PEOPLE WHO ARE HOUSELESS and WHO USE DRUGS DURING THE COVID-19 SITUATION
We acknowledge shit is already tough for you, and unfortunately it is about to get worse. Together let’s help each other stay safe. Here are some helpful Harm Reduction suggestions and information.!
If you have suggestions to add let us know!
WHAT IS COVID-19?
is an illness caused by a newly identiﬁed type of coronavirus. It can cause a respiratory infection and lead to health problems. It’s usually mild and most people recover quickly, but it can be very serious for people with stressed immune systems or underlying conditions or older adults.
HOW DO PEOPLE GET COVID-19?
COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person by coughing or sneezing and getting exposed to droplets that have the virus in them. There aren’t known risk factors that seem to make a person more or less vulnerable to getting infected with the virus. The main risk is close contact with someone who has it. But in all honesty we are still learning shit as we go.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
The main symptoms feel like the ﬂu or a really bad cold:
* Dry Cough
* Shortness of Breath
These symptoms show up between 2 and 14 days after you’ve been exposed to the virus.
WHO IS AT INCREASED RISK?
People who are considered at increased risk include people over age 60, those with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease such as asthma/COPD, diabetes, or HIV, or people who are immunocompromised.
Keep your spaces clean and sanitized when possible
When possible wipe down surfaces where you are preparing drugs with antimicrobial wipes, or at least prepare them on a piece of foil or new newspaper. Before/after handling drugs, wash your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Be mindful if you’re buying drugs that are being held in peoples mouths, that it is putting you at a big risk right now.
Wash Your Hands – When and Where You Can
If you have access to clean water, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds. Sing a verse of “I Fought The Law” “Do They Owe Us A Living” “My Corona” “Fuck tha Police” or some hippy shit, whatever is your steez. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When using sanitizer, rub your hands together vigorously until they are dry. Basically wash and dry your hands often.
If you see a public spigot/
faucet or a portable washing station tell your friends.
Also carry Hand Sanitizer with you if possible.
Be Mindful If You Are Sick
If you have symptoms or think you’re getting sick (not necessarily from COVID19 but it can be hard to tell), try to keep some distance from folks that you know have compromised immune systems or health conditions. If there are other folks who can grab supplies for you, do that. If you need a drop-off of supplies, try calling us and maybe we can arrange something. But if you have symptoms you should wear a mask. There are already shortages of masks so we need to be strategic about using them. If you have HIV or weakened immune systems that requires medications, it is important to remember to take them.
If you have open wounds, sores, abcessses, you are at higher risk for catching the disease. Stay at least 6 feet away from any other person. Do not shake hands, hug, kiss, touch. You may catch it or pass it along to someone who won’t survive it.
Stock up on supplies, Really – Try Not To Share
Work with your local NX to get enough syringes and injecting equipment to last you a couple weeks. Do not share your safer drug using supplies or paraphernalia. This includes smoking supplies, for reals. If you need to reuse syringes, reuse only your own. If you are sharing a pipe, use new mouthpieces and/or wipe them down. Think about how you use, do you hold syringes in your mouth, the tourniquet etc? Be mindful about this. Dont share pushers either. Some NX’s may have syringe and supply shortages, so they may not be able to do this but ask. Also stock up on Naloxone/ Narcan.
Stock up on Drugs, Yep, I said it!
If possible, and believe me I know the ‘if possible’ part is tough, try to stock up on your drug of choice. Ration your use and supply because the supply will be affected. Be safe: Having larger amounts of drugs can be dangerous especially if the feds or cops are doing one of their round-ups or just fucking with folks as usual and we all know people get desperate enough and may rob you. So if you’re holding a larger quantity you may not wanna tell anyone. If you have a hard time managing your use and you have someone in your community you trust that either uses a different drug or isn’t using, you could ask them to hold them and ration them out to you and vice versa. Be strategic Don’t get caught without any and then we are on total lock down and no one will be on the streets.
Prepare for a Drug Shortage
Access issues will happen so seriously think about this reality. Consider how to deal with this. If you are facing potential opiate withdrawal, consider getting on Suboxone, just pick them up and take them when you’re sick enough. Once you are an established patient most places will refill you script especially during this situation. You can also go get on Methadone, it’s pretty easy.
Prepare around overdose
Emergency services may be stretched in a COVID-19 outbreak, and slow to respond. Load up on naloxone and fentanyl testing strips. If you’re using alone be extra careful, especially with fentanyl on the scene. You can always do more, but never less, go slowly. Communicate with folks, check on one another. Leave your Naloxone accessible.
If you are responding to an OD with rescue breathing, cover the person’s mouth, (even with your sleeve is good, poke a hole in a condom and breathe through it) barriers are important, breathing masks are ideal but are rare we know. Administer Naloxone/Narcan as needed.
Support one another and show kindness
This means basically, don’t be a dick. It is already rough out here and isolating. People are coping the best they can. A lot of people have anxiety and/or paranoia and it may escalate during this time, especially if they watch the media. So even if they are annoying you, it doesn’t mean you have to be a dick. It won’t help them and chances are, you wont feel better for it. Be of service, look out for one another, see if folks need anything cause you’re a useful resourceful person. Keep checking on eachother, friends and strangers. It is you the community out here saving each others lives.
Other helpful items to have
- Condoms, Lube,
- Garbage Bags,
- Biohazard Containers.
- Food and Water.
- Tents we feel are actually really good for “social distancing” meaning keeping your space from others to slow down the infection rate. So get tents and enjoy them until a “sweep” distrupts what little privacy you have.
We are searching for all kinds of supplies, medical and mental health care, hygiene and harm reduction supplies, suboxone, snacks, dog food, masks if you are symptomatic, etc. New information will be posted on TheStreetFairy.com Let us know if you find large quantities.
We Give a Shit About You, For Reals
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