- A lot of people have coronavirus, and New York is heavily hit, but the peak of infections seems to be occurring this week there and hopefully, as in Spain and Italy, the number of deaths and infections will start receding over the next week or so. Peak in LA may be in about a week, hopefully cases and deaths will reduce after that.
- Los Angeles is doing better than Louisiana, Michigan and New Jersey, despite being a larger state. Our less dense population compared to New York City is helping. The social distancing and stay at home are also making a big difference
- Most people with this virus have mild cases. Even these mild cases can last two to three weeks which is highly unusual for a viral infection. I have seen many people with mild to moderate cases sick for three weeks or slightly more.
- Who gets it worse? At the beginning, we were sure it was the elderly. It is older folks, but also middle aged, men more than women, and randomly it hits people hard who are younger and healthier, but in small numbers.
- What is coming? Serology tests to measure antibodies in the blood (fingerstick or blood draw) for Covid-19. Tells us two things—are you fighting off the infection (IgM antibodies) and have you already had it and probably immune (IgG antibodies). These tests may be a game-changer in terms of getting people safely out of the house and back to work because we believe many have been infected without symptoms and will test positive, but we Don’t Know!
- There are treatments under testing; again, there is still more we don’t know.
- Who goes to the hospital? Really—shortness of breath, shortness of breath with walking to the bathroom for example, in the context of fevers, chills, aches, etc. e. a Covid-19 infection. Most people are better off staying home, if not short of breath. Call here first.
- Most people get better! Very low percentage die; but these deaths are magnified by the media attention. Reduce your media time!
- This is a special week for Christians (Holy Week, Easter) and Jews (Passover). For those that observe, I hope these holidays provide a respite, a historical perspective, a spiritual focus and new resolve to ‘carry on’ under the plague-like circumstances of our era.
Wishing you well,
David Schechter, M.D.