I wanted to share some thoughts as many questions are coming into my office about COVID.
The issue with COVID is not necessarily what the virus will do to young & healthy people, the real issue is overwhelming/taxing a limited healthcare system with severe respiratory disease & deaths (the complications of COVID typically seen in at-risk populations)
COVID, seems to be attacking the immunocompromised and elderly at a death rate 10x seasonal flu, with a fairly low death rate in children, adolescents and younger adults (for a pandemic)
The issue and the reason why physicians and hospitals are preparing is that we see what is going on across the globe and we want to prevent the system from failing. For example, if an operating room, ICU and ER are filled with COVID, what will happen when you get appendicitis or into a traumatic motor vehicle accident & there is no room for you in the hospital? What will happen when one sick patient exposes 5-10 healthcare workers who are not only at-risk healthwise but also need to self-quarantine? This could have dire implications for our healthcare system.
Many people are asking what can they do to prevent the virus. Besides washing your hands, cleaning all communal surfaces and avoiding sick contacts, there is not much more to do.
My best advice is to self-isolate as much as possible, avoid large/community events for the next two weeks until we better understand the rate of spread & self-quarantine with any symptoms. As always have open discussions with your doctor about your exposures and symptoms.
Obviously, you want to be as healthy of a host as possible, to clear the virus as quickly as possible. This means general practices like optimizing your diet, exercise, sleep quality and reducing stress are likely helpful. But these are not concrete steps per-say, just overall advice to be generally healthy.
Our office doesn’t have COVID testing, but please feel free to reach out with questions.
Some other preliminary statistics:
- Critical case rate: 20%
- Mortality rate: ~3-5%
- Mortality rate over 80: 15+%
- Mortality rate under 40: <1%
- Incubation period: 5-7 days
- Virus can last in air: 3 hours
- Virus can last on plastic/metal/wood: 24-72 hours
If you are looking for more concrete data: check the CDC website.