Medical Headlines: COVID-19 Factoid Update

All of us at Life In A Blender Family Medicine are wishing the best for you and your loved ones! Remember to smile, laugh, and talk frequently to your friends and family. We will get through this together.

Based on journal tested data, decades of medical experience and common sense, I want to share with you the back story and facts you may not learn on the news outlets about COVID-19. They are as follows:

  • Although very contagious, the virus is not as “smart” and as adaptable as the influenza strains can be.
  • It’s very rare to transmit the virus from inanimate objects like tabletops and doorknobs if regularly cleaned, or hands are frequently washed.
  • It’s very rare to catch it from an asymptomatic carrier, but you may remain a safe distance from strangers for a multitude of reasons.
  • It usually requires intimate, not casual, contact from a person with symptoms (respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing) to acquire the virus.
  • It has not been shown to be transmitted in chlorinated water – such as in pools and hot tub spas.
  • Recent studies, one out of Beijing, suggest that transmission may be reduced with prolonged sunlight, heat, and humidity due to quicker evaporation of respiratory droplets on surfaces. This is hopeful information but further proof is needed.
  • In a laboratory setting, only N95 masks really work, but in day-today activity any “face covering” can lower the transmission of respiratory droplets.
  • Recent studies show 3 feet of distance (not 6) is enough to avoid transmission, as long as there are no direct respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing.

The case and mortality numbers of this coronavirus may have been exaggerated due to political media bias and those seeking reimbursements to hospitals for COVID-19 cases. This virus is unlikely to come back soon after the current wave passes – given the above information and history of the other coronaviruses being about 5 years apart in occurrences.

The median age of death from the virus is at 80 years old, and the general recovery rate is >98%, which worsens with age. A recent report from the CDC has the mortality rate in the US at 0.2%, that’s a 98.8% recovery rate. Influenza has killed >200,000 more people than COVID-19 this season yet it has 3 million less cases in the world.

The recent uptick in new cases can be attributed to the increased testing available, people coming out of isolation for the first time in months, and northerners bringing the virus to the southern areas – with young people acquiring the virus who are not taking precautions.

The objective for group assembly such as at schools, churches, and theaters, may provide a reasonable framework of risk reduction which should include:

  • infrared thermometer checking
  • strategic chair placement / spacious seating arrangements
  • discouraging those who are ill from attending
  • common sense social distancing
  • keeping the environment clean and sanitized
  • encouraging hand washing and not touching one’s face
  • those who want to wear masks should do so, but people should not be required to wear masks forcibly

We all do need to go out again and reconnect with other humans, and we cannot wait for a vaccine. Constant social isolation can be worse on many people – more than taking the minor risk of catching a mostly non-lethal virus to enjoy fellowship with others. For us who are found to be well, we should mingle, embrace our closest loved ones, shake hands sometimes, and show every act of warmth and kindness that is reasonable and appropriate.

Beaches, wooded trails, and open air parks really should not be closed since these outdoor areas can be the safest and healthiest places to get fresh air and exercise during a pandemic. Staying physically and mentally active can help to alleviate feelings of depression and loneliness during these trying times.

Feel free to Contact Us at Life In A Blender Family Medicine if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a check up.

Keep Calm, Stay Well, Go Out, Get Wet, Give a Hug… and Have Fun!

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