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  • How walkie talkies can help when you're quarantined with an illness

    Bedside Walkie TalkieWhile we certainly hope this scenario isn't the case for you, it is an important one to address. In the event that someone in your family contracts the virus and needs to be isolated within the home, you will need a way to communicate back and forth and monitor the situation while maintaining the necessary protocols of quarantine. This is a situation in which walkie talkies could prove to be an absolute necessity.

    Isolating one or more family members within the confines of a home is not as simple as it sounds. It puts the entire family at risk. Recent studies have shown that a simple cough can eject micro droplets so small and light, they can hang around in a room with little or no cross-ventilation for hours, or even days, as illustrated in this video. Even normal speech can distribute such micro droplets within a short distance from the speaker.

    Considering this, the international recommendation for social distancing at a minimum of six feet or more makes perfect sense when in a public space. The problem is, the practice isn't always practical in a home environment. Since it is common for someone with an illness to be confined to bed in a room inside their apartment or home, the air in that room will fill with those micro droplets quickly, and unless there is plenty of cross-ventilation, those particles won't go away for a long, long awhile. While you should obviously provide care for the afflicted individual, it is also important to minimize unnecessary contact at the same time. You really don't want to go in there just to chat.

    Staying at home to distance yourself from the rest of the world is one thing. Isolating someone from the rest of the household is a more complicated matter. Obviously, the less direct contact you have with this person, the better, but how can you do this and still communicate with one another?

    The simple solution is to use radios. Using walkie talkies to communicate with an isolated individual can help everyone cope with the situation. Here are five ways walkie talkies can help when you're quarantined with an illness.

    Radios can help the quarantined patient communicate with you.
    The first and most obvious way to use these walkie talkies is to simply set one at the bedside of the patient in quarantine, and keep the other one for use by the caregiver(s) outside the quarantined area. When one party wants to talk with the other, just press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button and, well, talk. Pretty simple stuff. And you can expand your communications from there. You can provide radios to everyone in every area of the home, so they can all practice proper social distancing and assist with the home quarantine operations as needed.

    Radios such as the Midland T31VP and Cobra ACXT145 have a Call Alert or Call Tone feature that allows the patient to signal when he or she wants to talk. When the call button is pressed, the radio sends an audible alert tone to the other radios within range, much like when a phone rings to indicate a call is received and is waiting to be answered. Some radios have a single tone, while other models such as the Midland LXT633 may have 5 or more. The Midland X-Talker T75 has 10 selectable call tones, five of which are animal sounds. The Motorola T265 has as many as 20!

    Models like the Midland GXT1000 even have a whisper feature, which can give the quarantined patient the ability to call for assistance without having to raise their voice. This could be crucial, and can make deliveries of their food, water, and medical needs more efficient.

    Walkie Talkies can assist with monitoring the quarantined patient.
    If the patient is too sick or weak to physically operate a transceiver on their own, that patient will need to be monitored. This is anther area where walkie talkies may be able to help. The Midland T51VP3, Motorola Talkabout T402, Cobra ACXT345 and many other radios include a feature called Voice Activated Transmit, or VOX. When VOX is activated, the radio will be in a "listen mode" and automatically transmit any sound picked up by the microphone to the other radios. For instance, if the patient calls out for assistance, it can activate the radio to transmit. In this way the radio can be used hands-free.

    There are some caveats to this. VOX doesn't just activate by voice. It can be activated by any noise it picks up, any noise at all. If the patient is in a very quiet room, it may not be an issue. However, if there is anything else in the room that can generate noise, such as a TV, cell phone, or fan, it could be problematic, as the noise generated by any of those devices could also trigger the radio to transmit. This can sometimes be mitigated by adjusting the sensitivity settings for VOX in the radio, but will require quite a bit of trial and error.

    Also, there is usually a delay between the moment the sound is emitted and the time it takes for the radio to hear the sound and begin to transmit. This could be up to several seconds, depending on the radio, the VOX circuitry, and its setting. The delay can result in the first part of a transmission being clipped and not heard by the recipient. This is normal and can sometimes be minimized somewhat by playing around with the VOX sensitivity settings, but not entirely eliminated. It's not a perfect science, but it is possible to use VOX to monitor the audio in a room in certain circumstances and under the right conditions.

    Radios can help you communicate with everyone else inside and outside the quarantined area.
    Walkie Talkies allow everyone in the home to be separated and keep it all together at the same time, both figuratively and literally speaking. When one person or group is required to remain separated from another, walkie talkies keep everyone in both groups communicating in order to co-ordinate and maintain the necessary parameters for distancing within the domicile. This is especially important, as it can help to avoid cross contamination between the assigned spaces of those who are ill and those who are not.

    Radios can transmit fast, instant alerts to the entire household.
    Need to send an urgent message or alert to others in the home while avoiding direct contact with them? Walkie talkies can do that, too. The Motorola T480  and T600 are equipped with an emergency alert feature that allows you to signal everyone within range of an urgent matter or situation that requires their immediate attention. This can be especially useful if the quarantined patient takes a turn for the worse and needs medical attention or a trip to the hospital. It is important to understand that the emergency alert feature is not a substitute for calling 9-1-1 and it should not be misconstrued as such. It is not connected to any emergency system. It is merely intended for sending an alert to other family members in the household who are monitoring the patient that he or she may be in some distress or in urgent need of assistance.

    Radios can provide a measure of comfort and security for the patient.
    Let's face it, when someone is sick, they aren't just physically ill. The effects of quarantine and confinement is also an emotional and mental strain. The isolation can bring on feelings of loneliness and depression, which only adds to the physical discomfort or pain. Simply having a radio by the bedside can actually be psychologically beneficial, because they know can can call instantly, at the mere push of a button, and someone else in the household is likely to respond in kind. It symbolizes that even though no one can be in the same room, next to them, someone is nearby, monitoring them, and they are not truly alone. That is a very powerful and positive message, transmitted by the mere presence of a radio, without even pushing a button.

    It is our hope that this pandemic ends soon for everyone's sake, and everyone currently stuck at home or quarantined with the virus recovers completely and quickly so we can all resume our normal activities of life. However, if you do find yourself or your family in isolation, there are ways to help ease the stress of confinement, improve the quality of caregiving, and mitigate the risk to others by using reliable and efficient two way radio communications. Buy Two Way Radios can provide you with the guidance and recommendations needed to do this safely, effectively and at minimal cost.

  • How walkie talkies can help when you're stuck at home

    Four FRS Walkie Talkies For Stay at Home  QuarantineThere are many different ways you can use two-way radios or walkie talkies to make life easier and less stressful, especially during an emergency such as the 2020 pandemic. With much of the country under a stay-at-home order, we would like to share some of the ways you can use two-way radios to make your quarantine safer, more efficient, and maybe even a little bit more enjoyable. Here are three ways walkie talkies can help when you're stuck at home.

    Two-way radios can provide quick and easy communication between family members throughout the house. Maybe you are WFH or working from home in a secluded area of your domicile for privacy, and your spouse wants to let you know that lunch will be ready in a few minutes. A pair of handheld FRS radios such as the Midland X-Talker T31VP can quickly and easily accomplish this feat with minimal interruption, and without having to take anyone's eyes off the kids. Perhaps mom and dad need a break, so they send the kids outside to play in the yard to enjoy a day of no school and beautiful spring weather. When play time is over, calling them back inside for their studies or for a meal is a breeze with a small walkie talkie like the Cobra ACXT145 or Motorola T100 in tow!

    Midland X-Talker T20 Four PackWalkie talkies can be used as a source of entertainment for both children and parents alike! For most kids right now, the quarantine life is getting really old, and cabin fever is setting in. Many are missing their neighborhood pals and play dates. With social distancing regulations and stay-at-home orders still active for most states, a set of FRS radios such as the Midland T20 may help kids stay in touch with their friends nearby. The T20 radios are also available in a convenient and economical four pack, each with a different color, so each kid can be assigned their own color coded radio. We realize that there are many different technologies out there to keep kids connected, but one of the advantages of using such a radio system is that it won't bog down the bandwidth while mom and dad are working remotely. Plus, the radio airwaves are free to use! Ultimately, it's a win/win for both sides!

    Even though FRS radios may be license-free, easy to use, and cost-effective, they aren't mere toys, and they aren't just for kids. Take the Motorola TALKABOUT T280, for instance. This general purpose radio is also designed for emergency use, with 11 weather channels and NOAA weather alerts. The ease of instant push-to-talk communications over free airwaves make these and other FRS walkie talkies very efficient and cost effective for entire families to communicate with neighbors down the street at anytime, for just about anything. And it does all of this while maintaining the mandated protocol of proper social distancing!

    Buy Two Way Radios is here to help with your quarantine needs, and even though our sales staff is also working remotely, our warehouse is still up and running with no delays on shipments. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-584-1445, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thanks, and stay safe!

  • TWRS-148 - The COVID-19 Pandemic and Two Way Radios

    Two Way Radio Show
    We discuss the current national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to two way radios. We also tell you how to properly disinfect your radios and take some of your comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:23

    How we're dealing the COVID-19 pandemic 1:43
    We discuss the current national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we’re dealing with it at Buy Two Way Radios.

    Using radios for social distancing 18:57
    We discuss the importance of having radios during this national emergency and some ways they can be used to assist both small businesses and families with instant, effective communications for social distancing.

    Radios with antimicrobial properties 32:03
    We tell you which radios have antimicrobial properties that can be useful during the current situation and what the term antimicrobial really means. For more information, read Motorola radios with antimicrobial protection.

    How to clean and disinfect two way radios 43:46
    We explain how to properly clean and disinfect your radios for maximum personal protection.

    Questions and Answers 51:32
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Check out and join the new and improved forum! It's free!

    Wrap up and Close 1:01:06
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. If we read your comment about this episode on a future episode, we may send you a free Two Way Radio Show t-shirt! Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2020 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

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