Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” -Lady Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1

1. – Wash your hands a lot. Wash with soap for at least 20-30 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap & water are not available.

2. – Avoid touching your face. The best reason for you to wear a mask is to protect other people & to keep you from touching your face.

3. – Avoid Crowds. Maintain Social Distancing. Stay home as much as possible.

4. – Get a Flu Vaccine shot. It will not protect you from Coronavirus, but it will reduce the number of people with flu symptoms who then call 911 thinking that they have coronavirus.


Infected people without symptoms are the primary driver in the spread of coronavirus. Take precautions. Don’t touch the handrails. Use your shirt or a clean paper towel to cover your hand when touching door handles. Use your elbow to turn on/off light switches. Use a key or credit card to push buttons. Handling cash is dirty. If you haven’t set up Apple or Google Pay, now is the time- no handing over credit cards to strangers. Refrain from shaking hands – do an elbow bump.


Buy stuff you like to eat anyway- dehydrated protein tablets are for basement dwelling, end of the world, preppers. And you don’t need all that damn toilet paper! Here is a good guide for insuring your food supply: stockpiling made simple

The spacing of self-checkout stands provide natural social distancing, except for the single line queue, so go early or late when there is no line. Use plastic instead of cash. If you wear yellow rubber gloves & a face mask, no one will want to get within 6 feet of you.

If you are shopping in a known contaminated Zone, you may want to wash your purchased items as soon as you get them home. Otherwise let your non-perishables sit for four days before using.

The subject of washing your groceries is covered here: Consumer Reports. And Dr Jeff has a lengthly & detailed video.


There is a lot of false & misleading information going around – welcome to the internet. 

These touted preventatives/cures Do Not Work:

Garlic – It is only a defense against vampires.

Vitamin C – While it may have a marginal effect on warding off a cold, it does not stop or slow the effects of coronavirus. However, Vitamin C won’t hurt you.

Homemade hand sanitizer – Unless it has at least 60-70% alcohol content.

Colloidal Silver – Has no health benefits. And if you take enough, it will permanently & irrevocably turn your skin blue.

Drinking hot liquids & avoid eating ice cream – This is helpful AFTER you have coronavirus, but has no effect in preventing you from getting the virus. So go ahead & enjoy your ice cream before the electricity stops working.

Drinking water every 15 minutes – This is helpful AFTER you have coronavirus, but has no effect in preventing you from getting the virus. In any case, as us desert-hardened veterans know, it is good to stay hydrated. 

Some inaccurate stories about the virus take hold & spread like wildfire. The virus did not come from a space meteor & it was not created in a secret lab by the lizard people. Try to steer clear of conspiracy theories. Be careful of what you share. Don’t trust any email or message that ends with “Pass this on to everyone you know.”

(Oh, by-the-way, the government has changed the chemtrails to Lysol.)


For those of you who are being deprived of sporting events, here are some pandemic stats websites:

Johns Hopkins. World-O-Meters. nCoV219. beautiful info.

We are seeing a wide range of reported mortality rates in the media, everything from a high of 8% to a low of less than 1%. 

Here I believe, are the causes of reported high rates:

1.  – Lack of correct tally on total cases; largely due to the number of infected people who are not tested, either by shortage of test kits, lack of medical resources, or individual cases are too mild for the individual to bother reporting. This point is effectively made in a MedCram video.

2.  – Differing demographics within a country, state or other defined location. Specific factors include; popularity of smoking, social habits around physical contact, a higher percentage of elderly population.

3.  – Capacity of the overall medical system within a defined location. The danger doesn’t come from the virus, it comes from overwhelming under-prepared, fragile healthcare systems.

Generally speaking, if you’re young & healthy, you’re probably going to fight the virus off just fine. 80% of the cases are mild & if the hospital system where you are does not collapse, the mortality rate should be lower.

However, if the hospital system within a defined location overloads to the point of failure, then mortality rates could well exceed numbers currently reported. Unfortunately, we are going to see very high mortality rates in third-world countries.


The coronavirus is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. Soap washes the virus from your hands & dissolves the lipid layer. Here’s a great video to show the kids: Independent The new coronavirus is also sensitive to ultraviolet rays, which will kill it fairly quickly. Sunshine is good.

The natural tendency of this virus is towards a lower respiratory tract infection. It does not appear to be airborne in the sense that doesn’t remain floating around freely in the air for a long time, like measles does. It is *mostly* transmitted via contact with contaminated surfaces. Best guesses are that the virus can live on surfaces for 2-48 hours, maybe longer, depending on the surface, temperature, & humidity. It doesn’t stay active for as long on fabric or wood, but watch out for door handles, escalator rails, elevator buttons, credit card key-pads – any surface that people commonly touch.

International maritime quarantine flag.

The practice of quarantine began during the 14th century, in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Cautious port authorities required ships arriving in Venice from infected ports to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing – the origin of the word quarantine from the Italian “quaranta giorni”, or 40 days.

New word: “coronate“- verb. To obsessively share coronavirus related information online.



Practice Social Distancing to keep from overloading your Health Care System. Avoid crowds. Stay at home as much as possible. The benefits of self-isolation can be seen with an animated simulation in this Washington Post article. Use technology to connect with family & friends. There are already scores of social groups using conference calls, video conferencing, & Facebook groups for morning coffee meets, sing-alongs, dance clubs, & virtual bars where everyone is drinking on-line.


Any face mask is better than no face mask.

There is a lot of disagreement about how much protection you get from a mask, what a mask rating should be, & how a mask is used by the untrained public. If worn properly, an approved N95 mask will filter out 95% of small particles like the ones carrying coronavirus. This doesn’t eliminate all particles – some can still get through the mask – but it will reduce the risk of exposure. N95 masks can be worn for weeks before they need to be replaced. Keeping them sterile is a different question. 

There’s a lot to be said for mask rotation: take the dirty mask & put it in a dry, sunny, place where nobody will touch it for 4 days. Then it will be safe to wear again. Quicker methods to clean your N95 mask: Dry heating in an oven at 150 F degrees for ½ hour is best, although this may somewhat affect the elastic bands. A sprayed-on alcohol solution can also be used to disinfect a mask, however, a solution of more than 75% alcohol will destroy the electrostatic absorption of the mask, causing filtering efficiency of the mask lowering below 95%.

Make your own mask

Of course, N95 masks are already SOLD OUT everywhere. If you are part of Maker culture, you can take the challenge to make your own, almost N95, mask. Go to the hardware store & get a high efficiency 10 FPR rated air filter, which can remove 96% of large particles & more than 50% of microparticles. You can make a dozen, or more, masks out of a 15”x25”x4” air filter. Take the filter apart, remove & flatten the sheet of filter material. Cut out & fashion a face mask that covers your nose & mouth. Seal any seams you’ve made to somewhat shape it, using a good adhesive or hot melt glue. Note: The only way to get a good seal on your face is to tape the entire edge to your face during use. Use gorilla tape, gaffers tape, or medical tape. An elastic strap around the mask & your head will also help hold it into place. I have made a couple of these as a last resort for when my total hoard of four N95s are no longer usable. 

A cotton mask may be the only choice for some people. Multiple layers add more protection. If you use a colorful fabric for the outer layer, the public will appreciate the artistic gesture. It can be disinfected repeatedly. The CDC has instructions on making a face mask from a tee-shirt.

If you are going into a contaminated Zone, you should also wear a plastic poncho & a face shield, which can be made from a plastic soda bottle & a baseball cap.


You can make your own inexpensive antimicrobial spray by mixing 1/3 cup household bleach to 1 gallon cold tap water (as per CDC). Spray this on surfaces & leave for 10-30 minutes. Note: this is bleach. It will ruin your sofa.

As long as you have a well-stocked bar, you have a good source of alcohol disinfectant, but I would hate to make that choice.

Let me know when someone out there builds their own Home Decontamination Chamber. 


It’s ironic that the efficiency of public transit is now at odds with the social distancing advantage of private vehicles.

I’m afraid that 2020 is going to be the pivot point that changes our world & how we live in it. The human species has constructed a world-wide, consumer-oriented, consumption-based, resource-intensive, pollution-producing economy- which will be going into a serious recession. Our manufacturing processes are setup with just-in-time parts delivery from producers spread around the planet. In the pursuit of growth & profit, our supply chains have traded resilience for efficiency. The stock market pyramid scheme has had a 10-year bull market run & generated lots of “free” money for those who could afford to play the game. We have developed a global communication network with hand-held devices that can access all of mankind’s knowledge, yet we are increasingly polarized & divided from each other. And the polar ice caps are melting.

It may be that this pandemic is nature’s way of hitting the reset button. There is nothing like a disaster (or a complete white-out) to unite us as a community. The skills needed to survive this are what burners have been practicing for years. Additionally, viruses & bacteria do not do well in a sunny, dry environment, so I suggest going to a hot, dusty desert. Vegas doesn’t count because it’s all indoors.

We are all in this together. See you on the Playa.

– Danger