Here’s a little open thread for today since different organizations and different cities are all over the place: How is your office handling the pandemic at this point?
- Is your office open? Are you required to go in (or will you be at some definite date in 2022)?
- Does your office have a vaccine mandate/regular testing requirement? Does it require masks, and if so where are masks required (e.g., shared spaces only)? (Have the holidays and/or Omicron affected the policy?)
- Has your office done anything of note about air quality, such as filters, Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, CO2 meters, or more?
- Are you told if someone in your office has tested positive for COVID? (Q inspired by a recent Ethicist column in the NYT!) Is there contract tracing? (If your hallmate tested positive but you did not work together, would you expect to know?)
- Does your office have a supply of COVID tests to distribute for free, or do they otherwise encourage testing (such as reimbursing purchased tests)?
- Is your workplace having holiday parties or gatherings this year (in person or via Zoom)?
- How are you personally handling work/COVID precautions at this point — are you in the office, what are your choices around masking, do you have windows open or a personal air filter, etc.? If you have your own office with a door, are you wearing your mask in your office? Have you changed your commute in response to the holidays/Omicron/the pandemic in general?
What a time to be alive, right? I can’t wait to see the different responses…
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If you’re curious about some of the products mentioned above, here are some links — I’d love to hear if you’ve had good or bad experiences with anything.
- CO2 meters: Strongly considering getting one of these for our family. Here’s a NYT article on how they work; this Aranet device ($250) is the one I’ve considered purchasing in the past.
- Corsi-Rosenthal boxes: Really powerful air filters you can DIY for about $100 with a box fan and 20 x 20 MERV 13 filters (available at spots like Lowe’s and Home Depot). Here’s an NPR story on how to build them and why…
- Personal air filters: Pure Enrichment ($40), Wynd ($199) — my older son has something like this that he only turns on at lunchtime at school — I figured it might not help but wouldn’t hurt. (Here’s what the EPA says — these filters aren’t harmful but aren’t enough by themselves.) We’re also considering this car air filter but I want to research more. (I’ve read that some filters increase the chance of static electricity, so I need to assess what that means for cars and what my comfort level with that is.)
- At-home COVID tests: Both CVS and Walgreens sell home COVID tests; your local library and other sources may have them for free. (Note: If you have private health insurance, you should soon be able to get reimbursed for home tests.)
Let’s hear from you guys — what is your office doing? What are you doing at work? (Also, where are your best sources for good masks — and are you changing your mask choices at this time?)
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