A Front Line Critical Care Pulmonologist Gives us COVID-19 "Rules" to Protect Our Families
Dr. David Price is a critical care pulmonologist who has been caring for COVID-19 patients all day for the past several weeks in NYC at Weill Cornell Hospital.
In this video, he shares some extremely important and potentially life-saving information.
Since it's a bit long (about an hour), I thought I would summarize it for you.
Disclaimer: Dr. Dave Price disseminated this information over a week ago. New information is coming out every day, so make sure to stay up on the latest reports from the CDC for the most accurate updates.
First and foremost, he wants us to know that COVID-19 is in our communities and we WILL be exposed to it. BUT, he doesn't want us to be afraid. He wants us to be empowered.
We can do this by learning and following what he calls "The Rules:"
1. Become VERY AWARE of your hands. Take hand sanitizer with you whenever you go out in public and use it after you touch anything.
If you go grocery shopping, wipe down the shopping cart before you touch it. Then sanitize your hands immediately after you're done shopping. Sanitize your hands immediately after you touch anything. The key to protecting ourselves is keeping our hands clean.
2. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE! Dr. Price urges us to wear a mask when we go out so we can train ourselves to keep our hands away from our faces.
3. Stay 6 feet away from others. Take social distance seriously. 6 feet means 6 feet.
If we follow these rules, Dr. Price assures us that we will keep ourselves and our families safe.
Here are some of the questions he answered:
1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Body aches, sore throat and fever (in an estimated 90 percent of patients). Most people feel bad for 3-5 days and then start to feel better. About 10 percent of people need to go to the hospital due to shortness of breath. Of that ten percent, 1-3 percent end up in the ICU and need a ventilator. The vast majority of people who end up on a ventilator come off of it in 7-10 days.
2. How is it transmitted?
The vast majority of transmission is by "droplets," from hand to face. You are most susceptible when you've had sustained contact with someone who is infected. It's being transmitted primarily through families.
3. What should you do if you start to have symptoms?
If you get a fever, isolate yourself from your family. Sleep in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. Don't let other family members have any sustained contact with the sick family member. Have the sick person wear a mask if they have to come out and get food etc. After they have gotten what they need, wipe down anything they have touched. You can start to interact with your family once your fever is gone and you start to feel better, but you must continue to be very vigilant- still wear a mask and wipe everything down after it's touched.
4. When should you go to the hospital?
The only reason to seek medical care is if you start experiencing shortness of breath.
5. What should you do if you start having cold symptoms?
Treat it like COVID-19 and isolate from your family. When symptoms start to subside you can resume interaction with your family.
6. When should you get tested?
This depends on the availability of testing. If you have flu-like symptoms, it's likely have have COVID-19, so just treat it like you do. You don't necessarily need to get tested. Use telehealth and consult your doctor.
7. Is it true that it only affects the elderly?
NO! This can affect anyone, especially those over 14-years-old. It hits the entire spectrum of ages.
8. Is it safe to go grocery shopping?
Yes! Just follow "the rules." Wear a mask, wipe everything down, sanitize your hands, DON'T TOUCH your face, and stay 6 feet away from people.
9. Do I need to change my clothes after being out in public.
No, that's not necessary. Just follow the rules!
10. Is it safe to go out for a walk?
Yes! Just follow the rules! Wear a mask, sanitize your hands, don't touch your face and stay 6 feet away from others.
11. Is it safe to take NSAIDS like Ibuprofen?
NO! It is not. Instead, use Tylenol to reduce fever.
12. How long will this last?
It's hard to say. Dr. Price predicts that social distancing will be in effect for months to potentially a year. First, we have to flatten the curve, then people will become more relaxed and there will be a second spike. Social distancing is going to be the new way of life for the indefinite future. It's important to "learn the rules" so you can live life in the new normal.
Dr. Price urges us to not be scared of our neighbors or the checker at the grocery store, or the outside world. The more we know, understand and follow the rules, the safer we will be and the quicker we will slow the spread of COVID-19.
An enormous thank you to Dr. Dave Price for sharing this invaluable information! Please pass this on to family and friends.
We're all in this together and we are going to get through it.