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Car ride and covid?

A few days ago I rode with a friend in front and back. My front friends mask broke and he eventually took it off and my friend in the back ended up taking his mask off too. We ended up talking still. I’m not sure but I think it maybe more likely they don’t have covid. I kept my mask on though and didn’t go him until 4 hours later. How safe does this sound? How much am I putting the family I love with (ESPECIALLY MY MOM) at risk?
6 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
How long was the car ride? Are you in a location that has a lot of Covid cases?
2 Comments
The car ride was 15 minutes in Stockton, CA.
18854 total cases and 1873 from 8/28-9/10.
134578 tn?1614729226
And do you live with your mom?
2 Comments
Yes
You haven't mentioned your age or hers, but if your mom is over age 60 and has health challenges, I would also suggest quarantining yourself and seeing if you can get tested.
134578 tn?1614729226
I feel like that was a pretty short car ride, but you live in a place where there have been a lot of Covid cases and your friends were not masked. If you want to be cautious, wear your mask at home for two weeks to protect your mom.
1 Comments
My mom is 52 but is very healthy. Overall do you think I’m safe?
Avatar universal
You very well might want to get tested.  I'm not sure how you're going to wear a mask at home all the time, that's where you eat and wash etc.  The proper answer is if you really thought you were exposed to covid you need to quarantine yourself for 14 days, not just wear a mask, as nobody wears a mask all the time at home.  Now, if you have access to a quick results test that is an accurate test, you would know more.  I gather you're probably fairly young, and the sad reality is that right now that's where most of the infection is circulating because young people are not following CDC recommendations, as your two car mates did not do.  There is also no way to know if they have covid or not, as most younger people are asymptomatic but can still spread the disease.  Now, would I personally do these things?  I don't know.  I'm not young, so I'm never in that kind of situation. I'm married and my wife is pretty much the only person I've been close to for any length of time since this thing started without wearing a mask.  15 minutes in a car isn't the longest or most intimate contact you can have with someone, so I don't know what the risk really is, but just going by the guidance, if you wanted to do what was the perfect thing to do, you would quarantine until you had a couple of negative tests, and most of us don't really have access to that kind of testing.  For the most part, it's unlikely this will end up infecting anyone -- it's not like you were with them for a long time maskless.  I think it's between you and your Mom.  I also would say that, although California is the hardest hit state in the Union even if you lived in a state with very few cases you could not be sure because those states also don't test as much as California.  We know a lot more about California than, say, South Dakota, which has few people but no restrictions on behavior and very little testing encouraged.  So who would really know?  This is the world in which we live right now.  I'm guessing if I were in your shoes, I'd just go on with my life.  Young people are a lot more active and social than older ones especially right now, so the risk is much more prevalent.  But if I were king, I'd shut down the whole country and start over until the disease count was driven way down, and we didn't do that.  Peace.
2 Comments
I’m 27; the people riding in the car with me were in their early 40s.
In covid terms, that's young for you, but not for them.  But in terms of who is spreading the virus since Memorial Day, it's mainly people younger than 40 or so who decided it was okay to party.  It wasn't, and so we're in the fix we're in.  The only way to have stopped that was for all govt's in the US, local State and Federal to mandate one consistent policy so we could have driven the virus down to low levels before reopening.  For political reasons that nobody will ever comprehend fully I think, that didn't happen, and so the virus travels from place to place.  One part of the country locks down, it moves elsewhere.  If you knew definitely that either person was positive for corona, your course would have been to quarantine for 14 days or until you had something like 2-3 consecutive negative tests.  That's obviously contradictory, because if you're in quarantine how do you get tested?  There are ways, but it isn't being done in any coordinated fashion that I know of.  Which leaves quarantine.  But you don't know that they were positive, so you are in the dark.  They probably are in the dark, as they probably haven't been tested either.  You have to make the decision, and I'm guessing that by now you've gone home and already seen your Mom so what's done is done.  Most likely you don't have it and you haven't given it to anyone, but not by much -- I don't know how many younger people have it but it's a pretty high percentage when tested.  I feel for you -- this whole thing has been way more complicated than it should have been, and hopefully we'll have a vaccine that works soon and different govt's that govern, not preen.  Good luck to you and your Mom.
134578 tn?1614729226
How did it all come out? Everyone fine?
1415174 tn?1453243103
The CDC says "Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing." So cloth masks only protect you about 50%, medical masks about 70% and so you need to socially distance to be sure you are safe. The virus is airborne. So, enclosed areas carry the virus longer due to lack of ventilation. So a car has a high risk of spreading. The thing is there are many people who have no symptoms but can carry the Corona virus (Covid19 disease) and not know it. So hard to know if any of them knew if they had it for this reason. All of you can get tested. You can get false negatives so testing twice over a few days is better.  So as to how to handle not infecting your mother. You could get tested. Also, keep 6 feet distance. If you have any symptoms then get tested and if positive then you would have to quarantine.
mkh9
1 Comments
I think the indoors distance is more than 6 feet now.  The mask doesn't protect the wearer as much as it protects the other person unless you have an N95 mask that actually works and fits properly with a glass or plastic shield around that.  But if both you and the other person are wearing masks, the protection is much higher.  I don't know what the distance is anymore, as there is no specific guidance anymore.  I only know the virus travels further than 6 feet, probably ten feet, but I'm not sure official guidance really exists anymore for political reasons, so who knows?  I also don't know if they know if the airborne particles actually cause disease or serious disease, only that they are there and can be breathed in.  I never would have imagined we'd still be so much in the dark this long into it.
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