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COVID 19 - What’s to Come?

As of 3/20/2020, most of us have totally changed the way we live and go about our day. How long is that going to last? How bad is this Coronavirus thing? Here’s my take on it today.

For most people, COVID 19 is like having the flu, or just a cold. You will get sick, use soup and OTC medicine and recover. Some people will need some prescribed cough medicine. Symptoms vary widely, many people don’t get fever (20%), which makes me nervous that we are using fever as a “do not go to work” filter. Twenty percent may need hospitalization and over half of those will need care in an ICU. Currently, there is no specific treatment available. This should change over the next few months as we get more data on what really works and what does not.

You are contagious for a long time after you have been sick. Studies from China show that while kids tend to have mild disease symptom, they can be contagious for up to 22 days. Adults may be contagious for up to 2 weeks, possibly longer. This is why we are doing self-quarantine and social distancing. Remember, we are trying to slow the cases down so that 20% that needs to be hospitalized have beds to go to. If you are sick with any cold, stay home for 2 weeks. You probably won’t be able to get tested, so just assume you have it.

Already, supplies are too low. We do not have enough test kits, and honestly, at this point, we probably won’t be able to catch up. We do not have nearly enough masks and gowns to protect first responders, nurses, or doctors. In the next 2 weeks, many of these workers are going to get sick.

Because we can’t test people, the numbers reported by the state are in no way accurate as to the number of people who have COVID 19. The numbers they are reporting are the very sick, those who got it in a foreign country, or those who were around a known positive person. I have been doing telemedicine statewide and have talked to many people who may have COVID 19 but aren’t able to get confirmation.

My guess is that next week, we will see a surge in cases. This means more people in the hospital. If you have any extra N95 masks, please donate a few to your county. I posted on Facebook who to contact. Remember, people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease, and older than 65 tend to have a worse disease and end up in the hospital. People who get over it, can still spread it for weeks.

I would be surprised if school resumes this year in Ohio. I suspect the closures we have otherwise will remain for 3-4 weeks. Then we might see a period of open for a month, close for month until we get through most people getting COVID 19. Unless we discover a fantastic treatment that limits contagiousness as well as healing people before they need ICU care.

There‘s plenty of food, just a glitch in getting it stocked and shipped. We have electricity and plumbing. You can still go outside, just keep your 6 foot distance. Get your exercise in, talk to others, meditate, and be grateful for what you do have. The economy will eventually recover. Ask for help if you need it. Give help if you can.

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