What does Missoula reopening mean? How to be safe as we reopen.

open sign

Bullock has joined the movement to “safely reopen America”, but the CDC says America still needs to stay closed. Navigating this situation is difficult at best and dangerous at worst.


What is reopening

Currently only a select few places in Montana have been allowed to reopen, and only with strict regulations. The biggest places relevant to the general public are food service places, and bars, although other places of business which are not open to the general public include development firms, economic institutions, and banks.

The general advice regarding these locations is that even though they may be reopening, do not go to these places any more than you would have to

when they were only offering off site service. Still take your food delivery or carry out, and more over, try to avoid public spaces in general.


The other major change as Montana reopens is the lift on the essential travel only restriction. This means that it is now okay to see friends in small groups, and travel for any reason. It is still recommended to keep all groups lower than five persons, and maintain a six foot distance from anyone you do not see regularly.

In general have three to five friends who you see regularly, and keep that group within it’s self (meaning you only hang out with friends in the group and they only hang out with you). Otherwise, limit contact with others and maintain a six foot distance wherever possible.

What is up with all this mask stuff?

Masks are confusing right now because the government is saying you need to wear a mask out in public, but health workers are begging the public not to take any N95 or surgical masks.

TLDR

Make a mask at home and wear that out. Do not under any circumstances buy an N95 mask.

First some background terminology: A surgical mask is a mask that keeps particulate matter inside the mask, and prevents it from spreading. It does not prevent aerosols from getting through. An N95 mask prevents 95% of particulate AND aerosols from passing through the filter. The difference between a particulate and an aerosol is just size, particulate is larger that aerosol.

The best practice is to avoid buying either kind of mask and make one yourself. When you make one yourself, it prevents any particulate and most aerosols from escaping the mask, and it doesn’t take any essential supplies from medical professionals. Here is a free pattern to sew your own mask, and a YouTube video for how to do it. They both require very little supplies, and can be made from old T-shirt material as long as you have a needle and thread.

So what do we do?

  1. Make or buy a homemade mask
  2. Wear the mask any time you intend to go in public (it’s not there to protect you, it there to protect everyone else)
  3. Keep washing your hands correctly and regularly
  4. Pick three to five friends, and spend time with them exclusively
  5. Maintain six foot social distancing between non-essential contacts
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