In This Issue
• Fun Facts
• Healthy Note
April 2020 Issue 31
Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place and Other Restrictions on Movement Relating to COVID-19
The Department of Homeland Security, through the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines,[1] has identified the following as essential workers:
• Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair techni-cians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdictional travel).
• Workers including truck drivers, railroad employees and contractors, maintenance crew, and cleaners supporting transportation of chemi-cals, hazardous, medical, and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and services, including specialized carriers, crane and rigging industry workers.
• Bus drivers and workers who provide or support intercity, commuter and charter bus service in support of other essential services or func-tions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance[2] to truck drivers delivering needed supplies to New York City, an area of widespread community COVID-19 outbreak, which provides:
• Truck drivers delivering needed supplies should stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid be-ing within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible.
• To the extent that truck drivers have to stay in restricted areas to get required rest, they should wash their hands frequently and practice social distancing to the extent possible.
The CDC’s March 28, 2020 Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which urged residents of those States to refrain from domestic travel for 14 days, expressly excluded “employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking.” The CDC Advisory noted that these employees “have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules.”[3] FMCSA realizes that long haul drivers may be on the road for days or weeks at a time.
The CDC has issued guidance that, when drivers return to their domicile location, they should follow the recommendations of the State or local officials in the areas in which they live.
The CDC recommends that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including washing their hands regularly, staying home when sick, covering their coughs and sneezes, and maintaining distance from others. 1-833-GTS-TANK
Simple hygiene measures can help protect your
family’s health and everyone else’s.
Don’t touch your face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately.
Keep your distance
Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Wash, wash, wash your hands
Yes, you’re hearing it everywhere, because it’s the best line of defense. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-30
Make sure to wash hands after you blow your nose, sneeze into a tissue, use the restroom, when you leave and return to your home,
before preparing or eating food, applying make-up, handling contact lenses etc.
If using a hand sanitizer ensure that it contains at least 60 per cent alcohol, ensure coverage on all parts of the hands and rub hands
together for 20-30 seconds until hands feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Did you know? Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses — as long as you use soap and wash
your hands the right way!
So what’s the best way to c lean your hands? Simply use soap and water! The CDC has this down to a science:
• Get your hands wet, turn off the water, and apply soap.
• Rub your hands together to lather up the soap. Clean every surface from between your fingers and under your nails to your palms and
back of your hands.
• Scrub for at least 20 seconds. If you need a way to time it, sing or hum “Happy Birthday” twice through.
• Turn the water back on and rinse well.
Dry your hands with a clean towel and use the towel to turn off the water.
However, if you don’t have access to soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
(as long as your hands are not visibly soiled or dirty).
Fun Facts
• 70% of dust particles are comprised of
skin flakes.
• If you clean for 2 hours, you burn 200
• Listerine was invented as a surgical antiseptic
and, without changing its formula,
morphed over 40 years into an oral
antiseptic, astringent and astonishingly
successful mouthwash.
• Food dropped on the floor gathers 150
to 8,000 bacteria every 5 seconds.
• Did you know that most antibacterial
cleaner must be left on surfaces for 30
to 60 seconds before wiping away.
• Purses and handbags have up to
10,000 bacteria per square inch and
30% of them contain fecal bacteria.
• Your phone holds more than 500 times
more germs than the toilet.
• Running low on antibacterial spray—
lemons are a great disinfectant.
• Packaged bottles and cans are stored in
all sorts of places and often their caps
are licked by mice.
• Typical office workers hands come in
contact with 10 million bacteria per day.
• 1 in 5 people don’t wash their hands
and of those that do only 30% use soap.
• By disinfecting your workspace you can
reduce sick days by 30%.
• About 72% of shopping carts contain
fecal matter.
• 1 in 5 adults admit to peeing in public
• You are born bacteria free but acquire
them after birth.
Coronavirus and Trucking
As cities and states have raced to shut down businesses to prevent the
spread of Covid-19, the roads have gone quieter. Normally gridlocked cities
like Los Angeles and Chicago have seen much faster traffic speeds during
so-called rush hour—53 percent and 70 percent, respectively—as residents
hunker down and hope social distancing does its work.
But shelter-in-place orders are harder to carry out when your office is
moving 65 mph, traveling hundreds of miles a day, and helping to move
the emergency supplies that are keeping the country running during an
unprecedented public health crisis
One point of contention is that essential feature of the truckers’ life: the
truck stop. Even as public health officials close down restaurants and bars
for fear of spreading the novel coronavirus, truckers are hoping states
make an exception for their travel centers. In Pennsylvania, a Tuesday
shutdown of public interstate and turnpike stops led to a revolt from two
national lobbying groups, the American Trucking Association and the
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The groups say truckers
need those places to sleep, because parking lots are often the safest
places for drivers to pull over for some shuteye. On Thursday, the Pennsylvania
DOT said it would reopen the parking lots and bathrooms in 13 of
the 30 state-operated stops.
Still, coronavirus has changed life for drivers. TA-Petro, one of the nation’s
largest travel center operators, has closed its driver lounges and
fitness centers, and, to the disappointment of many, shut down its buffets
and soup and salad bars in states where public officials have closed restaurants.
Drivers can still pick up take-out food and take showers at the
company’s facilities. A competitor, the Pilot Company, has had to close its
gaming rooms in Illinois, Louisiana, and Nevada. Some truckers use refillable
mugs at truck stops. Don’t do that anymore, the companies say.
(You’ll still qualify for the refillable mug discount.)
“ The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising
every time we fall.”
~ Nelson Mandela
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If
you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have
~ Oprah Winfrey
Q & A about the Coronavirus?
Q: What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of hundreds of viruses that can cause fever, respiratory problems, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms too.
The 2019 novel coronavirus is one of seven members of this family known to infect humans, and the third in the past three dec ades to jump
from animals to humans. Since emerging in China in December, this new coronavirus has caused a global health emergency.
How does it spread?
It’s likely to be transmitted in droplets from coughing or sneezes, and the virus has a two – to 14-day incubation period. That means people
could be infectious for quite a while before symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath emerge.
What are the particular symptoms of Covid-19?
In the confirmed cases so far, most people get a fever with a dry cough; smaller numbers of folks might experience shortness of breath, a
sore throat, or a headache.
How can I avoid catching the coronavirus?
• Wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your
hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands. You get the point.
• Clean all of your tech equipment. Just like your hands, your smartphone and keyboard and headphones and anything else gets ge rms
on it.
If you’re in a high-risk group (over 60, have preexisting lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system) yo u should
seek treatment if you get sick, since it can quickly go from cough to full-blown pneumonia. Call your doctor or clinic first with your suspicions
so they can direct you appropriately. If you’re not in a high-risk group, better to self-isolate at home with plenty of fluids and anti-fever meds.
Odds are you’ll recover, and this way you won’t expose anyone. Still call your doctor, so they know what’s going on—they may be able to
direct you to people at the health department who can conduct testing. Don’t go to the ER unless you’re really experiencing l ife-threatening
Q: How did it get its official name?
The international committee tasked with classifying viruses has named the new one SARS-CoV-2, because of its close genetic ties to another
coronavirus, the one that causes SARS. However, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2—remember, that’s the disease characterized by
coughing, fever, and respiratory distress—is called Covid-19. It’s the name officially bestowed upon the ailment by the World Health Organization.
WHO’s task was to find a name that didn’t demonize a particular place, animal, individual, or group of people and which was also pronounceable.
It’s pronounced just like it sounds: Co-Vid-Nine-teen.
Q: How do coronaviruses even work?
Coronaviruses are divided into four groups called: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. These little invaders are zoonotic, meaning they can
spread between animals and humans; gamma and delta coronaviruses mostly infect birds, while alpha and beta mostly reside in m ammals.
Researchers first isolated human coronaviruses in the 1960s, and for a long time they were considered pretty mild. Mostly, if you got a coronavirus,
you’d end up with a cold. But the most famous coronaviruses are the ones that jumped from animals to humans.
Coronaviruses are made up of one strip of RNA, and that genetic material is surrounded by a membrane studded with little spik e proteins.
(Under a microscope, those proteins stick up in a ring around the top of the virus, giving it its name—“corona” is Latin for “crown.”) When the
virus gets into the body, those spike proteins attach to host cells, and the virus injects that RNA into the cell’s nucleus, hijacking the replication
machinery there to make more virus. Infection ensues.
The severity of that infection depends on a couple of factors. One is what part of the body the virus tends to latch onto. Le ss serious types of
coronavirus, like the ones that cause the common cold, tend to attach to cells higher up in the respiratory tract—places like your nose or
throat. But their more gnarly relatives attach in the lungs and bronchial tubes, causing more serious infections. The MERS vi rus, for example,
binds to a protein found in the lower respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract, so that, in addition to causing respi ratory problems, the
virus often causes kidney failure.
The other thing that contributes to the severity of the infection is the proteins the virus produces. Different genes mean di fferent proteins;
more virulent coronaviruses may have spike proteins that are better at latching onto human cells. Some coronaviruses produce proteins that
can fend off the immune system, and when patients have to mount even larger immune responses, they get sicker.