Don’t Panic! The Pot Mates Response to COVID-19 — Keeping You Safe

Illustration of the morphology of coronaviruses; the club-shaped viral spike peplomers, colored red, create the look of a corona surrounding the virion when observed with an electron microscope.

The novel coronavirus is still a threat, so the two most important things we keep doing to preven its spread are stay home and keep calm. Pot Mates can help with both. While restaurants have shut their doors or switched to delivery, school’s out forever, and all but the most essential businesses have closed, Pot Mates is still committed to delivering premium cannabis to your doorstep. And we’re not going to leave you hanging in fear and uncertainty.

Each of us has an important role to play in maintaining the health and safety of our community. There are small adjustments to our everyday lives that can make a world of difference in our fight against the virus and Pot Mates is uniquely equipped to minimize the risk of transmitting or contracting it when purchasing cannabis. We’re going to share some general guidelines for doing your part, offer some transparency into our health and safety guidelines, and share some ways to keep your cool while sheltering in place. You can also read about how we use 3D printing to make our own masks and join our Folding@Home team to help find a treatment.

If we work together to stay apart and aloft, we can beat this thing.

What You Can Do

The primary way to catch the virus is from someone else who has it, specifically from the aerosolized droplets they might expel from a sneeze or a cough. These droplets can land directly in the mouth or nose of another person or they can be picked up from nearby surfaces. Then it’s just a short trip to the face. (Did you know that the average person touches their face over 300 times per day? Crazy.) Here’s what the CDC says you can do to protect yourself and the people around you from contracting the coronavirus:

Wear a Mask

Everyone 2 and older should be wearing a mask when they’re in public and staying at least six feet apart from people you don’t already live with. If someone in your house is sick, you should both be wearing masks to prevent transmission. Make sure your mask has at least two layers of cloth, and be sure to wash your hands before putting it on. Also, and this should go without saying, your mask needs to cover your mouth and your nose because you use both to breathe.

Wash Your Hands (like, a lot)

Now is not the time to slack off on hand-washing. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time you aren’t sure about the last thing you touched and especially when you return home from going anyplace else. Coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for up to three days. The WHO has a great infographic here outlining the best technique for thoroughly cleaning your hands.

If there’s no soap and water handy, you can use hand sanitizer, just make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol (that’s 120 proof).

Cover Your Mouth

There’s never a tissue when you need one, so if you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on, try to direct it into your elbow—even when you’re wearing a mask. The additional force increases the risk of transmitting potentially infectious droplets through the cloth. If you are lucky enough to have a tissue, throw it away as soon as you’re done. No need to keep potentially infectious goop around in your pocket. Always wash your hands immediately after sneezing or coughing—even if you’re just coughing from hitting a joint too hard. Remember the droplets!

Keep Your Distance

Normally, we love a good high-five or a fist bump, but right now we could all use some space. Those infectious droplets can travel up to six feet from the person who coughed them out, so it’s best to stay more than six feet away from other people. No touching! We know that sucks, but we’re trying to be smarter than the disease here. The most effective way to keep your distance is to only leave home when it’s absolutely necessary—getting groceries, picking up prescriptions, or visiting the doctor. Also you can feel good about taking a walk as long as you stay on the other side of the street from other people. Exercise is important.

Clean Your Surfaces

Clean and disinfect frequently-touched-surfaces like doorknobs, faucets, handles, tables, phones and even your cannabis smoking implement of choice. If you run out of disinfectant, you can make your own by diluting 4 teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water, or use an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol. The EPA has put together a chart of other disinfectants that are effective against the coronavirus here.

When in Dobut, Be This Hamster

If you need a quick refresher on how you can help stop the spread of coronavirus, check out this socially responsible hamster:

@hamstarz

He is doing all he can to stop the spread of Corona…..are you?😉 (Tips from CDC) 👍🏻 ##hamster ##corona ##cdc

♬ Its Corona Time – Red Knight

Safety and Handling: What We’re Doing

So what’s Pot Mates doing to safeguard against coronavirus? We’ve actually been pretty good about clean handling from the beginning, so COVID-19 has just increased our commitment to sanitation. Everyone from our packaging team to our deliver drivers wears gloves already to prevent the degradation of THC from touching it with our hands and we change gloves every time we change activities. We prepackage our products in selected quantities which are then left alone long enough to get rid of the virus. We also place orders inside of a childproof exit bag before bringing it to you for cannabis products that don’t already come in childproof packaging.

Every time we change activities, we wash our hands and we disinfect all of our frequently-touched-surfaces. As a final precaution, our handlers and delivery drivers wear masks that we 3D-printed ourselves so as not to encroach upon Oregon’s limited supply of personal protective equipment.

We take this stuff seriously! You can trust us to stay up-to-date on new guidelines as the situation develops.

Delivery Guidelines

Thanks to modern technology, you can safely enjoy premium cannabis in the comfort of your own home without having to break your self-isolation. We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make our cannabis delivery system work without compromising your (or our) safety, and there are a few things you should know before we get there.

Our delivery drivers will always show up wearing fresh gloves and masks. We’ll still need to verify your age by peeping your photo ID, but you don’t have to worry about signing for the delivery—for now. That would be too much close contact.

As much as we want to give you a fist bump or a bro-hug, we’re going to avoid touching you during deliveries and we ask that you do the same. We’ll still hand you your order, but we’ll be careful to only hold it from our side so you can take it securely from yours.

Finally, to avoid exchanging cash as best we can, we use a contactless payment system called Hypur that you can use for digital payment. It helps us complete transactions online as much as possible. We also have debit and credit card options, but its safer if you pay online so we do not have to handle your card. It’s better for all of us.

Hypur

Hypur is a mobile app for processing electronic payments securely, for free. It works by sending a direct payment from your bank account with no signup or transaction fees. There’s a two-step process for secure checkout: you just select your dispensary (Pot Mates) and enter your 4-digit Personal Access Code. With Hypur, we can ensure a safe delivery environment for our customers and an (almost) entirely touchless process. You can download Hypur on the App Store and Google Play and sign up now.

Having a good time while social distancing

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. We’re not hiding out in our little foxholes, waiting for the scary virus to go away, we’re depriving it of its ability to propagate and proliferate. So why not have a good time while we’re cooped up inside? That’s what cannabis is all about, right?

This is a great opportunity to get to know yourself. Whether you’re working from home or temporarily funemployed, you can re-engage with your hobbies or take on some new creative pursuits. Free from distractions, you could create some wonderful art or write the next great American novel—maybe humanity’s triumph over a deadly disease set in a not-too-distant future? Settle in with some delivered cannabis and a good soundtrack, then kick back to see what happens.

You could also use the time to learn new skills. Or read up on on how to stay safe while enjoying cannabis, in case you know someone that wants to try it for the first time and you can’t be there for them. Everybody should know how to roll a joint, and we have a tutorial for you here on proper joint smoking etiquette. Or maybe you’d like to try your hand at baking? It’s pretty easy to make your own canna-butter, you can read how in the “Eating It” section of our Ways to Consume Cannabis article.

A lot of us miss the traditional smoking circle at 4:20, but you can still FaceTime your friends for a virtual smoke session. In fact, you can even kick it and watch a movie together with a free Chrome plugin called Netflix Party. If you all order food from one of the restaurants in Portland offering delivery, it’ll be just like a regular Friday night!

We’d love to hear how you’re keeping your chill during this pandemic, so leave a comment and spread the wealth!


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