Husband with possible coronavirus - action plan?
June 14, 2020 4:49 AM   Subscribe

My husband has a pounding headache and fever. What do I do, like now, and tomorrow? I'm panicking just a little and having trouble thinking straight. Can you help me put together a step-by-step plan?

Hi everyone, all help will be appreciated. My husband just let me know that he has possible coronavirus symptoms: a fever and a pounding headache. (The headache is common for him; the fever is not.)

Our best guess is that it is because we had a major plumbing leak mid-week. It only took a short while to fix, but still -- random people in the house (not wearing masks even! why didn't we make them wear masks?). In the last week, the only other time we left the house was to send the older child to daycare on Monday only (I'm planning to notify them even though it was I who did the drop-off and pick-up) and for curbside grocery pick-up today.

What do I do? I have about 3 hours until the kids (ages 1 and 4) wake up.

Here's what I've got so far:
- Keep him quarantined in the master bedroom, which luckily has an attached bathroom.
- Open windows in the main part of the house so it airs out.
- Clean... what?? With what?? (See below for more questions about cleaning.)
- Today at 7 am, CVS opens. Have him go to a drive-through testing site.
- Tell work I probably won't be in all week (since he won't be able to help with childcare).
- Find out what meals he'd like that can be easily delivered on a tray to him and order them.
- Email my family a heads up? Get a plan in place for the kids' guardianship in case we both suddenly die from this like we should've done from the day we first had kids?
- Then what, sit around and worry my head off?

1. What is the best place to get tested in Sacramento? Ideally we'd like to get really fast results.
2. What to clean with? We mostly have hippy-dippy cleaning supplies, unfortunately. Aunt Fannie's vinegar floor cleaner. Burt's Bees Baby Wipes, Kinder By Nature Baby Wipes. Ecover products. Probably the toughest thing we have is Lemi-Shine Antibacterial spray.
3. What to clean first? I'm not one of those people who can speed-clean the whole house.
4. He does all the laundry -- do I need to re-wash anything he recently folded?
5. What's better: going to sleep to improve my immune system or cleaning the whole house now?
6. How am I supposed to even talk to him? Like through the door or something? Sitting outside 6' apart wearing masks? By text?
7. How long does he need to stay quarantined? I saw some journal article saying that there was no evidence of transmission as of 5 days after symptom onset - any luck of that? I've also seen something like 7 days from first symptoms, 72 hours from last symptoms -- but if symptoms go on for months, then what: no second parent for all that time?
8. How do I handle meals to minimize risks? Just set them outside his door? Is the regular dishwasher cycle adequate for sterilization?
9. What am I supposed to do when I have to go in his room, e.g., to get a supply of my clothes out, or to help him? We have a variety of non-N95 masks.
10. Are there non-fluff articles about how to actually manage someone in your household with COVID? The few I read were near-useless.
11. Where are the best research repositories to answer more questions?
posted by Spokane to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
To get you started... here is a brief and reasonable pdf from BC Health: Guide for caregivers and household members of those with COVID-19
posted by fourpotatoes at 5:07 AM on June 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

There are a lot of questions here, and I can tell you are very worried. I felt the same when we thought my husband was ill. (He didn’t have COVID in the end.)

While you’re waiting on further information some cleaning can’t hurt, and will give you something to focus on.

To clean the house, you are going to need bleach, mops, disposable cloths, face masks and gloves. The clearest explanation I have read is this one, 5 Steps to Clean and Disinfect Your House, from the Singaporean government.

If you are not used to cleaning with bleach, here is guidance from the CDC as to what ratio to mix with water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning supplies that might have ammonia in them.

I would go ahead and wash clothes he’s recently touched, but more as a precaution than an urgent priority.

I hope you’ll all be just fine very soon.
posted by Concordia at 5:18 AM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Here is a guide from the CDC on what to do if you’re caring for someone with COVID-19. Its great that your husband can isolate in his own room/bathroom. The linked guide contains a link to a list of approved household disinfectants. If it turns out your husband is positive for COVID-19, you’re going to need an effective disinfectant. You can peruse the list yourself, but generally you’re going to want bleach, or isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Bleach would be easiest/best IMO, if you can get it. Sending you and your husband best wishes. Remember that MOST people recover from this virus. You can do this!

On preview, what Concordia said.
posted by little mouth at 5:20 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd define the areas the kids and you will be most needing to access right now -- especially bathrooms, kitchen, living room surfaces, and doorknobs and light switches, and clean those. Oh, and devices (phones, laptops, tablets, game controllers, e-readers) that are used a lot and that the kids can spend time on while you figure out the rest of the plan. Maybe get them a couple of movies or something.

Don't worry, regular detergent gets rid of the virus, as does rubbing alcohol if it has time to work (I'm thinking cotton balls with alcohol for the light switches). Don't waste alcohol, though. I'm not sure how scarce it is right now.

Loss of Smell, Taste May Be Reliable Predictor of COVID-19: Study
posted by amtho at 5:22 AM on June 14, 2020

If you can get more sleep now, I would do that. Do you have N95 masks? I heard that they are back in stock at my local hardware store, so it may be worth checking. Will he be able to drive himself to get tested? It probably isn't a good idea to be in the car with him. If he does have COVID, I know that UC Davis has been testing convalescent plasma treatments, so you could see if he's eligible for that. (If these treatments are effective, it's likely that they're most effective early in the disease.)
posted by pinochiette at 5:42 AM on June 14, 2020

As hard as it will be, you can't send your older kid back to daycare until you know the test results (in case that's not obvious).
posted by beyond_pink at 5:43 AM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Test results are coming back really quickly now depending on where you go, it may be worth investigating test sites with faster turnaround times. It really depends if they are processing the test results in an on site lab or shipping them out. But there are places here were you can know by the end of the day if he has covid or not.

So for today: go ahead and clean, cleaning is good no matter what. Notify work that you'll be out until his Covid test comes back, and you will let them know the results. Order some extra grocieries, especially things that are easy to prepare. If you have time start cooking in bulk to can reheat for a few days. If the test comes back negative you have food, if it does you don't have to worry about prepping food while ill. Try not to panic too much. Do you have a plan of you both are ill for your kids? You may want to think about that if not, or give a heads up to anyone involved in that plan.

Take gentle care
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:52 AM on June 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

Here's the number for your local COVID hotline.

I had to call my local hotline last weekend and spoke with the nicest, calmest man. Hopefully they have an equally nice and calm person to walk you through this.
posted by toastedcheese at 6:25 AM on June 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oh wow a 1-year-old. Sleep. Tomorrow make some kind of plan to get help in case you get sick.

I saw your question from last year about your very sick kitty. I hope he's OK too.
posted by amtho at 6:27 AM on June 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

2. What to clean with? Soap or detergent. Viruses, including Covid-19, are killed by soap or detergent. Use the amount recommended on the label. Liquid hand wash is detergent, you almost certainly have laundry detergent. Windex kilss Covid, vinegar-based glass cleaners maybe not. Dishwashing powder is detergent plus bleach, but pods have other stuff.
3. What to clean first? Doorknobs, food prep surfaces, bathrooms. Do laundry on warm water at least, dry well.

4. He does all the laundry -- do I need to re-wash anything he recently folded? Viruses don't survive well on fabric. Covid doesn't survive being dry and warm. Anything dry that sits for 24 ours should be fine.

6. How am I supposed to even talk to him? Like through the door or something? Sitting outside 6' apart wearing masks? By text? There is some risk in caring for a person with an infectious illness. Can he self-isolate in a room with a dedicated bathroom? You could limit your exposure as long as he's pretty well.

7. How long does he need to stay quarantined? This is a question for the local or state Health Dept. They should be highlighted on your state's website.
8. How do I handle meals to minimize risks? Just set them outside his door? To really limit risk, yes. He will need regular clean clothes, lots of fluids, tea, soup, tylenol(asap), and he will be generating dirty dishes. Leave him a stash of plastic bags.
Is the regular dishwasher cycle adequate for sterilization? Yes, use hot water and the heated drying cycle for reassurance, but dishwasher deterg. is fierce.
9. What am I supposed to do when I have to go in his room. Mask and handwashing.

11. Where are the best research repositories to answer more questions? Your PCP, your state's Covid site (or New York, Calif), the CDC

Right now, call in troops. Call family and friends and ask for help. People can pick up laundry, deliver food, shop for food. If you don't have a strong network, call the United Way or a local church. I think that's probably the best use of limited time. You're generally young, and I hope, generally healthy, so things are unlikely to be dire. Good luck to your husband, you, and the kids.
posted by theora55 at 6:44 AM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Hang in there!

Let him rest and drink plenty of fluids but not necessarily lie in bed all day, to prevent congestion/inadequate ventilation. Call his doctor for advice about his specific health situation.

When you need to enter his room, you both should be wearing masks (if he can tolerate one). His room should be aired regularly.

Set up a laptop or a nanny cam in his room so he can ask for things he needs, alternatively he can use his phone, make sure he has a charger in his room.

Wear a mask when handling his laundry or trash.

I would also notify people you/he was in touch with, directly or no. So, the childcare facility and the plumber - if this were indeed the coronavirus then he must have gotten it from someone.

Ask a friend to check on both of you every day.

And yes, sleep. Sleep a lot.
posted by M. at 7:45 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

A variety of resources are collected on the MeFi Wiki Disaster Planning & Recovery page, Medical/Pandemic section, and for your specific questions, you may want to start with Respiratory health for better COVID-19 outcomes version 2, New England Complex Systems Institute (April 18, 2020). NECSI also offers Coronavirus guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting to prevent COVID-19 transmission (April 9, 2020) and Guidelines for self-isolation (March 15, 2020).
posted by katra at 9:03 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You want to reduce his viral load and the viral load on everyone in the house - the lower the viral load the better chance you all have to have light cases instead of bad ones, and the higher chance that the three of you still asymptomatic may not get it at all.

If you have a balcony or gallery, get him to spend as much time as possible on it. People nursed in tent hospitals did better than people nursed in hospitals with solid walls during the influenza pandemic. Moving air is big. You increase his comfort and chances of recovering fast if you reduce the viral load in his bed. He is breathing on his bedding and his clothes. Simply changing his pillow cases every day will potentially help. Get a sheet and tuck half of it under the covers at the top, and flip the free end back over the top of the covers. It will stay put because it is tucked in underneath but reduce the amount of germs on the blankets and covers below. This can be washed as often as the pillow cases. However do wash all the rest of his bedding and his pillows often if you can not just the pillow case and the protector sheet.

If he is up to it taking a couple of showers a day will also reduce his viral load from his skin and hands, and will likely make him feel better from the fevers.

There is a not small chance he either doesn't have it, or will be the only one in the house to get it, or will be the only one symptomatic even if the rest of you get it. These three possibilities are statistically the most likely ones compared to the chance that he has it and you will all get it and be symptomatic.

Use the sun from your windows to sterilize or at least reduce the virus in your home. If you get strong direct sun enough to produce a green house effect through the glass at any time of day, placing objects there to bake in the UV can kill virus on the surfaces. It's not as good as swabbing things down with disinfectant or immersing things in a bleach solution, but papers and keyboards etc can be placed in strong sun can reduce the viral traces without destroying those items. If it's not an added stressor to take on the chore, do this with your own keyboard etc. in case you are pre-symptomatic. Don't do this to sterilize objects he has touched. It's not good enough to make them safe for you to touch.

2. What to clean with?
Hot water, and dish detergent or laundry detergent all work. So does bar soap. They won't make things operating room aseptic but neither would washing things with bleach while unmasked children are in the room not wearing gown and gloves. Since you can't go with virgin petri dish sterile, and nobody in your situation could, you've almost certainly got everything you need do to an excellent cleaning job.

3. What to clean first? I'm not one of those people who can speed-clean the whole house.

Start with most touched and most likely to have been in contact with breath. Do not go near areas that you have no reason to think are definitely soiled. For example books in the book case, the top of the fridge etc can be ignored. Wiped down door handles, switch plates, counters, the coffee machine where he would have touched it, the toilet and sinks. Give him cleaning supplies in his bedroom cell to wipe down the things he is touching in there too. He can clean stuff and needs to have stuff to keep him occupied because he is going to be boooorrred. If he gets too sick to do that kind of cleaning you can do it, but until then stay out of the room.

Almost anything will be definitely safe to touch after three days, such as metal spoons, the book with a plastic slip cover etc. The virus does not last long on surfaces, it needs to be in a moist enough place with the right temperature and no sun. Use this property to cut down on things you are cleaning. Don't waste time vacuuming, for example, or laundering the kids clothes out of their drawers that he put away. Simply don't touch those things for three days and you don't have to. Also keep in mind that six hours makes the most difference in the virus dying on surfaces, so most of the time touching things twenty four hours later will turn out to be safe. Use this principle on things like his garbage. His garbage like old cracker boxes can be left in a storage corner where the kids won't touch it and dealt with later. His kleenexes should go in a smaller bag that he ties a knot in before dropping into a larger garbage bag

Most of the transmission will be through droplets in the air and less commonly from droplets he breathed out ending on surfaces. Open every window you've got and air the place out as if someone had been smoking, or something scorched badly in the kitchen. Keep those windows open as much as possible and air the place out every day for as long as possible. This is the biggest thing you can do - and you have already started doing it so you are starting right.

4. He does all the laundry -- do I need to re-wash anything he recently folded?

If you can simply leave it for a couple of days, absolutely not.

5. What's better: going to sleep to improve my immune system or cleaning the whole house now?

Self care. Don't clean the whole house. Open all the windows use fans to blow the air out and look after yourself. Self care always takes priority, and since you will probably be using cleaning to reduce your anxiety, so treat cleaning as a form of self care. If it makes you feel better do it. If it makes you panic stop. If it is wearing you out you are not doing it selectively enough to be effective.

6. How am I supposed to even talk to him? Like through the door or something? Sitting outside 6' apart wearing masks? By text?

What ever is convenient and effective. With the door ajar and neither of you facing the opening but turned sideways away from it while you talk is likely to be convenient and safe enough. Safer would be if you talk on your cell phones, or if you have a land line, one on each extension. To get rid of the buzz on a land line call a friend or family member who doesn't have to stay on the line.

8. How do I handle meals to minimize risks? Just set them outside his door?

Store some snacks in his room, like boxes of crackers so they are convenient and he doesn't have to ask you for them. If he sleeps all day he may get the munchies at 4 AM while you are asleep.

Is the regular dishwasher cycle adequate for sterilization?

Totally, and your dishwasher can also be used to wash things that are dishwasher safe but ordinarily wouldn't go in there, like toothbrushes and toys. Even cloth items can be sterilized in there as long as they are anchored so they don't fall down underneath and get on the element. This could be a convenient time saver for you for things like dish rags and brushes and combs etc.

9. What am I supposed to do when I have to go in his room, e.g., to get a supply of my clothes out, or to help him? We have a variety of non-N95 masks.

Get your clothes out in one big trip by taking a garbage bag in and filling it and then sit at an open window for awhile to breath low viral load air. You won't be seeing anyone because you're going contact-less delivery, so you won't need much and they will be on the same side of the bedroom door as the washing machine anyway. Cleaning clothes and bedding for your spouse will be more complex as you will have to mask and glove up to load the washing machine so have him pre sort light from dark and do up zippers and check pockets and then you leave the bags a few hours before actually dumping the contents into the washing machine. You don't need to sort his laundry or touch it, if he is capable of doing this.

Try to reduce the flow of objects through the bedroom door to you placing things outside that he can take in as soon as you walk away again, and him putting things outside when you are not in the hall, ideally soon after you and the kids are in bed so they can stand dirty overnight. If he saves all his dishes until then, and you pick them up in the morning with gloves and run them through the dishwasher the risk to you will be minimal. The standing time will decrease the virus on the objects or in the air in the hall from when he opened the door. When you get up in the morning the row of books, the stack of clean bedding and replacement snacks you left before going to bed will be gone and a row of two bags of laundry to wash to wash, one bag of garbage to dispose of and a stack of the yesterday's dirty dishes will be waiting for you.

If you have a backyard get out there with the kids during the day, and have him retrieve things like his hot lunch tray while you guys aren't even in the house. Five minutes makes a huge difference in the droplets falling out of the air. They can float there for a long time, yes, but they ordinarily don't. Cookie sheets make excellent make shift trays to put hot soup on. The crackers should be stored in his room, and he would probably be extremely happy if he got his own coffee machine in there too. Consider buying a couple of that kind of appliances cheaply and having them delivered, as the $22 could easily be worth it over a week long quarantine where he doesn't have to go off coffee nor do you have to keep passing new mugs in through the door six times a day to stave off him feeling miserable.

This would be a good time to teach the four year old some independence in getting meals, such as making sure they can open a pint or quart milk carton and pour even if they spill a bit, and can forage for granola bars with no help to get the box or the wrapper open, and make a peanut butter and bread snack for themself. I would go so far as to teach them how to change a diaper. This is totally overkill but you will feel safer if you know that if you had to because you were sick or exhausted yourself your little guy wouldn't miss any of their meals.

Keep end results in mind. You don't just want your family and you to survive the dread virus, you want to be able to look back at this time and say it was one of those things that made you stronger as a family. Mindset is important. You want him to feel like the hero practicing self denial by going into seclusion, and you want you to feel like the hero who managed all those logistical things and rose to the occasion and you want the four year old to think there is a fun but necessary game going on where Daddy talks to them on the phone and Mummy lets them put the a drawing for Daddy on the lunch tray. This means that it will make a big difference if he knows you admire him for withdrawing to the bedroom instead of thinking he is a shiftless jerk being waiting on hand and foot, and you know he admires you for being there and managing everything until he recovers and your four year old knows that Mummy and Daddy laughed and said affectionate things to each other and to them while this was all going on.

Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do is go into this knowing that are committed to handling it well and will be able to do so as you have all the necessary skills and are looking for any necessary information you don't have and don't obsess over how to handle that garbage bag your spouse touched, if you goof and touch it bare handed moments after he did. You'll make mistakes and it won't matter that you do. They will double your risk from 1% to 2%, and if you just wash your hands you'll reduce the risk back down to 1% again.

And also believe it or not, it's probably not going to be that awful. You know the kids will probably be asymptomatic if they even get this at all and the risk to them is so low that they are more in danger of one of them having a fall in the house and getting hurt badly enough to howl loudly for five minutes than they are in danger of developing any symptoms. You'll be bored and cranky and anxious and that is no fun, but managing that is a matter of sensible mental health work and you can do it. You got this. You'll figure it out.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:34 AM on June 14, 2020 [47 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much, everyone. Update and question: he woke up saying that he thinks it was just food poisoning because he feels completely better now. I suggested he stay quarantined for the rest of the day (or until we do a little more research) to confirm. I think we'll be calling a doctor soon to see what they say, but does anyone know whether or not this is a way that it tends to present? I've heard about on-again-off-again symptoms during recovery, but all the accounts I've read of people getting COVID-19 give me the impression that it comes on pretty hard at first.
posted by Spokane at 10:35 AM on June 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

Get him tested as soon as is reasonable. Consider it a dry run, and make sure you get some alcohol-based hand sanitizer, probably some bleach, some Windex (my state lists it and generics as a covid-killer). Thank you for the update, I'm so glad he's feeling better.
posted by theora55 at 10:43 AM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'd keep his quarantine going at least another forty-eight hours in case, as many people have a period of feeling better and then go down again. After that with no symptoms I'd let him out again, and I would maintain the full family self imposed quarantine even longer, as he could have it and be recovering and you could be about to go down next.

Even if he has it, as for many people it comes in cycles, it is quite possible that this is the worst he is going to get. His feeling better is great news, but not evidence that it was a false alarm. He did feel awful and he did have a fever so it would be good to still be careful for some days. Those are definitely symptoms that fit Covid-19 better than they fit food poisoning.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:58 AM on June 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

It has been anecdotally observed that covid-19 can present with gastro-intestinal symptoms (in a vivid turn of phrase from a nurse's essay I read a couple months ago, the phrase "so much shitting" was used), now that we know a little more that this is a vascular illness it makes sense that any/all mucous membranes are strongly affected. I would absolutely operate as if he has it until you know he doesn't. Even if he doesn't, the fever would suggest he's got a gastro virus which could also sweep through the house and weaken everyone's immune systems, which you also don't want to happen.

I'm in SoCal, but I did notice at my grocery chains this morning that there's all kinds of bleach and cleaners, including Clorox wipes, back on the shelves, so if you can get a friend who's safe to go out shopping to see if they can get you some bleach and wipes and porch-drop them, that would be helpful. If you didn't pack in easy pandemic staples like pasta and rice, those are also showing back up and will make quick meals while you're down a parent. Have your friend pick up some tuna, pasta sauces, a couple rotisserie chickens, a bag or two of frozen meatballs, frozen pizzas, plus bread and peanut butter if you're low; that'll get you through most of the week single-handed if necessary.

Everything's probably going to be okay. You just need to be cautious right now at a heightened level as if he has it in order to improve safety, but you do not need to panic like he has it yet.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

As a follow up, because you asked for non-fluff articles on how to manage COVID: Fact check: Sunlight does not kill the new coronavirus ("Only levels of UV light much higher than what is in sunlight can kill viruses, experts said, and the levels that kill viruses can cause irritation to human skin and should be avoided.") (USA Today), and your idea to contact a medical provider seems like an excellent one.
posted by katra at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Seems like you and your kids should get tested too. You could have an asymptomatic version of this, or one of your kids could. You might need to approach this differently if you all have it already.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm really appreciating all of these answers. I'm picking a few as "best answers" because they scratched one very specific itch or another, but they've all been helpful. I'm still reading through all the linked resources. He's on his way to get tested, just FYI.
posted by Spokane at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

There's a support group you can join. It's for people with COVID and allies.

I'm so glad he's feeling better. I'm sorry to say this but: it's a good time to talk about wishes, both his and yours, if things go the other way. Do you have each have a will? Can you write down what you'd like to make a pleasant environment if you can't communicate? Getting this all written down could be hard but I think it can ease anxiety to have it in place.

I'm also going to send you a blog post about preparing. If anyone else wants it, just message me.
posted by rockyraccoon at 4:35 PM on June 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

You’ve gotten some great advice. In case it wasn’t clear: vinegar and the hippy-dippy cleaners do not work on the virus. It was a shock to me to smell bleach after years of only cleaning with vinegar, etc.
posted by gryphonlover at 8:13 AM on June 15, 2020

Response by poster: In case it wasn’t clear: vinegar and the hippy-dippy cleaners do not work on the virus

I'm still actually a little confused on this point. Don't all the mentions above that detergent kills the virus mean that my hippy dish detergents (Ecos Free and Clear, Ecover Zero) will kill it? Or are those not detergent detergents?
posted by Spokane at 11:01 AM on June 15, 2020

Yeah, just wanted to second bluedaisy's point - your kid going to daycare sounds like an even more likely vector for transmission than the plumbers being there for a short time one day, given that young kids are often asymptomatic. Please get at least your eldest child tested ASAP as well. And I know this might be creating more stress for you (given your update about your husband's improvement) but it also would seem ethical to me to inform the daycare about your husband's symptoms if you hadn't already.
posted by aiglet at 1:29 PM on June 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

The detergents and dish cleaner do have detergent/surfactants so they are “soapy”, which should work on the virus. Anything else like wipes or sprays that do not say they are anti-viral will not work. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by gryphonlover at 3:25 PM on June 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

There is at least one hippy dippy active ingredient that works on coronavirus, thymol, which is derived from thyme oil.

Some of the seventh generation branded cleaners contain it as an active ingredient, for instance, though it's important to make sure any given cleaner's EPA registration number is present in the EPA's list of cleaners effective for coronavirus. It's not enough for a product to contain thymol, it needs to verifiably contain enough to be effective if used as directed.
posted by ZeroDivides at 1:37 PM on June 16, 2020

OP, because you asked for non-fluff articles, I have a few more to offer for your review:

Reducing risks from coronavirus transmission in the home—the role of viral load BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 06 May 2020), See Also What We Do and Do Not Know About COVID-19’s Infectious Dose and Viral Load (Discover Magazine, April 18, 2020) ("Intuitively it might make sense to say the more virus, the worse the disease. But in reality the situation is more complicated.")

There is also a recent SF Chron article published by MSN, How long does coronavirus last on surfaces? Stay in the air? based on studies, including by the New England Journal of Medicine, the medical journal The Lancet, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that also includes cleaning and sanitation guidelines.
posted by katra at 6:20 PM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. His test came back negative, so we have freed him. I know, there's evidence about false negatives, but with a negative test, zero symptoms, and two young kids, the idea of doing another 10 days of solo parenting and missing work did not cross the cost-benefit threshold. It seemed better to save all of those resources in case we ever really need them. We're keeping ourselves isolated from everyone else though. Thanks for all of the resources. Much as this was not fun, it was probably good to have a fire drill to think through the ways in which we are and are not prepared.
posted by Spokane at 4:15 AM on June 18, 2020 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Nine days later, so far so good. None of the rest of us ever showed any symptoms.

Here is a thread on creating negative pressure in the room with the sick person.
posted by Spokane at 7:49 AM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

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