Coronavirus Briefing 05-08-2020


All right, my friends today is Friday, Friday, May 8th, 2020. Yes Beth. I know you can hear me, but I should point something out, which is that you probably also hear me even when I’m not on. So make sure you have to let me know if it’s real life or just in your head. So here’s the deal. So the country’s opening, okay. In some places the country is open and I’ve given up on the fight to try to get the country not to open, have given up on the fight to you know, try to get people to realize that we are not ready to open. And I’ve given up on the fight to you know, I’ve given up on the idea that our nation as a whole is going to do national testing at the levels that we need them to. And I have not given up on the idea that we are going to do everything that we can to keep our people safe.


And when I say we are going to do everything that we can, I mean that we are going to do everything we can to keep our people safe. You know, I talk a lot about the idea that the respiratory community and the geriatrics slash middle-aged community and the cardiovascular community has been preparing for this day, for decades because we know that we have more at stake than the average person or so it would see, okay, the statistics are constantly shifting. And I will make a statement that I firmly believe in, which is that to this date, May 8th, 2020, there are still many more unknowns than knowns. And I would say at this point I’ve seen 15 patients. And while I see some similarities, the most similarities I see in a group of patients is three patients. So in other words, I have this group of three patients, which is my biggest group.


And then I have a couple of groups of two patients that look alike. And then I have some, some people that don’t look anything like any of the others. And we know that while elderly or people with preexisting conditions or chronic conditions are going to be more at risk for most things. Okay. The elderly people who are weaker, people who are greater, you know, at greater at risk or who have compromised immune systems or who have chronic illnesses are going to be more likely to be blown over if the wind gets strong. However, we are also seeing young people, we’re also seeing healthy people. We’re also seeing strong people and athletes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, who are being afflicted by covert 19 and succumbing to Kobe 19. So, you know, I would say in three years from now, five years from now, more like 10 years from now, similar to our situation after nine 11, we will have a really good idea of who was affected, how are they affected and who is at risk.


And hopefully in 10 years from now we’ll have a vaccine and there won’t be too many people at risk anymore. But the point I’m trying to make right now is that we cannot put this in a box and make assumptions that I am a certain age, therefore I am not at risk. I’m a certain gender, therefore I am not at risk. I am a certain race or I have this condition and therefore I am not at risk. And conversely in the community, one of the questions that I get asked a lot is people will say, well, you know what I I have COPD or I have pulmonary hypertension or I have pulmonary fibrosis. I know if I get this you know that I’m not going to survive it. And that’s not necessarily true either. And in Italy, I’ve heard of several stories of people over a hundred, one, 102 year old woman at one 101 year old male who survived. So again, there’s so much variability and it ranges from, you won’t know you have it too. It will kill you. It ranges from, you can be a child too. You could be 150 years old. So again, there’s still much more that we don’t know than what we do know. But here’s what I do know. And here’s what I do think the country’s opening.


We’re not going to stop it at this point. Okay. It’s rolling. It’s rolling. So here’s the deal. We have to be smart. We have to make great choices for ourselves and we have to not be influenced by peer pressure or governmental pressure or things you know, social media pressure, media in general, fake news. But the idea is we have to look to people we trust, which it’s hard to sometimes know who we should trust and who we can trust. We have to look to science, we have to look to people who have experience in this subject area, and we have to make decisions that are smart for us and in our best interests. So for example, if I am 75 years old and I have CLPD and they tell me, Hey, guess what? The local Piggly wiggly is open. Well, that doesn’t mean I’m going run to run down and resume my shopping cart, you know, ambulation again.


Okay. Or likewise, if they say, you know, if I’m seven years old and I have heart disease, or I’m diabetic, or I’m on steroids, or I’m immunocompromised, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that that means that when they say, Hey, guess what the restaurants are you know, the restaurants are open. Even if they’re giving away the food for free, you have to ask yourself, is this a worthwhile risk for me? Okay? And everything we talk about over and over again, and it has to do with, you know, risk and benefit, right? So is the benefit of doing what you need to do or what you want to do worth the potential risk? Now, I don’t say that if you go outside and you take a walk around your block, it’s going to kill you. Okay. But again, we don’t know that it’s not.


So all I’m trying to get people to understand is that a, you have decisions to make, right? So if your area is open, if you decide, should I go out, should I not go out? Understand that it does come with potential risk. Okay. Potential risk of exposure, not probable risk of exposure per se, but at least potential. And you have to ask yourself, are you willing to take that level of potential risk, is that worth it for you to go to the local TGI Fridays or what have you. Okay. And then the thing is, okay, if you have made that decision that this is what I want to do and yes I will be doing this and I will start myself going out. And incidentally, I recently got tested for antibodies. I was negative. I could have sworn I would have been positive because I had a vicious cough illness earlier in the year and so I would have, I was actually hoping I would be, I was actually hoping that would be positive but I was negative.


So you know, white snow, again, here we go, or snow white in the scheme of things. And I’m going to, you know, there are going to be some things that I do coming up in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to be opening the pulmonary wellness and rehabilitation center again because that’s not a decision for me. I’m not just deciding for myself. Okay. I’m deciding for my patients who are at risk. And I think that more important than what people say, you have to listen to what they do. So whereas I’m not immunocompromised, if I make a choice to take a flight and I will mask and I will glove and I will, you know, follow all the instructions that I’ve been advising you to do. Well that’s different than somebody who’s 75 years old who has COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.


But understand that we’re making personal decisions for us, but also understand that when you do these things, okay, you could potentially, so in other words, if I choose to fly or I choose to go to the grocery store and I make sure that I follow what we call universal precautions, which means that we assume that there is the potential for exposure and in fact the likelihood of exposure or we assume that people do have it. Okay. If we overcompensate, and I don’t say there is such a thing as overcompensate, but if we over protect ourselves, okay. And again, I don’t think there’s any such thing as being too careful, but if we’re super careful, then we’re acting responsibly. Okay. If we go out without a mask, if we go out and we taught touch 4 million things, if we congregate in large groups with people who haven’t been you know essentially quarantining.


Okay. Then that’s a little bit less than some would say a lot less than I would actually say. A lot less on the responsibility scale and that affects other people. So whereas I do respect the right of people to make personal choices when they affect others and when they put others at risk, then I, I’m not as in sync with that. And it’s not because I don’t believe in people’s rights. I believe in people’s first, you know, it doesn’t say Liberty life, it says life. Liberty. Okay. So in priority order, you have the freedom to live okay. And the Liberty to go out and get a beer at the local water and hall kind of is trumped by somebody else’s desire to live and their right to live. So what is my point in saying all this? The country is opening. So whereas before my, my mantra was stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home.


My mantra, if you are compromised in some way, whether that be by age, whether that be by you know, medical condition, whether that be by the medications you’ve talked about, you, you’re taking, whether that be by, you know, other treatments that you had in the past, maybe chemo, maybe radiation, et cetera, et cetera. Anything that puts you at at risk, my mantra is still stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home, stay home stamp. So my first 10 choices of what you should or shouldn’t be doing would all be to stay home. Now if you can’t home, okay, then there’s different levels of risk or if you choose not to stay home. Okay. if you choose not to stay home, then there are different levels of risk. And the other thing that, you know, we say I’ve been saying since day one, I’m still a believer in wearing a mask when you’re out.


Okay. for the people you know, and listen, you know, there’s been a trend in this whole thing. It’s that mass, you know, people say, Oh, you should mask. Oh, you don’t need to mask. Oh, you can mask, but you don’t need an end 95 mask. Oh, you could benefit from an N 95 mass. But we want those from the hospital workers, which I totally get. Okay. I totally get, okay. Most of us are not going to come in contact with splashing, blood splashing, body fluids. Okay. We have a lower risk of contracting or even contacting the Corona virus than somebody who’s working on a vent unit or a proning unit in a hospital or an ambulance. And by all means, I want everything those frontline workers to have everything that they need. Okay. And I would gladly give up what I need to give it to.


One of them because I’m not coming in that kind of contact. But here’s the thing, don’t say, well, we don’t have enough. Therefore they weren’t that good anyway and don’t say we don’t have enough, therefore you can make your own mask or therefore we don’t have enough. Therefore you can use a bandana. Because if that were the case and if it were that easy, then by all means there’s no reason for a mask and there’s no reason for an end 95 and there’s no reason for respirators. So, you know, stick with the facts, stick with the safety air on the side of caution. Okay. Keep washing your hands. And you know, just for the know-it-alls who are constantly talking to me about how a mask can spread the disease or about gloves can spread the disease. Okay. Anything can spread the disease. So I could hold up this keyboard and if I have coven, okay.


And I pass this keyboard to somebody else. Well that’s a potential exposure. And the idea that a mask is to protect others. Yes, a mask is to protect others. But again, I ask the question over and over and over again. And this is coven or not Kobe pneumonia or not pneumonia, flu or not flu. Okay. If somebody is going to cough, spit expect or a sneeze in my face, I’d rather have this covering my face then not covering my face. And then the other thing I wanted to talk about, because I see people talking about how gloves spread the disease, gloves spread, the disease, glyphs spread the disease, anything that could potentially contact a disease. So in other words, if I use this glove, like my hand, I touch everything that cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And I go out and I touch this and I touch you and I scratched my face and I scratch my head and I blow my nose with the glove on.


Yes. That is not how gloves are supposed to be used. Okay? But when I go out, okay, what I do okay is I take a whole handful of gloves. Okay, I take a bag full of gloves and I put them in my bag. And every time I change scenery. So in other words, if I go from my home and you notice I just put one glove on top of another glove, right? If I leave my home, I may use this top glove to get from my apartment. Okay? Open the door, walk up the stairs, open the door to my front building. Now I’m outside. Now I have potentially come in contact with everybody else who lives in my building and now I may be able to take this off and put this in a sealed bag. And I have a clean glove right here.


Okay? So I’m going to get in an Uber. This is this, this is this. I get to where I’m going. Open the Uber, close the office, Uber, take this off. Either wash my hands, put on a clean glove. Okay. So again, you know who are you going to listen to? Who are you going to listen to? And you know, as I posted in this group just two days ago, if you have no medical background whatsoever, okay? And you only watch Fox news or you only watch MSNBC or you only watch, let’s just say this, cause I know people are gonna say, Oh, you said something about Fox news or you said something about him. If you only get your information from one source and that source is not Anthony Fowchee, okay. Or somebody else who’s an epidemiologist or a doctor, at least then I don’t want to argue with you.


I don’t want to argue with you anyway. But again, if you’re just posting some flat-out bullshit, we’re going to take it down and you’re gonna be booted from the group because some of the stuff, it’s not just a question of like, who do you like better? Katy Perry or you know, so on and so forth. This is potentially life and death and we need to make sure that you get the right information from the right sources. And you know, this is not my first time around the block here. Okay. I’ve been in healthcare for almost 30 years up in a cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist for, you know, as a physical therapist for almost almost 30 years. I’ve been at EMT for almost 30, 20 years. I’ve been there, done that, seen it. You know, been in the ambulances, worked in Queens when SARS was running rampant in New York city.


And I have no agenda other than to try to keep myself safe, keep my family safe, keep the people I care about safe. And I include you in that and to help keep you guys safe. And the thing is that, you know, there’s going to be people who make some bad decisions. Some of them are gonna be in politics, some of them are gonna be in local enforcement of various kinds. And some of them are just going to be general public. Okay. But keep in mind, I always say to you that there are many things that we can’t control and many things that we can’t do, but don’t let the things that we can’t do and don’t let the things that are out of our control interfere with the things that are in our control and that we can do. So make good decisions for yourself and for your family in order to stay safe.


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