Thank you to everyone that joined our second webinar on Ask Docs Anything About COVID-19. We were joined again by Dr. Greg Jacobson and Dr. Mason Mileur to answer all your questions about COVID-19. If you missed our first webinar, be sure to check out our recap.
You can read all the answers to the questions from this webinar below, after the video.
How likely will this be widespread in the US? What's the best way to protect ourselves?
It’s already spread. There’s no stopping it at this point. BUT, what we can do is wear masks when we go out in public for only essential things.
Is it safe to work from home at an outdoor patio? Is the mask necessary to wear?
It is 100% safe to work from home at an outdoor patio. Since you’re home, there’s no real value in wearing a mask, as long as you’re staying away from other people that don’t reside in the home.
Do we really need to assume everyone has it? Do I need to continue limiting contact with my father?
The less you have to interact with others, the better. If you have older family members that you need to take care of, like delivering groceries, it’s best to leave the groceries at the front door and limit the interaction. If you think about it, you only need to transmit the virus once to make someone else sick.
Can the virus move across our bodies?
The virus itself does not have the structure to move. If you have the virus on your forehead and you touch your forehead, you will not get sick. You will only contract the virus if you touch your forehead and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
How many strains of coronavirus or Covid-19 (or both) are circulating the globe during this pandemic?
Coronavirus is a huge family of different viruses. Covid-19 is the specific one that’s causing all the illnesses right now. There may be multiple strains, but as it stands, there isn’t anything to suggest that the different strains vary in behavior. Essentially, the mutations are not meaningful enough to cause a different kind of illness in humans.
Do we know yet if people become immune to this virus after they have been exposed to it?
The short answer: we don't know. We’re hopeful that this will act like other viruses — you’ll have immunity to some viruses for only a couple years, but some you'll have immunity for life. We don’t know how COVID-19 will act, but our bodies will develop some sort of immunity.
What is the best source of information related to COVID-19 that you recommend?
- KaiNexus COVID-19 Central
- A List of COVID-19 Resources to Help Clear Things Up
- EM:RAP (good info for doctors)
How concerned should we be about contracting this from grocery stores?
You have to really exercise caution when going to the grocery store. That is the one essential place where almost everyone has to still go. When you get groceries, wipe everything down. If you have non-perishable items, leave them in your garage for a few days before handling. It’s best to just treat everything as if it’s contaminated.
What are the requirements to be tested?
This is going to vary region to region. Some areas don’t have a lot of testing. In the areas that have limited testing capabilities, those tests are going to be prioritized for patients admitted into the hospital and healthcare workers. If you feel like you have a cold or other mild symptoms, just assume you have COVID-19 and take the proper precautionary measure to self-isolate.
Is it true that lots of hot, warm liquids and vitamins are a good safeguard against COVID-19?
There is nothing definitive that says vitamins will help. The best thing you can do for your immune system is to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
What special precautions should you take with pets?
This virus does not infect other organisms other than humans. The only precaution you should take with pets is to limit the interaction your pets have with other people outside the house. For example, if you have COVID-19 and touch/pet the dog and fairly soon the dog interacts with someone else, then there’s a chance you can give someone the virus.
Have you followed the testing of potential treatment drugs such as Plaquenil? How promising are these medications toward treating COVID-19?
There has not been a large enough study about using Plaquenil to treat COVID-19 to take something significant from it. Although, I think Plaquenil is something we will see come up more. The thing with Plaquenil is that it will only be used to treat the sickest of the sick because there’s already a shortage. You should only turn to Plaquenil if you’re extremely sick and the medical professionals want to try and keep you off a ventilator.
Does it appear like this challenge will end any time soon?
No one knows how long we’re going to be in what phase. To me, the Hammer phase is going to be measured in weeks (could be 4, 8,12 weeks — we don’t know), and the Dance phase is going to be measured in months. Restrictions will probably lift in the scale of months. What we need to do is get into a mindset that we’re in a historic time.