Dr. Sam Downing gave an informative talk on March 19th on the Coronavirus-19 and addressed concerns specifically related to seniors.
To listen to his talk click the link below:
Hi. I just moved here from South Dakota. I'm a breast surgeon who will be working at YRMC. I also posted this on FB. This is a great list of things to do to keep safe. It's from an infectious disease MD I know in South Dakota. I am also following his advice. None of us knows what will happen next, but it doesn't hurt to practice some common sense. -Juliann Reiland, MD Prescott, Arizona
From Fares Masannat, MD March 12 at 9:18 PM
1. Please accept that your life will now change. Your habits will change. Most of your plans will be canceled but it’s all temporary so be patient.
2. The number of people with this infection will continue to increase very quickly. In some countries, the number increased 7-times within one week only.
3. The best way to prevent its spread is social distancing, which means you have to keep a distance from other people and avoid leaving your house unless needed.
4. I cannot emphasize that enough. Don’t leave your house unless you have to. Cook at home, make your own coffee. Shop online. Don’t visit anyone at the hospital or nursing home these days.
5. If you leave your house, think of 2 main things that can put you at risk: 1- people, 2- surfaces. PEOPLE: anyone within a 2-meter distance (6 feet) can transmit the infection. That’s why it’s better to avoid to crowded places. However if you’re in a class or a meeting where you’re sitting far away from others, your risk is lower than a crowded place. SURFACES : infected people can leave the virus on surfaces like tables and chairs and door knobs. So be aware of everything you touch outside the house and wash your hands or use a sanitizer right afterwards. If you end up touching those surfaces often and you can’t clean your hands right away, avoid touching your face as much as possible.
6. You can still go out but remember people and surfaces. So if you’re going to a store try to go in off-peak hours when there are very few people. You can go for walks. The gym is more challenging- if it’s nearly empty and you can ensure people will be 2 meters away from you and you can sanitize your machine/weights, then go for it. But if you can hold off that’s better.
7. If you’re about to meet someone, get into the habit of asking them if they have a cold, fever, or cough or recovering from one and cancel if they do. It’s safest to avoid weddings, gatherings, games, religious services...etc
8. Avoid any travel that is non-essential by any method other than your own car.
9. Even when the situation gets worse, basic food and clean water and supplies will still be available. Have a 5-day supply of food in case you yourself get sick and can’t leave the house for a while but there’s no need to hoard on items.
10. Tell your parents or anyone you know who has a weak immune system to not leave their house. Volunteer to buy things for them because your risk is lower if you get infected.
11. The death rate is between 1-2%, which is at least 10-20 times higher than influenza. But even if your risk is low, avoid getting infected because you can transmit it to people who aren’t as lucky. Also healthy young people have died from COVID. With all that said, you’re MUCH more likely to survive without problems if you get infected.
12. Don’t expect a vaccine before at least one year from now. They’re producing them in labs but they may be totally ineffective in humans. Lower your expectations.
13. There’s no effective treatment although a couple of drugs may turn out to be effective eventually. Studies are being conducted.
14. Push your local and federal government to provide more testing. If you think COVID is uncommon in your area it’s probably because they’re not testing enough for it. There’s no way that no cases exist in Alabama.
15. If you realize you were exposed to COVID yourself or if you get infected, there’s no need to panic. Most likely you’ll be fine. Just make sure you notify all the people you were in contact with recently so that they can get tested and quarantine themselves. That’s why testing helps in prevention. Once your symptoms resolve and your test turns negative (twice) you’re not contagious any longer.
16. If you have an elective (non-urgent) surgery like a knee replacement or hernia repair, expect it to be delayed by several months unless it’s done shortly within a week or 2. Once the hospital is busy with Coronavirus they’ll start canceling non-essential procedures.
17. When the community selflessly works together, the infection will recede. Don’t pay attention to those who like to disrupt. Remember that the majority want this nightmare to be over.