Covid-19 Update Message…
I hope you are all doing well and ‘hanging in there’ during these challenging times.
- This week I wanted to share my thoughts on your level of activity outside your home. I am hearing from some patients, mostly older, that they do not go outside at all. I feel that some outside time is essential for physical and mental health. How can you do this safely? Walk somewhere that is not crowded. Carry or wear a mask. People will typically walk farther away if they see you or you can do the same. If you do not live in a perfect area for this, drive to a quieter residential area and walk. The time of the day can also make a difference re: crowds. The outside air is refreshing, the sunlight adds Vitamin D3 to your system, the views of nature, even city-nature are therapeutic psychological and spiritually. Get outside every day for a while. Walk/jog, whatever. Just be prudent when near people— keeping distance and wearing masks. There is no evidence you can catch coronavirus from just being outside, but not in a crowd of people for a prolonged time. Keep your distance… but get your fresh air.Antibody testing—about ten or twelve patients in my practice have been tested so far. One positive (IgG) who was living in New York, the rest negative. It seems a virus swept through Culver area in late February that was no coronavirus, but many people have commented about being sick at that time. Testing is available, and either covered directly by your health insurance or we have seen Primex collect $60 in total for IgM and IgG. At this point, Quest or Primex is a good choice and Quest is closer. Quest only does the IgG (see prior broadcast 4/21). Vanessa in my office can coordinate this testing. We will review results in a video visit (telemedicine)
- 2. Good news: 70, yes seventy, vaccines are being developed in various labs and at least 3-5 are already being tested for safety in humans and/or animals. The speed at which this has occurred is remarkable. Results are NOT guaranteed, but some experts are calling for a working vaccine by end of this year or early next. This is very fast and again, there is no certainty in this field.
- 3. Other good news: doctors are finding treatment protocols to help the sicker Covid-19 patients. For example, remdesivir for its antiviral effects has been shown in a study of over 1000 sicker patients to shorten recovery time significantly and doctors are using tocilizumab to keep the immune system in check and control the “cytokine” storm you may have heard of. This is when the patient’s immune system overreacts to the virus and causes more harm than good, especially in the lungs
- .4.. Physicals: during this crisis and the stay at home order, we have postponed all physicals and “preventive” care for the time being. When we return to doing these soon, we may use a modified format that is a hybrid of telemedicine (getting your history remotely by phone) and in-office (brief exam with doctor, lab draw). This should prove safest for all concerned, for the time being. As before, most of our visits now are telemedicine (video chat) and we only bring people into the office who definitively need to be seen and who are not ill with fever, cough, chills (e.g. coronavirus symptoms). Our portal/email system is enabling us to communicate effectively with you as well. Be sure to learn how to use it! Due to cancelling all the physicals we often have same day appointments available, so do not hesitate to contact the office. It is NOT all Covid all the time.
If you have not heard my recent podcast on Covid-19 and mind-body issues, https://bit.ly/BillKpod