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Allen Family Relates Life with Covid-19

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McKENZIE (March 30) — The family of Jeremy, Megan, Fisher and Ruby Allen are quarantined in their McKenzie home after Jeremy tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Sunday, March 15. Sunday, March 30 marked 14 days since Jeremy, an associate of the McKenzie Parks Department and a family pastor (students) at Overflow Church, started exhibiting flu-like symptoms, which later led to Jeremy being the first in McKenzie to test positive for the virus.

When Jeremy went to urgent care on March 16, he had a 101.3 degree fever and was diagnosed with strep. He followed the medicine regiment, but his condition did not improve. Jeremy went to his primary care physician on Wednesday, March 18 and had the test for COVID-19. His symptoms up to that point did not match those of the Coronavirus, but Jeremy went ahead and took the test. More of the virus symptoms began to occur throughout the week. He suffered from shortness of breath, weakness, dry cough and fever. He later received the news of the positive test on Sunday, March 22. The Tennessee Department of Health contacted Jeremy and helped the family understand quarantine policies. Jeremy was immediately quarantined and Megan began cleaning and disinfecting. They also notified employers, the babysitter, and others who had come in direct contact with Jeremy. Megan’s brother is a medical student and had provided information on quarantine and virus protection even before Jeremy’s diagnosis. Megan purchased gloves at local stores and placed an online order for masks. Those items became a necessity to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the household. “We were prepared,” said Megan.

Jeremy was quarantined to a separate bedroom and restroom away from the remainder of the family. Plastic sheeting was placed over the bedroom door to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the house. Megan and the children stayed away from the area and from Jeremy. While Megan and the children have stayed away from Jeremy, they have also stayed away from others.

Jeremy’s symptoms have continued to improve each day. His fever resolved Tuesday, March 17 and his cough became minimal throughout last week. Jeremy was retested Monday, March 30 and the family is hoping for a negative diagnosis. The Allens were blessed by members of the church, family and community.

Megan said God has had His hand on the family throughout this ordeal. The family received food, gifts, prayers, games for the kids and other blessings during the quarantine period. Most items were dropped at their front door.

The Allens want to help educate and inform the community of the symptoms, quarantine, and what it’s like to go through it as a family unit. Their main goal is to offer hope for those who may contract the virus or for those who know someone who does.

Megan and kids are still in quarantine to be sure they did not contract the virus. Megan travels outside the home for necessities on an extremely limited basis. When she does leave, she wears protective items to prevent the spread of the virus. They have just a few more days left.

Megan’s virus prevention recommendations are extensive. A list is available at www.mckenziebanner.com. She indicates to wash and disinfect every surface in the home to protect other family members.

The family moved to McKenzie from Tipton County when Megan accepted the position of Bethel University Renaissance Choir director. She also serves as the worship leader and youth director with Overflow Church.

The Allen Family’s Recommendations

Jeremy and Megan Allen shared the following tips and recommendations for quarantine and cleaning that have helped their family during Jeremy’s illness.

*Quarantine infected person to one room with one bathroom, if possible.

*Infected person must disinfect their area daily with their own cleaning supplies.

*Hang plastic sheeting (paint drop cloths) on quarantine room door to help keep cough particles from other areas of home.

*Bleach/disinfect bathroom(s) daily (not infected person’s).

*Bleach/disinfect laundry room floors.

*It may be helpful to disinfect washing machine as well.

*Disinfect laundry baskets and hampers.

*Wash all sheets, blankets, towels and linens.

*Bleach/disinfect toothbrushes. Put in the dishwasher and disinfect toothbrush holders (hydrogen peroxide can work too).

*Wash shower curtains.

*Washcloths and towels need to be washed every day (except the ones infected person has used-that go in the trash bag for a few days).

*Sanitize towel racks.

*Throw away loofahs and purchase new — infected person uses washcloth until cleared.

*Sanitize car doorhandles/steering wheels, touchscreens, console handles, keys, key fob, floor mats, personal mirrors, etc.

*Changing shoes — keep shoes outside or at the door and disinfect after sitting 24 hours.

*Purchase extra thermometers (avoid cross contamination).

*Use plastic cups, utensils and paper plates during this time, if possible.

*Use rubbing alcohol for disinfecting thermometers, phones, chargers, watches, remote controls, TV knobs, keyboards, wallet, credit cards, etc.

*Remove trash from home daily.

*Disinfect trash can lids inside home.

*Disinfect outdoor trashcan.

*Spray down mattress(es) with disinfectant.

*Wash all pillows that infected has slept on.

*Spray down all throw pillows with disinfectant.

*Disinfect all surfaces that are always touched — counters, refrigerator, microwave, oven, dishwasher, faucet handles (including shower/tubs) light switches, thermostat, etc.

*Disinfect eyeglasses/sunglasses.

*Be very diligent in caring/cleaning contact lenses and cases (replace if you get infected).

*Disinfect garage door openers on walls.

*Disinfect mailboxes.

*Change air filters in house.

*Don’t reuse towels or wash cloths.

*Wash clothes every day for the family — use color safe bleach if you can.

*Cover individual toothbrushes and keep them separate.

*Each person gets his/her own toothpaste.

*Disinfect robot vacuum bottom and on button.

*Disinfect brooms and mop heads after using.

*Keep hand sanitizer bottles around the house (hand washing with soap is best).

*Nail-biters paint fingernails so you will be reminded to not chew.

*Use gloves when handling money.

For the Infected Person:

*Record your symptoms daily. This is helpful when speaking to health professionals.

*Stay hydrated.

*Get fresh air. Open the window in quarantine room if outdoor temperature permits.

*Infected person must always wear a mask and gloves any time going or coming from restroom or anywhere else in the house (Use mask sparingly).

*House slippers outside of quarantine room and walk to bathroom, remove slippers and place back on when coming back out.

*Megan recommends men shave their beards.

*Infected person should shower as much as possible to get germs off.

*When removing clothes, all clothes, towels and washcloths should be placed in a trash bag for at least 24 hours before washing separately in hot water. Use color safe bleach if possible.

*Disinfect phone with and without case daily.

*Remove all decorative towels, rugs, cloth shower curtain until quarantine is finished.

*The Allen family suggests keeping restroom ventilation fan running at all times if possible.

*Open blinds and curtains — sunlight is good.

*Quarantine can disturb you emotionally as well as physically. Anything you can do to keep mind off circumstances is great. Try to avoid watching TV the whole time. Read/study, call friends, make something that can be disinfected, type letters/emails to friends, play video games, etc.

* The Allens recommend infected person do deep breathing exercises.

*Do not withhold the coughs.

*Cover mouth.

*The CDC recommends to stay home until instructed to leave. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

*After quarantine is lifted, disinfect quarantine room and bathroom.

Things that have helped the Allen family:

*Pray as a family together every single day.

*Keep somewhat of a daily schedule or routine.

*No hugging infected; air hugs work.

*Do not use quarantine restroom.

*Do not go near quarantine area.

*Wash hands all the time.

*Try not to pick your nose.

*If you cough or sneeze do it inside your shirt.

*No kissing or hugging.

*No sharing drinks or food.

*No sharing screens (phones, tablets, etc.)

*Take temperatures daily.

*Allow people to help you. This is hard for those of us who aren’t good at that. You will need help. And it makes you so grateful!—

*Create a space on porch or in driveway/door for drop off. Leave sanitizer or disinfecting wipes as a courtesy to those who are dropping off food, supplies, etc.

*Kids project-paper chain links with names of everyone who has helped your family along the journey — serves as a reminder of how blessed you are!

*Make a sign to keep track of quarantine days. It serves as a great visual for kids as well as adults.

*Write an encouraging note to yourself that offers hope and peace.

*Once quarantine is over, continue to wear gloves and masks and take extra care when in public.

For Everyone Else:

*If at all possible, stay at home.

*When going out in public places, cover nose and mouth and use gloves especially when handling shopping carts, pumping gas, paying with cash, using ATMs, public restrooms, etc.

*Sanitize your credit/debit card and wallet.

*Keep hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, rubbing alcohol wipes and mask in car.

*Leave shoes outside house if possible.

View CDC recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions

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