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Covid 19 in Chicago – What you need to know to stay alive

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, ABC 7 broadcast shows Cook County Health addressing Chicago COVID-19.

Coronavirus rips through Chicago. The Cook County Department of Health has published a series of facts that will help you stay alive, as Governor Pritzker moves to extend shelter-in-place lockdown until the end of April. At the moment, the order is in effect until April 7, but this is likely to rapidly change. 

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Stay alive if you have no “shelter”

Victims of domestic violence or other individuals who find their residences have become unsafe are encouraged to leave home and seek shelter in safe alternative locations. Individuals who are experiencing homelessness have been held exempt from the shelter-in-place, citing Cook County Department of Health. The homeless are strongly urged to obtain shelter by what means they do have. This includes using shared indoor sharing places, such as shelters. Shelters are encouraged to provide alternative shelters as soon as possible, and to the max capacity practicable.

Executive Order Number 10 has the full text of the Illinois shelter-in-place order. It provides the text for the full list of exemptions and alternatives. Executive Order Number 10 states that eviction orders will not be enforced during the COVID-19 crisis. The order states that a place of residence is an acceptable alternative shelter. 

Stay alive with cleaners, and their alternatives 

However, not everyone is going to have access to these shelters. If you are a homeless person, shelter in place as best as you can. It is important to maintain the hygiene of your campsite if this is your shelter. It is particularly important to frequently sanitize your eating utensils, as COVID-19 can live on surfaces. Harvard Health has noted a list of cleaning products that have been deemed beneficial for disinfecting against COVID-19. These products are known disinfectants for a viral disease, even though their specific efficiency against COVID-19 is not yet known. Some of the cleaners on the list include lemon-fresh Pine Glo, Clorox bleach, and various others. One cleaner that proved effective from this list is called Castle Complete 360. Castle contains ammonium chloride among its ingredients, and so ammonium chloride-containing products may also be effective. See this information sheet. 

Pine-Sol is made by the Clorox Company. It is made of 1-5% isopropyl alcohol. Commonly called rubbing alcohol. Alcohol and bleach then are common antiviral cleaners found on the list of acceptable COVID disinfectants. 

WHO teaches how to make a safe hand wash station. You may consider using emergency water purification for your handwashing water as well.

Hand soaps may not be enough, but handmade soaps might

NIH.gov lists the ingredients of Dial Soap as active ingredient Triclosan. Dial Soap also contains amounts of chemicals in the ammonia group. Soaps such as Dial Soap and common hand soaps, toothpaste, etc. contain Triclosan which is an antibacterial. Viruses are much more resistant to Triclosan than bacteria are. For that reason, if you can, you must find a cleaner with soap, ammonia, or alcohol as its base. Common cheap alternatives to disinfectant sprays include things like floor cleaners, bathroom tile spray, hand sanitizer pumps. Seek an alternative as well as wash with soap and water for maximum effect. See The Guardian for more. 

Some DIY soap brands are made with alcohol rather than Triclosan. These artisan soaps can serve as a better alternative than Dial. See Soap Queen. Check with your online artisan soap store to see if they made their soap bars with alcohol. You can purchase these as alternatives to hand sanitizer when applicable from small Etsy purveyors when Amazon is maxed out.

Note, alternative hand cleaners will not kill all viral germs but may slow their spread. The FDA does say that washing hands with soap and water should likely be enough to slow the spread. Soap made with alcohol may provide extra resistance than a soap such as Dial. It is not recommended that one attempt to make hand sanitizer. If you can, you might make soap and infuse it with alcohol for extra use, but this will not prove totally effective. The frequency of handwashing is your best defense, rather than the total effectivity of the soap.

Stay alive, keep your water sanitized 

This is particularly important for displaced people. While indeterminate, COVID-19 can pass through fecal matter and into water, see the CDC. Water itself does not appear to be a vector of the COVID-19 virus. Water acts as an object or surface in the spread. Fecal contamination in water often is from the trace of nasal drippage that can pass to sewage. For this reason, if you are drinking water from a tap, the sink of a shelter, or some other container, you must keep it sanitized. This can also be important for those facing limited access to bottled water in grocery stores.  

In an emergency situation, the WHO has made this publication regarding making water safe to drink. Exercise water purification as an added precaution.

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Stay alive if you have high risk 

The CDC describes high-risk as people aged 65 or older, people with chronic respiratory issues such as asthma or underlying conditions, and people who live in long-term care facilities. Underlying conditions, particularly those that are not well-controlled, that form a particular risk factor are respiratory conditions, obesity, immunodeficiency, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases with dialysis and chronic liver disease. 

The Cook County Health Department suggests that high-risk individuals practice “good old fashioned germ prevention.” High-risk individuals should exercise a sense of elevated prevention.

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