can then offer it something, maybe something non-watery, maybe something dirty or greasy, then the end of the soap molecule that doesn’t like water can attach itself to the grease to get away from the water.
For the soap, that’s a perfect solution, the end that likes water is attached to a water molecule and the end that doesn’t is now attached to grease.
If you wipe it a bit then the soap molecules can and do completely surround the grease (and any germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa) that might be stuck to the grease). Then you can float that stuff away in the flood of soapy water.
So, no … soap doesn’t disinfect … it doesn’t kill virus but it can vastly lower the accumulation of them from your skin and remove the hiding places that could otherwise hold virus close.
A 60% alcohol solution is useful between the times that you can get yourself to soap and water but all of that alcohol is going to wreak havoc with your skin and it’s going to kill the good and bad bacteria and rework the ecosystem each time.
The first line of defense really is washing with soap (or detergent) and water.

From someone I know and have confidence in.

Thursday, March 26 6:00-7:30pm
Fireplace Conference Room
625 Halleck Street, Bellingham
This is a meeting for potential hosts. I have decided to postpone the meeting I had planned for next weekend and let folks go to this one instead. For more information, contact Victor Street neighbor Greg Hope at or 360-778-8443.

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