Never in the last two decades of my career as a physician would I have imagined that we would be using the same mask to see patients all day and then sterilizing/recycling them at the end of the day. These are unprecedented and unsettling times for sure. As of today (April 5th, 2020), Indiana has 4,441 positive cases and 127 deaths from the novel coronavirus. The good news is that as of today, Spain has seen death totals drop for the third day in a row. It is possible that New York may be reaching peak numbers and we are about 2 weeks or more behind them (credit to Dr Bryan Sharpe). The demographics show that about 20% of patients are aged 50-59, 16.9% are 40-49 and 17.4 % are 60-69. Only 1.6% of the case are in age less than 19 and 8% in patients over 80. 54.3% are female and 45.7% are male patients affected. These statistics are for the state of Indiana only.
So enough of the somber news and let’s move on to prevention. Most of us are sheltering at home which is a great thing!!! I have seen new people out walking in my neighborhood. Families are Zoom calling friends and having parties. Neighbors are dropping off groceries and goodies for each other as well as decorating windows and front doors with all kinds of special messages. I see people wearing masks/ gloves and social distancing at stores which is great. If you wear a mask and practice good hand washing you have a >90% of not contracting the virus. Check out The Doctor’s Farmacy with Dr Mark Hyman called: Special Episode: Medicine In The Age of COVID 19 And Beyond. They analyze some of the recent data on treatments and answer listener’s questions as well. This is a very helpful podcast outlining prevention and future treatment options that may even include IV vitamin C as well as ozone therapies.
Hopefully, you checked out my previous POST on Coronavirus prevention and supplements to stock up on. I am still taking all of them and really focusing on daily exercise, good nutrition and sleep. This is also a fabulous time to really start zoning in on eliminating sugar since we all have more time to cook at home. It is also a great time to get outside and start a garden, catch up on yard work, and get some simple walks in. It is the perfect time to start meditating (Check out apps like Headspace and Calm).
So what happens if you do start to get sick and think you may have the virus??? First, don’t panic. You can call your physician for guidance since most are doing telephone and virtual visits at this time. They can walk you through a protocol to find out if you need to be tested and direct you on where to go to do so. Our program currently has a virtual hub that will triage patients to designated sites. Please call and don’t got to the emergency room or doctor’s office. The only reason to go the the ER is if you are having worsening difficulty breathing.
One major key it to stay well hydrated. Drink hot liquids like tea and broth regularly. As for fever and body aches, I usually recommend not treating the fever unless it gets dangerously high. I would avoid NSAIDS (like ibuprofen, naproxen also known as Advil and Aleve). I would stick with low dose Tylenol if needed. A fever is the body’s way to respond to infection so it is actually helpful.
So now I’m curious. How are all of you? What strategies are you using to cope? What fun ideas or projects have you come up with?
If you are a current patient, I am available via the My IU Health portal for questions and and also doing virtual and video visits so feel free to call the office and get one set up. Stay strong and this too shall pass. Prayers to all for good health and safety.