Galloway Woodturners

We're in Galloway and we turn wood

Covid-19 Precautions

Hi, Folks,

I’m speaking here as a retired doctor, and as someone (like many of you) who is in the demographic that is more likely to become seriously ill if infected by this virus.

I don’t want to be a doom-monger, but I became concerned at the club last night about the sanitary facilities. I’m not particularly germ phobic, and in normal circumstances I don’t have a problem beyond “Yuk!” with the damp hand-towel in the loo. I know it gets washed from time to time, (I do it myself sometimes), but by the end of the evening, who knows how many people have washed their hands and dried them on that towel? Our lives may depend on every single club member washing their hands properly before drying them. Do I trust you, or you, or you to wash well? Probably. Do I trust everyone, collectively? Probably not. Italy, just two weeks ahead of us in this epidemic, is having to allow the over 65s to die unventilated, because their normally excellent health care system is overwhelmed and they cannot admit everyone that needs it to ITU. That’s a scary thought. Would the NHS cope any better? We must do what we can, individually and collectively, to avoid spreading this virus.

I would like to suggest that the club invest in paper towels/kitchen towels for the loos, at least until this risk passes, as well as bottles of alcohol-based hand gel if and when they become available, particularly when people handle things. Pass the demo item round by all means, but precede it with the hand gel. Similarly, people should be expected to use gel before handling the competition items. Gel should be used after handling money. Shared visors could be wiped over with a bleach-containing kitchen cleaner after use. Should we switch to disposible coffee cups for the time being? Any other suggestions?

I know hand gel is difficult to come by at the moment, but maybe if club members find some, they could buy two or three extra bottles for the club, and save the receipts for reimbursement?




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10 Responses to “Covid-19 Precautions”

  1. Judith Simpson says:

    David pointed out that not everyone will know that ITU is the Intensive Therapy Unit, aka Intensive Care. Sorry.


  2. Rolf Buwert says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, and have ordered two paper dispensers and 6 paper rolls for each. This means that all that paper needs to be collected and disposed off, so if anyone has a spare bin, or box we could put a bin liner into, and then we could take it to the end of the road (recycling centre).
    Hand gel is also a good idea, and for those folks who have bought more than they immediately need could maybe donate them to the club – because hand gel can protect us if we use it, but if we share it with others then that gel protects us from them. (this is a pet hate of mine – people are scared of the virus so they buy up all the hand gel. In doing so they ensure other people are a much higher risk to them because they are unable to sanitise their hands. Buy what you need, and no more.)
    Proper handwashing is the key and we should all wash our hands properly when we come into, and when we leave the workshop, using a bar of soap rather than a pump soap dispenser. Again if you have a spare bar of your favourite soap, or want to bring in a bar of carbolic soap, feel free.

  3. Judith Simpson says:

    Thanks, Rolf. Glad to hear it!


  4. Phil Jones says:

    I agree. I think we could do with a third dispenser in the kitchen as well Rolf. And it would probably be worth us trying to get into the habit of emptying all the bins (kitchen, workshop, toilets) every night that the workshop is used so things aren’t left to fester.

  5. James Brown says:

    HI guys I bought 3 bacterial soap dispensers one for each toilet ,one for kitchen also bought kitchen roll drying hands in toilets & kitchen

  6. James Brown says:

    hi guy bought 3 new soap bacterial dispensers for the two toilets & kitchen also kitchen rolls for drying hands also for two toilets & kitchen towel been removed
    yours jimmy

  7. Judith Simpson says:

    Anti-bacterial soap isn’t generally a good idea. It leaves clean hands, but the good bacteria don’t grow back, giving the more dangerous bacteria chance to multiply. Not that we are currently dealing with bacteria, of course, but plain soap and hot water works as well as anything. Alcohol-based hand gel is good for when soap and water aren’t easily available.


  8. Mike Jacob says:

    I am quoting from the ‘Centre for Disease Control & Infection’ website –

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    Whilst totally agreeing with Judith about the necessity for good personal hygiene to try and stop the spread of hand-to-mouth germs (Salmonella being a good example ), surely the simplest way to avoid spreading the Covid-19 virus is to postpone or cancel all ‘get-togethers’ until the pandemic is over? Mike Jacob

    • Rolf Buwert says:

      Thanks for that Mike,
      The Centre for Disease Control & Infection (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States, and as such the advice is based on private healthcare where you have to pay for virus testing etc. and your care varies according to your health insurance, whereas the NHS do it for free. The USA attitude is quite different to the UK (I am not saying better or worse) so to get advice that is compatible with the care we get under the NHS I suggest we go to as our fists information source.
      I am very wary of postponing or cancelling meetings in general as there are negative outcomes of making folks stay at home, such as social isolation, lack of exercise, depriving folks of the fresh air daylight etc that kills viruses. I agree with Judith, and we shall see how the government advice changes, and we can decide ourselves if we want to attend meetings based on our own feelings.

  9. Judith Simpson says:

    I’m sure Mike is absolutely right. Clearly, if and when the government advises that clubs should cease meeting, GWT should follow that advice. In the meantime, everyone must make their own decision on whether to attend or not, and they certainly should not be attending whilst suffering from any respiratory infection. Whether the club should continue normally in the absence of government advice to the contrary is a decision the committee may wish to consider, but one I would not be pressing for at present.

    If the club does stay open for those who wish to attend, we have to do what we can to reduce the risk of transmission, and I’m very glad to hear that the manky towel has gone.

    Personally speaking, I think it is unlikely I will be present at the next meeting, but I shall wait and see how the situation evolves.

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