I have spoken with many of you who are anxious and upset about the Covid-19 virus. Though this is understandable, I hope to dispel some of your anxiety and give you actual data and accurate information on what the virus is and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
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Recently, there has been much misinformation online and in the media about this virus. I have seen even well-meaning people and professionals quote unreliable sources and false information. Unfortunately, this type of false information sharing can cause many people to make unwise health decisions. I have had patients express extreme frustration at the public health measures being taken by the government and private industry, not understanding why extreme measures are taking place. As faith in our leaders and government is at an all-time low, I do understand. However, you can learn the truth despite the noise. As I have explained the public health perspective of this illness to individual patients, it has helped them to understand what is happening and why.
Despite the false information, I have much truth to share and also good news that I want to give you. Right now, things seem very much out of control. But knowing the truth about this pandemic and how to take action will make you feel more in control. I will cover some of the bad news and then tell you what we know and what we can do to be responsible for ourselves and others. This event affects all of us. Together, we can make a difference for all of us.
First, the bad news:
Coronavirus or Covid-19 is now in our country and has community spread. “Community Spread” means that patients are becoming ill who have not traveled to hotspots like China or Italy. Covid-19 is not “just the flu” or a “bad cold.” It’s an extremely dangerous virus, especially to the elderly and those with health conditions. It can cause severe double pneumonia in some cases. Presently, there are no medications or vaccines for the virus.
Hospitalization and respirators may be needed for some people, mostly those 60 and over, and especially those 80 and over.
There are limited hospital beds and staff and respirators to go around. We need to protect ourselves against overloading the health system so that we don’t inundate our hospitals and health care providers. Please visit this link https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/11/flattening-curve-coronavirus/. Together this is how we will beat this virus in a public health sense.
Children and younger adults usually get only a light infection. Still, they can transmit the virus to the older, more fragile population, as well as those who have lung disease and are otherwise immune-compromised. This virus is not “nothing.” If it moves into your lungs, you may develop double pneumonia, which is a serious health condition and potentially life-threatening.
From a public health perspective, every individual that is exposed endangers many others. Public health is just that. It is about the actions we take as individuals to keep ourselves and our families and our communities safe. It may be inconvenient or even stressful, but it is these best practices and best actions that, when taken, keep us all safe.
Best Practices, Best Actions
The “horse is out of the barn.” Covid- 19 is in our midst, but we don’t know exactly where it is because of previous testing shortages. Lack of testing is now being remedied through public and private labs. More information will be forthcoming from scientists, doctors, and public health officials as it is learned. This is a fluid situation and a new virus, so we learn new things about the genome or the genetic aspect of the virus daily.
Now for the good news:
- There are accurate and truthful sources that you can follow for information and updates regarding the Coronavirus:
- IMPORTANT: endcoronavirus.org a complete list of Early Outbreak Response Guidelines.
- https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/01/23/coronavirus-outbreak-mapping-tool-649-em1-art1-dtd-health/ near real-time mapping of cases.
- https://www.statnews.com/tag/coronavirus/ medical site with lots of current information.
- https://www.cdc.gov/ CDC latest information.
- We have tools! Social distancing, hand hygiene, and isolation when sick work to protect ourselves and others.
- We can start now to implement these actions. These small actions, humble though they may seem, are our best defense.
Here is what to do to control this virus in your own life:
- Reduce transmission opportunities—this includes touching, coughing, sneezing, and close contact.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cough into your arm.
- Wash your hands all day, especially when you arrive home or after touching public surfaces like the grocery cart at the store, a counter at a bank, or another store.
- Always wash your hands before eating, and after you use the bathroom.
- Wash your hands before touching a fragile person.
- Use a tissue for a sneeze, dispose of it immediately, and wash your hands.
- Stay home at the slightest illness, especially if you have a dry cough or a fever. (A fever is a temp above 99.8).
- If you are sick and are going to a doctor, call ahead and let them know you are ill and what symptoms you have. If you have been exposed to someone who has or may have Covid-19, you should self-quarantine, and call your doctor or the health department for guidance.
- You can also call our office for help.
- Stop going to large events, especially if you are older, these include church, concerts, plays, and similar events. Stop all nonessential travel. Older and immune-compromised people should not travel at all. DO NOT GET ON A CRUISE SHIP (CDC cruise ship recommendations)
- NO ONE should get on a cruise ship no matter how old you are. Ships are breeding grounds for viruses and you have no idea where the thousands of people on the ship may have come from. There is also the risk of weeks of quarantine should just one passenger test positive for the virus.
Boost your immunity, keep yourself and your family safe
Remember that no matter what we do outwardly to avoid the virus, we must keep our internal biomes healthy and strong. Are you stressed out, not sleeping and not eating? Are you eating junk food and sugar snacks and desserts, drinking soft drinks, and lots of alcohol? Are you watching the news and following social media nonstop and feeling anxious because of this? Are you expecting the worst and searching stores and the internet in vain for toilet paper and Lysol? These are all ways to make your physical and mental state inadequate to handle an immune challenge.
Here is what to do:
- Minimize (or just stop!) watching the news and social media. Go out for a walk or a run or read a book or play with the kids.
- Find ways to handle your stress. Download apps like “Down Dog” (a yoga app that’s free until April 1. This is my favorite yoga app.) Or try “Calm” (a relaxation app) and distance yourself from the chaos for even 10-15 minutes. Practice mindfulness and realize we will get through this. We need you calm and rational for all of us to do our best for the rest of us.
- Start eating whole foods and get rid of junk food. If you are working from home, try some new recipes. We have a full list of them at the office. Call us, and we will send them to you.
- When you come in for your visit, ask Dr. Billiot to test you for immunity supplementation. She will recommend what you need to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
- SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP! Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is one thing that you can do that will increase your immunity and keep your body healing and happy.
- If we haven’t seen you for a while, call and make an appointment. Find out how to maximize your immunity and get your body and immune system functioning at a high level.
- We will have immunity packs of supplements to keep you and your family supported. We also have Dr. Billiot’s custom herbal remedies, Be Strong, and Be Calm available as well for you to pick up.
- Fear begets more fear. Love begets more Love. Be kind. Love each other. We will get through this. Breathe in, Breathe out.
- LOVE and leave a couple of rolls of toilet paper for me out there. OK?
- Be Calm and Wash Your Hands
- Please call if you have questions or just need support.
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