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Need to Fly and Cannot Bring Back Covid

Need to Fly and Cannot Bring Back Covid

Old Jun 24, 20, 4:26 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by eyeballer View Post
Plate and silverware are not a concern assuming they are washed between uses - or use disposable. Bathrooms and HVAC are a concern but, again, if the house is large enough it can be worked around.. use personal bathrooms and block HVAC intakes in the room and wear a mask when outside of the room - could even "camp" in a garage and use a single bathroom for a few days pending test results (just wear a mask when entering the house and wash/sanitize hands appropriately). It's an option. A nearby hotel/airbnb works if you can find something suitable.
I'd venture to suggest to shut down the HVAC and open the windows? Very olde skool I know, but some of us still remember that trick
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Old Jun 24, 20, 8:16 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cslovacek View Post
If youíre this paranoid about life, you donít need to go anywhere at anytime. A hazmat suit....really?

We choose to live life, not be scared of it.

Your father has a compromised immune system, yes, but it doesnít mean he would peel over dead if he got it. Yes, heís at a higher risk, but LIVE YOUR LIFE!

You need to get home and be with your wife for a while. When you come back, just get tested and go on with life as usual.

Quit all the nonsense. Either live life or crawl into a hole and stay there. We donít wear masks, anywhere. We refuse to go in any place that requires masks.

You and your father, even in his compromised state, have a much larger chance of dying in a car accident on the way to/from chemo treatment than the virus.

Donít let irrationality cloud your judgement. Everyone has an expiration date. Make sure to save your marriage. Itís first and foremost the most important thing (or should be).
Quit the nonsense. The comparison to car accidents is for the young and healthy and it's about equal, not "much larger". The cancer patient would be better off playing russian roulette than having symptomatic Covid-19.

Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
Yep, it's 2.5 days. Done it several times when I was younger. But that doesn't guarantee less exposure because all of the other travellers on the same route are stopping at the same hotels, gas stations, etc. And having operated these businesses, that's a lot of people and lot of germs that no way are ever going to be effectively cleaned--it's just not possible because those businesses aren't hospitals. So even besides the fact that age has taken away my stamina for the open road, the very health implications I'm trying to avoid might be aplified. Plus I lose 5 days.
Another possibility: So far I have always been able to buy gas with nobody near me. Pay at the pump, use gloves or use hand sanitizer when you're done. The infection risk is minimal.

Plan your route with an eye to wilderness--camp (not at a campsite!) for the two or possibly three nights (you might need to take a less direct route) you'll need. The trip can be done without ever entering a building. You'll need to buy camping equipment but for car camping the cheap stuff is fine. Watch the weather forecast, you don't want to be in a tent if you get a lot of wind.

Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
They're hard to find now, but I used disposable coveralls with hood ($10-$20 each) when I was removing some popcorn ceiling a few years ago (don't know if it had asbestos, but took precautions as fi it did). I wouldn't hesitate to wear them on a plane right now in your situation and throw away at the destination. If anything the weirder and more "crazy" you look the more of a wide berth people are going to give you! I'd combine that with goggles or safety glasses and an N95 mask, on an airline that actually guarantees empty middle (so spacing is in feet+ rather than inches), and consider that pretty safe.
Such suits aren't going to give you much protection--it's not a skin threat in the first place. The only advantage is that it's easier to shed the suit than regular clothes.

Note that such suits are not complete protection anyway--I own one for when I have to deal with fiberglass insulation (with care you can use them many times.) I've hosed myself down afterwards, there are leaks.
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jul 13, 20 at 11:55 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 28, 20, 4:28 am
  #48  
 
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Dear Samir,

I woke early on this Sunday morning. My wife won't be up for church (via TV) for a few hours, so I was filling time by reading FT. I am deeply touched by your situation. I am impressed that you are able to reply to answers and questions from other posters in such a dispassionate way while your heart is obviously breaking. You have seemingly answered all the deep personal questions and you seek practical help to follow the path which your mind and heart have already chosen.

I have no practical answers for your journey. But I wanted you to know that many people who don't post to this thread have heard your problems. Today many of us will pray that whatever force you may believe guides our lives will help you to find your correct path. Back toward the beginning of this thread, you mentioned telling your father that he needs to turn on lights instead of wandering in the dark. My specific prayer for you will be that such a light is turned on for you. May you find the needed strength and light.
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Old Jun 28, 20, 8:06 am
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IMHO, driving will be a lower risk than flying. As others have pointed out, you have more control on your exposure risk when you are driving.
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Old Jun 28, 20, 7:27 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Driving cross country doesnít seem practical. If you must take the trip, flying is the best option. I donít know how airlines deal with multiple seat purchases in the current environment, but maybe you can buy the seats in the rows in front of and behind you. Have your wife take a COVID test a few days before seeing you, then you fly back, self isolate for a few day, take a COVID test, and if clear, resume your routine.
I think the OP needs sympathy and advice. Those of you scolding him for "not living his life" just need to not comment
The OP did not ask our opinion about gong or not going, his father vs wife, or going home vs hanging out in an RV
I like the idea that flying is the best option. Buy an KN-95(but do look at the CDC website before)
I think that a KN-95 with a cloth mask with an insert of HEPA or Carbon filter is good enough
Wear a face shield at all times. Avoid eating or drinking. Take plenty of sanitizer and clean your hand literally every 10-15 minutes.
No gloves are needed. In this case it may be more a problem than help
Wear googles if you want.

Make sure your wife is tested before you arrive (plenty of sites in the Bay Area)
You can be tested before you leave Alabama and before you leave the Bay Area again
Isolate for 3-5 days upon arrival in Alabama and retest again if possible.
Then wear a mask with filter while in the house with your dad for another few days.

It is virtually impossible to bring risk down to zero
Everything is risk vs benefit when we deal with medical issues.
It sounds like the benefit of being home is significant and by doing the above brings your risk down.
All considering what is practical.

And I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I cannot start to image the stress you are dealing with.
I wish you the best possible outcome of all this.
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Old Jun 28, 20, 7:47 pm
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In order to maximize your time with family, have you considered renting a car and driving one way, drop off the car, then fly one way back home?
Just bring gloves and hand sanitizer when you fill up the gas tank, pack a cooler with enough food to make basic sandwiches, breakfast foods, plus fruit, snacks and drinks and of course there is always the fast food drive through for hot food. Maybe rent an SUV and sleep in the car if you put the seats down if staying in a hotel makes you uncomfortable?
If time permits, get tested before you leave and again when you arrive before seeing your family.
Good luck
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Old Jul 3, 20, 9:57 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by doctoravios View Post
I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you in this situation. However, whatever kind of precaution you take, there is some risk that you will encounter the virus if you are in closer proximity to another human (hazmat suit or not) or come into contact with objects which have been exposed by another human.

Personally, I would travel to your wife and assume that whatever you do you may become infected and then quarantine yourself for at least 2 weeks when you get back. If you do multiple RT-PCR tests over this period and they all come back negative then it is safe to assume you are not infectious after 14 days (I say multiple because there is a risk of a false negative result if you only do a single test). Do not rely on wearing a hazmat suit or any other protective equipment as false reassurance that you cannot have been exposed. It is simply impossible to maintain sterile conditions when travelling.

But, the other thing I would say is that both you and your father are going to continue to be at risk from being exposed to this virus one way or another. There is no way to avoid being exposed unless you are in complete isolation (which you are not, because your father has to have contact with healthcare professionals to receive his treatment). I think you have to accept that life is a balance of risks and live according to how you want to play the odds. I am afraid there is no way to avoid gambling in this respect - we take risks in this pandemic with every breath we take.
Thank you posting. Definitely a balance on the risk/reward, that's for sure.

Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
A hotel room can be quite safe if you pick one which hasnít been entered by anyone in 5+ days (so long as ventilation systems are not dangerous). I agree with you that instead relying on someone to fully sterilise it is a foolís errand though.
I agree that one that's been vacant for a while may be a bit safer in terms of covid, but who knows what else may be there. I know that hotels will typically not deep clean a room except maybe once a quarter since the idea is to keep them occupied and clean them every day and then get all the other stuff on the deep clean. And with hotel revenues hit so hard, I doubt they would not have deeply cut payroll costs as that is one of the biggest monthly operating expenses next to debt service. Unfortunately that entire industry is in survival mode and with 5 and 6 figure debt services, I frankly don't know how more than 50% of them will survive without business travel recovering.

Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
I did see two people in the boarding area at DEN a few weeks ago in full hazmat so it must be okay.

If it were me I would go visit your wife then quarantine upon your return for about 5-7 days. Then take a test. If negative, go back to your dad.

Wishing you the best; this is very tough.
Thank you for the post and additional information. It is brutally hard.

Originally Posted by D3KingAmerican View Post
dude youíll be fine. Go to church if it makes you feel better. You know what to do put on a mask and use hand sanitizer. It will be fine. I would buy the most expensive fare and early morning flight which I feel would increase the odds of not being on a crowded plane. You will be ok go see your wife.
I hope you're right! I have terrible luck so I plan for the worst.

Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Most expensive fare would likely put you on nearly sold out flt.
DL and WN block middles, AA and UA apparently do not right now.
Wear a good protecting mask make sure it fits well and use common sense.
Gotcha. Thank you for the additional information. Yep. I've done well so far and so has my dad so our methods must be pretty decent.

Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
They're hard to find now, but I used disposable coveralls with hood ($10-$20 each) when I was removing some popcorn ceiling a few years ago (don't know if it had asbestos, but took precautions as fi it did). I wouldn't hesitate to wear them on a plane right now in your situation and throw away at the destination. If anything the weirder and more "crazy" you look the more of a wide berth people are going to give you! I'd combine that with goggles or safety glasses and an N95 mask, on an airline that actually guarantees empty middle (so spacing is in feet+ rather than inches), and consider that pretty safe.
I looked into these and unfortunately the lead times was longer than I had to make a decision. I actually have safety glasses.

Originally Posted by zymm View Post
Do you know the nearest testing location near your father's place? A good compromise option would be to isolate for 4 days upon returning, then get a test. If that comes back negative you can be fairly confident you're in the clear and can return to your dad in about half the time as a full quarantine.
I don't, but I will definitely look into it. No matter what I do, knowing how to get a test will be important.

Originally Posted by eyeballer View Post
This is the answer. Fly to SFO with normal precautions, face mask + face shield for planes along with plenty of hand sanitizer. See wife. Fly back the same way, and isolate in the house if it's big enough, wear the mask and face shield around the house if you need to, or isolate at a nearby hotel and get a test in 3-4 days. You do not need to plan for 2 weeks of quarantine, just get tested.
Definitely sounds like a plan. Yep, house is definitely big enough.

Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
The talk about isolating in the same house becomes a moot point if you share plates, silverware, a bathroom. or even a shared HVAC system if like most US homes and apartments you don't get many outside air exchanges per day. the CNN reported Chris Cuomo was living in his basement of a large home but still infected his wife and child....

With the risk of being insensitive, I'd like to add another perspective: The OP married his wife, not his father. He senses he needs to see his relatively new wife and at home before things become rockier. The OP has been devoting most of his time to his aging father rather than his spouse who he has a statistically longer future committment with. Even in normal times that can tax a relationship or cause a hurt spouse to hold back on true feelings of not being comfortable with the situation.
​​​​​
There are 7 different AC units and where I would be is on a completely different 'circuit' than my dad (and I can get even further away if I really needed to), so that shouldn't be an issue. We both also have our own bathrooms and don't have to share anything in between (aside from me cleaning his bathroom), so there should be enough isolation, and definitely enough potential to make the distance even further if need be.

Thank you for the perspective as it's great insight as to what potentially can happen with spouses in this situation.

Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
This was a very sensitive, kind post that highlights issues many of us are confronting or may confront. I have been worried how I will be able to respond if my immuno compromised aging father (77) becomes ill and needs in-home care. I can't leave my spouse and 3 kids (and work) for months (maybe 2-3 weeks tops). Nor would I. At some point I'd either have to move my father to us (in our already bursting house or a nearby apt/condo) or I'd have to hire help for him at his home. I think it might help OP to think about the long term. The future picture may provide some insight into how to handle the current predicament.
I completely understand your situation and planning is the key. My dad's cancer actually is a side issue as I've been handling his affairs for the last few years to help him dig out of millions of dollars of debt and from underneath operating businesses that were crushing my parents. So I've got the marriage, my dad's health, and my dad's financial problems. Once my dad's chemo ends, I don't have to be there for that, but there's still the financial problems and businesses, so I will still have ties there until that stuff is all settled.

Originally Posted by eyeballer View Post
Plate and silverware are not a concern assuming they are washed between uses - or use disposable. Bathrooms and HVAC are a concern but, again, if the house is large enough it can be worked around.. use personal bathrooms and block HVAC intakes in the room and wear a mask when outside of the room - could even "camp" in a garage and use a single bathroom for a few days pending test results (just wear a mask when entering the house and wash/sanitize hands appropriately). It's an option. A nearby hotel/airbnb works if you can find something suitable.
Since it's just the two of us, we have a fixed number of dishes in the dishwasher that are used and then put back each day and we run the dishwasher every day regardless of what's used. This keeps my dad from just piling up dishes endlessly because of the work of putting them in and the putting them up, and he's always got clean utensils. I've had to implement several different systems like this to keep him properly hygienic as he has aged he has adopted a lot of third world hygienic practices (even though he never had them growing up )--even some basics like not eating rotten food. I actually worry about this more than covid most of the time.

There's plenty of bathrooms and hvac units and it's large enough that I think isolation shouldn't be an issue. I can literally go days without seeing him if need be. And there are a lot of hotels nearby too, but I wouldn't trust them as much as myself at his house.

Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I agree with you that quarantining outside the home might be better, but I do believe it could be possible to share a home and still maintain proper quarantine, but it would require GREAT discipline!
Discipline I can definitely handle. And I've traveled where the local germs can put me in the hospital so I know enough about avoidance behaviors to adapt them domestically if need be. I've actually been following that discipline for quite a while now, but not with a aim for perfection which I could just implement.

Originally Posted by QT31415 View Post
This! It's what I do prior to returning to work (medical field), after travelling. Also, your wife may consider getting tested prior to your visit. You may have to pay out of pocket, but it's cheaper than chartering a jet! In washington state, you can order your own tests without a doctor's rx.
Thank you for the insight! Good to hear from someone that has much more exposure. I highly doubt she would have it as she basically hasn't left the home since before the mandatory lockdown as her company implemented wfh 1 month before things got bad. I think she would have developed it by now. Still, it is vector and needs to be considered. Thank you for the post!

Originally Posted by WilcoRoger View Post
I'd venture to suggest to shut down the HVAC and open the windows? Very olde skool I know, but some of us still remember that trick
With 90% humidity and high heat indexes getting to be normal now that we're in the summer, that would be awful as heat stroke and heat exhaustion would be a real concern. At home in CA, this would be an awesome idea!

Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
Another possibility: So far I have always been able to buy gas with nobody near me. Pay at the pump, use gloves or use hand sanitizer when you're done. The infection risk is minimal.

Plan your route with an eye to wilderness--camp (not at a campsite!) for the two or possibly three nights (you might need to take a less direct route) you'll need. The trip can be done without ever entering a building. You'll need to buy camping equipment but for car camping the cheap stuff is fine. Watch the weather forecast, you don't want to be in a tent if you get a lot of wind.
Yep, that's pretty easy too. Most pumps are on 24x7 even if the lights are off so you can fill up at a 'closed' station any time you want. (One of the businesses my dad owns is a gas station.)

A drive is just so physically brutal and uses so much time that while it is better in terms of health risk, it isn't as good for other things that I'm responsible for. Although it would have been super easy because all I would have needed was a minivan--I can go on a few days without showering and just pack enough food and a blanket and pillow.

Originally Posted by phillyjoe View Post
Dear Samir,

I woke early on this Sunday morning. My wife won't be up for church (via TV) for a few hours, so I was filling time by reading FT. I am deeply touched by your situation. I am impressed that you are able to reply to answers and questions from other posters in such a dispassionate way while your heart is obviously breaking. You have seemingly answered all the deep personal questions and you seek practical help to follow the path which your mind and heart have already chosen.

I have no practical answers for your journey. But I wanted you to know that many people who don't post to this thread have heard your problems. Today many of us will pray that whatever force you may believe guides our lives will help you to find your correct path. Back toward the beginning of this thread, you mentioned telling your father that he needs to turn on lights instead of wandering in the dark. My specific prayer for you will be that such a light is turned on for you. May you find the needed strength and light.
Thank you for the very touching post. I am deep moved and am humbled to the point of tears. Thank you again.

Originally Posted by Taikucing View Post
IMHO, driving will be a lower risk than flying. As others have pointed out, you have more control on your exposure risk when you are driving.
Agreed. I just don't think my body would be up to it.

Originally Posted by keisari View Post
I think the OP needs sympathy and advice. Those of you scolding him for "not living his life" just need to not comment
The OP did not ask our opinion about gong or not going, his father vs wife, or going home vs hanging out in an RV
I like the idea that flying is the best option. Buy an KN-95(but do look at the CDC website before)
I think that a KN-95 with a cloth mask with an insert of HEPA or Carbon filter is good enough
Wear a face shield at all times. Avoid eating or drinking. Take plenty of sanitizer and clean your hand literally every 10-15 minutes.
No gloves are needed. In this case it may be more a problem than help
Wear googles if you want.

Make sure your wife is tested before you arrive (plenty of sites in the Bay Area)
You can be tested before you leave Alabama and before you leave the Bay Area again
Isolate for 3-5 days upon arrival in Alabama and retest again if possible.
Then wear a mask with filter while in the house with your dad for another few days.

It is virtually impossible to bring risk down to zero
Everything is risk vs benefit when we deal with medical issues.
It sounds like the benefit of being home is significant and by doing the above brings your risk down.
All considering what is practical.

And I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I cannot start to image the stress you are dealing with.
I wish you the best possible outcome of all this.
Thank you very much for the compassion and ideas. It is appreciated more than you know.

Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
In order to maximize your time with family, have you considered renting a car and driving one way, drop off the car, then fly one way back home?
Just bring gloves and hand sanitizer when you fill up the gas tank, pack a cooler with enough food to make basic sandwiches, breakfast foods, plus fruit, snacks and drinks and of course there is always the fast food drive through for hot food. Maybe rent an SUV and sleep in the car if you put the seats down if staying in a hotel makes you uncomfortable?
If time permits, get tested before you leave and again when you arrive before seeing your family.
Good luck
Yep, considering all the different methods and combinations. I would actually avoid any fast food restaurants as they were never the best at hygiene when all this started. A minivan is awesome for sleeping in the back, and rest areas will allow you to sleep for a few hours as I've done that a few times when I've gotten too sleepy.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jul 13, 20 at 11:58 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 4, 20, 12:42 am
  #53  
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As an update to the thread, I traveled to SFO on a Delta flight HSV-ATL-SFO in J. Because of the legs I chose, there were enough vacant seats that I could pick a seat that was in its own row and that had one row of distance between other passengers. Towards boarding time, adjacent and neighboring seats were blocked for safety by Delta. I think this is an important distinction between Delta in the other airlines. At some point, the only safety that will be done by carriers will be what their lawyers tell them they need to do--clearly, Delta is different in this regard.

I flew with my normal flying attire and and the required mask. I stayed completely away from people at all airports and waiting areas, usually finding a vacant waiting area near my gate. The trip itself was uneventful except for the massive amount of people simply ignoring any type if distancing rules even when specified by the FA or airport announcements. This was especially apparent upon arrival when even after an announcement to stay seated until the row in front has moved 6ft away and to stay 6ft away, everyone just got up like normal ignoring the announcement completely--this includes main cabin practically pressed up behind me as I frantically tried to get away.

After I arrived at home in CA, I immediately removed all clothing and scrubbed myself down head to toe in a good warm shower. My throat was definitely not normal and was fighting something as it was feeling like it would right before a cold. Luckily, some hot salt water gargles have always been a good preventative practice and I did this repeatedly for the first day and my throat felt better. It has been two days now and I've been home with my wife without a fever or any other side effects besides my throat. Just as a precaution for the sore throat, I have scheduled a test on Monday to make sure I don't have it. I honestly don't think I do and that the sore throat is simply from the reduced humidity environment of flying and of home compared to Alabama.

Unfortunately, my father got a cold or something the day I left. I'm not sure how as his only exposures to the outside was putting the trash can for curb pickup and getting the mail--two things he regularly does (mail he does daily). He was coughing a lot on the first day but I told him to do the salt water gargles and that had him feeling better the next day. However, his appetite due to the chemo is still disturbed and without me there to help him figure out something to eat, his caloric intake has dropped. Combining this with the cold or whatever his body is fighting really knocked him out today. When I talked to him he was feeling very weak and didn't really do anything today besides rest. This was sometimes normal for his chemo routine, so it could be just that, but being away and not being able to see him I really can't assess it. He is strong though so as long as he can get some food down (I told him to just eat stuff like it's medicine), I think he should be okay until I get back. His condition changes from day to day, so tomorrow he could be back in the swing of things too.

It was good that I made this trip even though there are significant risks. My wife actually joked about how I could cancel it since I was within the 24hr time period, but I knew that she needed me home, period. She too is strong, but even a cactus needs water sometime.

I truly appreciate all of the thoughts, idea, experiences, and insights in this thread. Every bit of it ran though my mind as I had to make my fateful decision. The only thing I forgot were my safety goggles which I simply forgot on my packing list, but to be honest they weren't needed. Even a mask isn't needed as there are so many breeches and improper uses that for all the inconvenience they are probably doing nearly nothing--people treat it like the rule of needing shoes or a shirt, not as the medical precaution it is supposed to be. I think only the airline staff knew what to wear and how to wear it in a way that it was truly effective.

My plans for the return trip are basically the same, except I will take a light hoodie that I can immediately shed when arriving in Alabama. Then the same routine of showering and scrubbing down once I get to my dad's place. I have to work at one of the businesses that evening so I will have an increased chance of exposure there too, but as always I will do my best and that's basically all I can do. I will plan to avoid any contact with my dad except to take care of him. And if it is something simple like preparing food, I can prepare it for him and then leave the area and he can then go there and eat. It will take a bit of discipline, but that will be easy enough considering the consequences. I will continue to update this thread as I think my experiences will help others in similar situations, and feel free to ask questions. Thank you again everyone.
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Old Jul 6, 20, 6:06 am
  #54  
 
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To OP: thanks for taking the time to individually answer/reply to all posts, and to give such a detailed update.
Best of luck with your return trip too!
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Old Jul 6, 20, 5:38 pm
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Stay safe and I wish you the best both with your wife and back at dad's home.
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Old Jul 8, 20, 9:08 am
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I am glad all worked out for you. Having high calorie shakes can be really helpful for your Dad; also
prepared meals in the freezer if he can use the microwave safely. Remind him about potholders---sometimes
my relatives had "chemo brain" --which meant less alert than prior.
Sending you support and cheer.
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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:57 pm
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Thumbs up

Also make sure to wear your mask on the plane, it is even more important if others don't, it's your last defense.

Salt water gargles is a great idea...
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Old Jul 10, 20, 4:24 pm
  #58  
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So the story didn't end with my last post and has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse.

I was talking to my dad each day but he was extremely fatigued each day. I was going to call him Tuesday after a quick nap after doing a bunch of 'honey-do's--but my nap was cut short when my brother called me panicked because of what he was seeing on a facetime with my dad--he was barely able to keep his eyes open or complete thoughts, extremely fatigued, and generally 'completely out of it'. We initially thought my dad had a stroke because he told us how a few days ago he notice a chair had fallen over and that he didn't remember how it happened--but we were not sure. We have a pulse oximeter that we used to use for my mom who had als and my dad would also use it to check his vitals--his oxygen saturation was low in only the upper 80% (normal is upper 90%). We guided him to the front door and then called an ambulance. He was able to open the door for them and they checked his vitals. His oxygen saturation had rebounded to the lower 90s, but was still low. His blood pressure was proper bilaterally and his pupils were okay indicating no stroke. But he was not able to answer the EMTs questions very well and they decided that the ER would be a better place to evaluate him. He was taken to the hospital.

I changed my flight to an earlier one that moved my travel by about 12hrs. Sadly even though there were seats available in J/Z, Delta was showing them as not available for a change (seat maps showed 2 row open), and repeated calls to Delta was useless as they were so overloaded that the ivr would tell you to 'call back later' and drop you. There were some comfort plus seats on the same flight that were decently distanced from others so I had to go with that. I also asked the ticketing agents at the airport the day of the flight and they said the seats were sold out. I didn't ask at the gate (my mistake), and saw that the rows were physically empty on the flight (I could see them directly from my seat), and that someone was even actually given an upgrade to one of the seats! I'm never needed anything like this in my life, but the one and only time I needed help, I was terribly let down. The fare difference between my original J/Z seats and my comfort plus was a paltry $73 refund. I should have been able to fly in those empty seats and am pretty mad about it, but that's only in hindsight now as my focus at the time was on getting to the hospital.

While in the ER, my father was severely dehydrated and they were giving him fluids and running blood labs to find out what was happening. I got a call from the attending physician in between flights in ATL and he told me that my father tested positive for covid and showed signs of developing a pneumonia on the xray. He was moved to a ward room for care. His white blood cells were also very low (even compared to his chemo levels), and he was stable but very weak and not eating anything. I landed and then proceeded directly to the hospital.

The hospital was not allowing visitors, but the attending nurse was able to come down and talk to me and answer my questions. The current treatment for covid pneumonia is anti-body plasma along with two different drugs to help ward off the pneumonia from getting worse and to give the body anti-bodies that it may or may not be able to use. When I asked the nurse her experience with the anti-bodies, she said that in every patient that has had them she's seen an improvement, but the degree of improvement varies wildly. She did not see anyone get worse, so definitely can't hurt.

My dad needed to sign a document allowing the plasma, but he did not want to sign it before my brother and I read it and okay'd it (he's been cheated out of 2.5M in the past so we drilled this into him and he remembered it well). Unfortunately, by the we got him on a call he was too fatigued to read it himself or even sign it. I have an advance directive for him that we set up when my mom was getting near the end, so he told me to use that and I was able to sign on that basis and get the plasma ordered. But the spike in cases has now crippled availability--the nurse I was speaking to saw cases jump from 4 on Saturday to 40 by Weds. My grand uncle is a physician in lower Alabama and he was telling me about how Mobile, AL with 4x 500 bed hospitals is completely full and sending patients to Pensacola, Atlanta, and even Nashville. Looks like it's starting all over again. Luckily my grand uncle also has first hand experience with treatment of covid pneumonia, so my brother and I have been consulting with him regularly as the hospital contacts us.

After the hospital, I returned to my father's house pretty exhausted from the day. I put my clothes in the washer and had a good scrubbing shower. I salt water gargled several times and then rested. My father did not take any food or his ipod or iphone charger when he went to the hospital, so that was my work for the next day.

The next day I carefully checked myself in terms of potential symptoms. I did have a mild headache and my throat was sore. I have the same pulse oximeter so I checked my readings as well--they were in the lower 90s, but would move to the mid 90s if I breathed fully vs shallow (I breathe shallow under duress). I proceeded to clean myself up and prepare for my trip to the hospital. On a call in the morning the nurse said he was much worse with his fever of 102 returning overnight but only at 100 right now. When she called me again in the afternoon, she said he was much, much better and that he was even asking for food. She recommended that I bring any canned or sealed meals that he would like to eat--nothing fresh or home prepared. I was able to talk to my dad on the phone and he almost sounded normal. I was feeling a sense of relief. I prepared the house for 'Lysol Fogging'--a technique I invented in the 1990s to keep myself from getting sick.

Basically, lysol can kill any living cell--but that's not good if you're around it so you 'fog' when you are not home. Fogging consists of using a fan to circulate the lysol aerosol in the home. The most common method I would use would be to take a deep breath and hold it, switch AC fan to on and spray lysol into the AC intake until I need to breathe, at which point I run out of the home and leave. The lysol gets distributed all throughout the home while I'm gone and has sufficient time to 'do it's thing'. You come back to a much more germ-free home. I did a variation of this fogging but also soaked an auxillary fan's blades and blade guard with lysol so it would slowly distribute even more lysol while I was gone. The house definitely felt different when I got back and my sore throat is not as sore. I am continuing salt water gargles to make sure my throat stays okay as well. I will likely do another round of fogging when I have to take care of one of the businesses in the next few days.

This morning my brother talked to the hospital since my phone was dead. My father has been moved to the icu and is now sedated and on a ventilator. The plasma was taking a day to arrive, but now it's 2 days and they still don't have it. My grand uncle said that is not 'the' factor in healing, so while it would be beneficial, the icu and ventilator are still good care for him to heal. It will just take about a week or so and he should rebound. But I'm not going to lie--I am scared for my father.

I told my wife about the covid and she immediately was upset thinking that she was selfish for needing me and blaming herself for my dad's condition. I quickly corrected her that he would have been in this condition regardless because he got this from outside the house (where I was also probably exposed), and that she would have been even in even worse shape if she did not just see me--and it is because of the trip that we are both now strong enough to deal with this.

My covid results came back negative, so I don't have it.

That's it for now. Between managing my dad's affairs and financial situation, being away from my wife, chemo, covid, and just taking care of myself it has gone from overwhelming to overwhelming on overdrive.
SamirD is offline  
Old Jul 11, 20, 4:21 am
  #59  
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Best wishes for a full recovery of your dad.
notquiteaff is offline  
Old Jul 11, 20, 5:20 am
  #60  
 
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Let me get this straight.. you put on so much thought, effort, care and whatnot to avoid "bringing" Cov2 to your dad - and he got it just before you even arrived there?

If so, I understand your "90% or do not gamble at all" attitude. Eyewatering story.

Best of luck and speedy recovery to all of you!
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