How to stay safe, and high, during a pandemic
Seattle, and much of the world, is surreal right now. People are staying home as much as possible, and schools are closed all over Washington state. Downtown Seattle streets are mostly empty, except for people stocking up on supplies. That includes cannabis.
So what’s a stoner to do in a pandemic? Cannabis and COVID-19 are somewhat problematic. Cannabis is a social drug, and one that’s commonly consumed by smoking, and COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Abstaining isn’t reasonable, or necessary for most. But there are some easy tips you can follow to stay healthy and reduce the risk to others’ health.
Wash your Goddamn Hands
Wash your hands before you smoke or eat and edible. After you’re done, wash them again. If you’re thinking about washing your hands right now, go do it. You can’t wash them enough. Also, moisturize those puppies to keep them healthy.
Eat Edibles if you Can
Smoking and even vaping might not be the best thing to do right now. Compromising your respiratory health in any way is probably best to avoid. If you can eat edibles instead of smoking or vaping, do it! Get something you can share safely if you need to, individually wrapped items are ideal.
Clean Your Piece
Not everyone wants to or can switch to edibles. If you’re going to keep smoking, please, for all that’s holy, clean your glass pieces.
Here’s a video on how to clean your glass piece. It recommends rubbing alcohol, but obviously that’s in short supply. Simple green also works great, as does an actual glass pipe cleaner. Use what you have and if you have a really dirty piece that you can’t get all the way clean with what you have, don’t use it. Maybe even get rid of it. Buy a new piece or smoke joints.
If you vape, clean your battery and cartridge regularly, wipe it down like you are your devices. Don’t let your piece be home to cannabis and COVID-19.
Puff Puff DO NOT PASS
Don’t smoke or vape with people right now! Share, by all means, times are tough. But don’t share joints, pipes, etc. Give someone a bud or joint to smoke personally if they’re broke and out of cannabis. But you don’t want to give your friends cannabis and COVID-19. That’s a huge bummer. You can be a friend and still stay safe.
Cannabis delivery is still illegal in Washington state, but you can preorder cannabis from many cannabis retailers. This is a great way to practice social distancing by keeping trips to cannabis stores short and sweet and minimizing contact with staff and customers. Look at the inventory before you go in. Order, and go in and pick it up. Simple.
Utilize Delivery if Possible
Those who have cannabis delivery available in their area should use it. If not, have someone in your household who is going out for another necessity stop and get it to limit trips. If you have a friend or family member who is sick and needs to re-up, deliver it to them if you’re able.
Stock Up Slowly
Panic buying is helping no one. Buying out inventory unnecessarily hurts people who can’t afford to stock up. This is true for everything, cannabis included. Cannabis is a necessity for some. Instead, buy a little more than you need each time you go out. That way you’ll have some extra for when you need it, but you’re not creating a supply chain issue.
Tip Your Budtenders Well
Your budtenders don’t get to work from home. They may not even have sick leave, or any paid time off. They’re risking a pretty nasty illness because they need money to live, and you need weed. So if you’re privileged enough to be able to afford cannabis right now, you better tip your budtenders accordingly.
Tipped employees are at the mercy of their patrons, which is income that will be incredibly hard to replace even with unemployment benefits. None of us know what is going to happen in the coming weeks and months with this illness or the economy. So let’s take care of each other. Tipping generously is one very real, very direct way you can help people who have to work in this pandemic.
Look on the Bright Side
It’s not all doom and gloom! Most of us (supply hoarders excluded) are working together to keep each other safe and healthy. It’s refreshing to see.
Another silver lining is the CO2 emissions reduction from all of this slowing down. It might end up improving more people’s respiratory health than it harms in then end.
Plan, don’t panic and take care of yourself, your friends, family, and neighbors. And go ahead and get high. Cannabis and COVID-19 don’t need to go hand in hand.
Cannabis molecule image courtesy of 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Steven Schwartz
CORVID-19 image courtesy of CDC