Many patients and friends have asked for my opinion on the Coronavirus epidemic.
Which way will this go? Will it become a feared pandemic or be squashed quickly like the SARS virus years ago?
There are many on both sides recommending calm but quick containment and careful planning.
No one knows for sure: many experts including respected doctors and researchers fear this is a pandemic: after all this is a virus that can quickly spread like wildfire globally.
Others say this is all hype: that this will quickly quiet down and there is no need to fear.
And still others..like a dear melancholic friend of mine… say it is the end of the world. I always tell him: “any day can be the end of his world or mine and to live each day to the fullest: see ** 🙂
Below are my thoughts on which way this will go. But for now…Here are my recommendations both physical and spiritual no matter which way this goes. This is also how a surgeon like me contains a virus in a home with 6 kids (except for the N95 mask).
A. Be prepared physically:
1. Consider buying N95 face mask for all members of your team and for older family members or those who are immunocompromised. Some are buying these for all members of your team and family, especially if you see international patients or travel. While I use a surgical mask over the person with a cold or flu at home, the N95 would be better for the Coronavirus. Some have said the Coronavirus is a larger virus and should be stopped by a surgical mask: how many surgical masks do you need to stop a virus? Not sure.
Also, I would recommend eye protection available to all staffers taking care of any suspected Coronavirus patients.
2. Consider an air filter like IQ Air to filter viruses in air if see many foreign patients.
I have 2 of these in my home especially during the winter months & a humidifier running (humidity prevents dried mucous membranes –a risk for virus penetration)
3. Stock up on supplies like: We have all these things in our home always ready in the winter months.
a. Prescription medications: ask for a 3-6month supply for important medications for issues such as seizures, diabetes, hypertension, depression.
b. 100% Rubbing Alcohol https://amzn.to/2Isi3f7 & sprays https://amzn.to/32L28BL for keyboards, doorknobs, pencils, pens (anything you or a sick person has touched): to prevent a local spread if you suspect a virus in a patient or family member. Have Alcohol pumps in every room and use them liberally. If a patient or family member is sick: pump the alcohol into their hands and tell them not to touch their nose, mouth, eyes and to cough into their sleeve and not into anyone’s face.
d. Zinc Lozenges: we have 6mo supply on this. If you start to feel yourself getting sick, start taking Zinc (my favorite is Sugar Free Coldeeze).
e. Water at least 14 day supply per person:
f. Non-perishable Food for 14 day supply:
g. First aid kit and all phone numbers of MDs/ERs handy:
4. Get a flu shot this year & be sure family members are up to date on vaccines to avoid another virus or superinfection with a bacterial pneumonia.
5. Have multiple alcohol pumps around house and at the front door. Demand alcohol pump use &/or washing of hands before any meal and as soon as you enter an exam room or home.
6. Do NOT touch your nose or mouth ever without alcohol pump use &/or washing of hands
7. Keep fit: exercise, stay low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free: give your immune system every opportunity to be always in shape.
8. Sleep well: don’t stress out about the Coronavirus and do not loose sleep over worries! That gives all viruses & bacteria a running start to a compromised immune system.
9. Avoid all unnecessary travel until this has blown over.
This is a good review as well.
B. Be Prepared Spiritually: **
Christians have been taught for years to always be prepared as “the end” can come at any time and that this world is not our final destination: eternity is our final destination. Be sure to remind your kids of this as they can sense any fear you have about viruses, death, pain. This is very true and should always give one hope and joy knowing that no matter what today and tomorrow bring, eternity with a loving God is our goal.
Thus, my recommendation is:
1. Go about your daily business but make sure you are in a state of grace. Continue to go to daily mass. Shake hands but do not touch your hands, face or eat before and alcohol pump or good hand washing.
2. Go to confession weekly: a great way to be always ready.
3. Fast and pray: some demons like such a deadly virus can only be removed by fasting and prayer.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday so just in time for a good fast & prayers!
4. Call your family and make sure everyone is prepared and doing well.
5. Make amends to friends, neighbors who have hurt you or you have hurt.
6. Prepare a bit, but don’t panic or stress: let go and let God and your guardian angel guide and help you.
More information below.
I would recommend every office have N95 Masks available for all there MDs and staff members, especially if you are in a big metropolitan area.
Many of the best kind are still sold out, so would do this as soon as possible as 1 case of Coronavirus in your hospital or practice, could shut it down for at least 1 month. And being known as the hospital or office or family that spread the virus to others, would be a concern.
A Comparison of Surgical Masks, Surgical N95 Respirators, and Industrial N95 Respirators
- May include masks labeled as surgical, laser, isolation, dental, or medical procedure masks
- Are primarily intended to protect the patient, not the wearer, from the wearer’s saliva and respiratory secretions
- May also help protect the wearer against exposure to microorganisms, body fluids, and large particles in the air but are not tight fitting and likely have substantial inward leakage for particles and organisms
- Are designed to cover the mouth and nose loosely but are not sized for individual fit
- Are not NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved
Surgical N95 respirators are designed to reduce but cannot eliminate the wearer’s exposure to airborne biological contaminants. They do not eliminate the risk of illness, disease, or death.
- Form a tight seal over the mouth and nose.
- Require fit-testing and must be adjusted to your face to provide the intended effectiveness of filtering 95 percent of particles with a mass median diameter of 0.3 micrometers.
- Employers and users are required to follow the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard, 29CFR 1910.134, as well as other state or local regulations, as appropriate.
- Have specific use instructions, warnings, and limitations for use in health care environments.
- Are NIOSH certified.
- Are fluid resistant to a certified level measured against a stream of artificial blood directed at the respirator.