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barn Covid policy & cold/flu season

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    #21
    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

    People just need to sneeze responsibly.
    For some reason this made me laugh! My barn has a requirement that masks are worn in the barns and the general stay at home if you have symptoms. We also have a few ties outside the barn if anyone needs or wants the option to not hook up to crossties inside.

    My allergies give me the runny nose, as does the cold. This time of the year is when it really starts and then goes through the winter. At least the mask hides it a bit I guess!

    #sneezeresponsibly

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by Gamma View Post
      I don't know how fancy your barn is, but providing a couple pairs of outdoor cross ties or hitching posts would be nice if you can swing it.

      For me, I feel safer at the barn because I was already doing some things pre-COVID, like not touching my face at the barn (because I know what's on my hands there) and coming home and sanitizing myself immediately (because my boyfriend is allergic).
      We are heading into the winter though, so being outside isn't realistic: snow/wind/extreme cold. Right now, being able to spread out isn't an issue now, but it will be soon.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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        #23
        I always ask that all of my clients stay home if they have anything they feel might be contagious, regardless of global pandemic status. It's just common sense to avoid infecting others.

        Comment


          #24
          If you made anyone go home who sneezed you're going to lose all your clients. As long as that's fine by you of course. Why can't you make a mask policy?
          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
            If you made anyone go home who sneezed you're going to lose all your clients. As long as that's fine by you of course. Why can't you make a mask policy?
            Masks don't protect you from someone who is sneezing. Masks are designed to vent out the side. But I think asking people who are in allergy mode to try to mitigate their sneezing by taking allergy medication, by tacking up in a stall and to cover their face with a Kleenex (if possible) or a sleeve if it not is not out of line. I can't remember the last time anyone sneezed in the barn though. I am fortunate that my clients are quite cooperative and conscientious. The revised policy is mostly because I have two clients looking to part lease their horses, and I want to make sure they understand and are willing to follow the winter rules.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

            Comment


              #26
              You appear to have incomplete information about how masks help protect against COVID. Combined with physical distancing, they're the best tool we have until a vaccine is available.

              https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...k/art-20485449

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                You appear to have incomplete information about how masks help protect against COVID. Combined with physical distancing, they're the best tool we have until a vaccine is available.

                https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...k/art-20485449
                I couldn't see anything in that link that says masks are suitable for someone who is symptomatic (sneezing). I am pretty up to date as I board numerous health care workers, which is how I learned that masks vent out the side. I am, in general, very pro-mask, however I understand part of the risk is over-estimating their effectiveness. I recognize that we need to keep in mind that they do have limitations and to mitigate those limitations. I am high risk of COVID, and my clients know this. We all want to be safe.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                Comment


                  #28
                  No, what I'm pointing out is that you are seizing on sneezing as a key vector of disease, when that's a fraction of the actual risk your boarders face. Sneezing and coughing are bad, sure, because they expel the virus at greater distance. But the key vector is now understood to be aerosol particles--microscopic droplets that are exhaled with routine breathing. Just spending time (15min or more seems to be a tipping point) around an infected person and coming into contact with those droplets can get you sick. They're invisible and can hang in still air for extended periods of time.

                  Masks reduce the distance that these aerosols can travel (that's why your glasses fog up-- the mask is restricting those droplets to right around your face, when normally they'd float outward into someone else's personal space.

                  Outside air with good circulation, such as in a barn, mitigates the risk because that cloud of virus particles is diluted. With plenty of fresh air, you're exposed to fewer viral particles as you walk by each other in the aisle. But doesn't eliminate all risk. I think it's a mistake to dismiss masks because they do not address one particular scenario. They greatly reduce risk of infection in the normal day-to-day experience. So let's not reject the "Very Good" in search of the "Perfect".

                  Comment


                    #29
                    Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                    No, what I'm pointing out is that you are seizing on sneezing as a key vector of disease, when that's a fraction of the actual risk your boarders face. Sneezing and coughing are bad, sure, because they expel the virus at greater distance. But the key vector is now understood to be aerosol particles--microscopic droplets that are exhaled with routine breathing. Just spending time (15min or more seems to be a tipping point) around an infected person and coming into contact with those droplets can get you sick. They're invisible and can hang in still air for extended periods of time.

                    Masks reduce the distance that these aerosols can travel (that's why your glasses fog up-- the mask is restricting those droplets to right around your face, when normally they'd float outward into someone else's personal space.

                    Outside air with good circulation, such as in a barn, mitigates the risk because that cloud of virus particles is diluted. With plenty of fresh air, you're exposed to fewer viral particles as you walk by each other in the aisle. But doesn't eliminate all risk. I think it's a mistake to dismiss masks because they do not address one particular scenario. They greatly reduce risk of infection in the normal day-to-day experience. So let's not reject the "Very Good" in search of the "Perfect".

                    This. Masks are very effective in stopping the spread of respiratory ailments if they are worn by *everyone* but particularly by the person who is a potential transmitter.

                    Right now the main places Covid 19 is being transmitted are sit down indoor restaurant, bars, churches, and private social gatherings indoors, when no one is wearing masks. Air conditioning, proximity, and length of contact all raise the risk of transmission. There are certainly documented cases of superspreader events where the infected person was more than 6 feet away from the people who caught Covid. There are not turning out to be a lot of cases of transmission by surface contamination.

                    I have not seen any cases of transmission linked to barns.

                    Your best practice is going to be *everyone* wears masks, and keeps social distancing where possible. Cleaning surfaces is much less useful. Also wearing a mask effectively keeps everyone from playing with their nose, and keeps surfaces clean. People should however wash their hands when they take off their masks.

                    Best practices are changing as more research comes in. The public health announcements from March about no masks plus obsessive cleaning of surfaces are outdated and based on wrong assumptions.

                    Comment


                      #30
                      OP have you actually tested your "vent out the side theory" with regards to masks? I'm at work, as a healthcare professional, and I literally just coughed and exhaled as hard as I could. Air does not shoot out the sides. Yes it has to go somewhere, it isn't perfectly sealed. But the droplets are more likely to hit the mask, or stay on your person, vs spreading 6' around you.

                      I spend several days/wk conducting stress echos. We have patients exercise (either on a bike or a treadmill) with a mask on, and I take ultrasound images of their hearts at baseline, peak and recovery. Pre-pandemic people would be breathing so hard in my face that my hair would be moving, I would have to close my eyes, feeling someone else's spit on my face was a frequent occurrence. Since the pandemic started and we required that everyone wears masks I can no longer feel anyone breathing on me. It's wonderful.

                      Based on the most current research and guidelines, everyone should be wearing masks while inside public places (including barns) or on public transit. The CDC recently recommended air purifiers as well, not really practical in a barn, but opening doors and windows whenever possible will help with ventilation.
                      Place hand sanitizer at all the doors. Have disinfectant for commonly used items/surfaces. Tell people to stay home if they have a cough or fever.

                      Masks are required in all indoor public spaces and businesses per our local health unit, so it's a mute point for me. Masks are required at the barn.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        Originally posted by CHT View Post

                        I couldn't see anything in that link that says masks are suitable for someone who is symptomatic (sneezing). I am pretty up to date as I board numerous health care workers, which is how I learned that masks vent out the side. I am, in general, very pro-mask, however I understand part of the risk is over-estimating their effectiveness. I recognize that we need to keep in mind that they do have limitations and to mitigate those limitations. I am high risk of COVID, and my clients know this. We all want to be safe.
                        Not all masks vent out the side. Some vent out the bottom.

                        You would have had several litters of kittens the other night at my barn when another boarder came in wearing a gallon of cologne and caused me to cough for 45 minutes straight. Currying dust off my horse does the same thing. I take meds every damn day of my life, but here we are, coughing over normal everyday things that don't affect normal people.

                        It sucks and I hate it, but at least it's easy for me to distinguish between an allergy induced asthma attack and actual illness. Glad that my friends and barnmate's get that
                        Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #32
                          sascha yep, the gallon of cologne would not have gone over well! We have a low fragrance rule here to avoid triggering my health issues.

                          What you aren't getting is that your cough could spread a virus that you don't know you have. It's unfortunate, but I am a high risk individual, so I am not taking chances. Fortunately it is my barn, so I can make the rules to accommodate me. But easy enough to put someone with allergy type coughing in a stall to groom to reduce possible spread.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Originally posted by CHT View Post
                            sascha yep, the gallon of cologne would not have gone over well! We have a low fragrance rule here to avoid triggering my health issues.

                            What you aren't getting is that your cough could spread a virus that you don't know you have. It's unfortunate, but I am a high risk individual, so I am not taking chances. Fortunately it is my barn, so I can make the rules to accommodate me. But easy enough to put someone with allergy type coughing in a stall to groom to reduce possible spread.
                            Ignoring the facts that someone walks around breathing a heck of a lot more than the cough here or there makes the whole policy bunk. Masks are a good idea in your scenario, but you're just vehemently against them, which is bizarre as you just said you're high risk.

                            Good thing it's your barn, as the whole policy sound like baloney.

                            Comment


                              #34
                              I struggle with this thread in general.

                              As someone who sneezes on a daily basis (I think we all probably sneeze once or twice a day) I don't see how natural body functions can be used to keep people away. As people mentioned if you are so concerned implement a mask policy - As mentioned it is the most effective way to mitigate the airborne transmission factor. I also want to reiterate the point that wearing a mask is for the folks around you not yourself.

                              Additionally, I want to point out that Covid has been around since the start of this year. Life must go on, even if a vaccine is produced it won't be 100% full-proof as the virus will mutate since it's an RNA virus. Folks need to learn to live with this or choose to shut down their businesses/lives and quarantine themselves (Which you should do if you are high risk because you have a pre-existing condition).

                              I'm not trying to start a political debate - Simply just stating that as a business owner its a decision you'll have to make, but you need to realize that clients also have the ability to make decisions that best fit their situation. My personally policy is if you're sick stay home, wash you hands regularly, and wear a mask when you can't acceptably social distance.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                                Ignoring the facts that someone walks around breathing a heck of a lot more than the cough here or there makes the whole policy bunk. Masks are a good idea in your scenario, but you're just vehemently against them, which is bizarre as you just said you're high risk.

                                Good thing it's your barn, as the whole policy sound like baloney.
                                I am not against masks. I understand their limited effect. My clients (many of which are in health care) understand their limited effects. Making a policy that makes me look ignorant will not help. I need to keep myself any those around me safe from both COVID and the regular cold. I wear a mask when I go out. I wear a mask coaching at horse shows. I get frustrated by my fellow coaches who pull their mask off to yell and then slide it back on.

                                I have not yet felt the need to wear a mask in my barn (other than for vet/farrier visits) as we have been able to spread out and be outside. I am not worried about the occasional cough/sneeze. It is the people that have allergies and sneeze A LOT. Or people that are too sick to go to work, but think it is ok to go to the barn (although i don't think that will be an issue this year...it has been in the past). Or the people who think that once their cold symptoms subside, they can come to the barn (you can still be contagious with a cold after your symptoms are gone).

                                Anyway, it is a moot point. My clients took my COVID policy outline fine, and are in support. They also want to be safe.
                                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                  sascha yep, the gallon of cologne would not have gone over well! We have a low fragrance rule here to avoid triggering my health issues.

                                  What you aren't getting is that your cough could spread a virus that you don't know you have. It's unfortunate, but I am a high risk individual, so I am not taking chances. Fortunately it is my barn, so I can make the rules to accommodate me. But easy enough to put someone with allergy type coughing in a stall to groom to reduce possible spread.
                                  I'm sorry, somehow I don't get that my cough could spread a virus I don't know I have? I totally get that. Here's a clue, merely breathing in the vicinity of someone else, while not masked, could spread a virus I don't know I have.

                                  I think maybe it's you that doesn't get that normal breathing is a huge spreader of virus. That's where masks come in - for regular breathing and for coughs and sneezes.

                                  Does coughing and sneezing due to allergies suck it? Sure does. Should it mean that I am any less worthy of carrying on my daily activities? Nope. I have no higher a chance of having/spreading it than someone who is similarly sequestered and trying to be as smart as possible by limiting contact with the world at large, or small. I really try to stick to work (my own office with a door), home, barn, and as limited as possible errands.
                                  Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

                                    Wow!
                                    So those of us with allergies and constant post nasal drip should never leave our homes?

                                    I did not read where the people with allergies who sneezed were not doing it appropriately (vampire thing).


                                    I sometimes cough and I know I am not sick (just tested negative) because of my post nasal drip. I am not a clod, I cough into my elbow. Heck, even when I have my mask on.
                                    Thank you. I’m so tired of the discrimination against those of us who have allergies! Your fellow citizens want to hang you if you happen to be allergic to the new hay, the disinfectant, the pollen from the trees around the barn, etc etc etc. You arent allowed to have any other condition but Covid! Couldn’t be possible!

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      This reminds me of my work's policy on symptoms of covid: it's something about if you've had a headache, coughing, fever, diarrhea, vomitting, or a couple others things you are supposed to stay home for 48 hours or something like that and possibly get tested. I guess I should reread it. Personally, I used a grain of common sense and interjected the word "abnormal" before the list of symptoms, because there are very much people in the world who have health issues that cause coughing, diarrhea, headaches, and other possible covid symptoms on a regular basis. Is someone with Asthma or COPD really supposed to get Covid tested every time they have coughing? Or someone with IBD or Ulcerative Collitis when they have diarrhea? That's just silly. Plus I'm a teacher- I have a headache from September to June. Do they even want me to come?

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                                        This reminds me of my work's policy on symptoms of covid: it's something about if you've had a headache, coughing, fever, diarrhea, vomitting, or a couple others things you are supposed to stay home for 48 hours or something like that and possibly get tested. I guess I should reread it. Personally, I used a grain of common sense and interjected the word "abnormal" before the list of symptoms, because there are very much people in the world who have health issues that cause coughing, diarrhea, headaches, and other possible covid symptoms on a regular basis. Is someone with Asthma or COPD really supposed to get Covid tested every time they have coughing? Or someone with IBD or Ulcerative Collitis when they have diarrhea? That's just silly. Plus I'm a teacher- I have a headache from September to June. Do they even want me to come?
                                        Spot on

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          just close your barn down if you are that concerned that your boarders won't act like responsible adults. I have allergies etc. and yes, I sneeze and not always into a Kleenex. I have not had the flu or COVID but I am sure a couple of my clients had it in February without knowing it until it hit the press. I don't need to have any more rules, I have responsible adults.
                                          Humans dont mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Sebastian Junger

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