Every morning I wake up with a heavy heart thinking of all the cases and losses we are experiencing around the world. I thought it would be important to have an update on everything going on with our COVID-19 pandemic since my last post.
As of today there are around 160,000 cases in the US and over 3,000 deaths.
It is important as a physician to empower people during this time. Important not to be scared, we know more about the disease now than we did a few months ago.
- The top states suffering from this is New York at about 60,000 cases, followed by New Jersey, California, Michigan and Washington State.
- What are the facts that we know about COVID-19? It is from the Corona Virus family, what is unique about it is that the human body has never seen this virus. Most common symptoms are fevers, cough and sore throat. Then the entire body gets effects. Most effected organ is the lungs. The disease lasts between 5-14 days. Mild disease feel better by day 5.
- How do you get this virus? The over arching theme is sustained contact with someone who has this disease. People with symptoms or someone who is getting the disease. In a closed room with 30-60 minutes of contact. Transmission hands to face!
How to protect yourself and your family?
- Whatever you touch wash your hands and then use hand sanitizer. Keep your hands clean! Know where your hands are!
- Work on not touching your face. Try to stop the habit. Be aware of when you’re touching your face. Wearing masks when you leave your house can help this because you stop touching your face.
- Social distancing is very important. Stand at least 6 feet away from people in shopping lines, when walking outside, etc.
- Keep your social circle small. Choose a few family members and set boundaries.
- FaceTime and video chat with your friends and family during this time
5. What do you do if you get COVID-19?
- If you’re able live in a separate room, have your , own bathroom. If interacting, to wear a medical mask.
- Contact your health professional if you feel you need advice.
- If your symptoms worsen such as shortness of breath and worsening cough GO TO THE HOSPITAL
6. What do you do if you have a mild cold?
- Take same precautions of COVID-19 for the first 2-3 days. If you improve then can go back to normal when your improved.
7. Does my pet carry the virus on skin or fur?
Based on CDC information there is no evidence that your pet can carry the virus on their skin or fur.
8. Transmission is droplets based on what we know. Very small amount can be airborne (for medical and dental professionals)
9. Is it safe to go outdoors?
Yes it is safe to go for short walks with members of the family that you’re living with, but obviously practice social distancing, hand washing, and even consider wearing a mask ( to practice not touching your face)
10. Should we disinfect our packages and groceries delivered?
yes, have them drop it off at your door and disinfect and hand wash/clean packages.
11. What drugs can we use to remedy if you’re at home with symptoms?
if early stages and milder symptoms okay to take Tylenol and avoid ibuprofen. Symptom relief with medications such as dayquil/nyquil and nasal saline rinses if you have upper respiratory symptoms. However if symptoms worsen need to contact your primary care doctor.
12. How to deal with anxiety during this time?
It is normal to feel anxious, alone and even sad. Remember you’re not alone. Some suggestions are:
- take a virtual museum tour
- e-books/audio books
- Guided imagery meditation
- Drawing and art can be very calming
- Of course there is always netflix and tv shows to engage it, but try to watch things that are more light hearted and happy
- I have started to engage in organizing and sometimes that can be time consuming but get your mind off of the situation we are in.
We are truly in unprecedented times and difficult for all. Thank you to all the wonderful and selfless health professionals out there for sacrificing their lives to help our COVID-19 victims. Please stay home, please stay positive and strong. We will get through this!