My son Charlie has passed along this advice from a doctor friend of his. It’s rather bleak in terms of the outlook relating to the current pandemic. Sorry to pass on negative news, but I felt I should do so in the interest of safety.
View from the Doctors Office
I know you are all inundated with news about Covid but I want to keep everyone in our inner circle informed of the latest "on the ground” info that we are seeing in the medical community.
1. Most family doctors offices have gone to mainly telephone assessments. You can’t get through to public health for the most part but your doctor can help. I am doing 2/3 of all visits on an e-platform for video or by phone. We are only seeing patients in the office who absolutely need physical assessments. Try to arrange calls with your doctor. It protects them and you.
2. Covid is WAY more present in the community now than you think. As promised most young people have mild symptoms but there are some really sick seniors. I have talked to 4 people this am alone in my practice who I am convinced have the virus. Ignore the published numbers.It is WIDESPREAD NOW. A week from now and you will all know 4 or more people suffering with it.
3. You do not need to be tested.We do not have enough testing kits for all people who will get symptoms. If you think you have it you likely do. Since there is no treatments we can prescribe, a diagnostic swab or a doctors visit is likely unnecessary. Symptomatic treatments and supportive care at home is the way to get better for most people. If you think its in your house, lock it down. Stay inside and isolate yourselves. Have your friends/family deliver food and supplies and leave them at the door. We need to work together.
4. The only indications for diagnostic testing now are; healthcare workers suspected of having it, hospitalized pts with symptoms, symptomatic seniors in long term care and symptomatic contacts of KNOWN carriers.
5. The incubation period from infection to symptoms is 2-5 days but can be as much as 8-10days. Symptoms usually start with minimal viral runny nose or sore throat and then progress to a dry cough, chest heaviness and shortness of breath, headaches, fever/chills, body aches and fatigue/lack of appetite. You won’t necessarily get all these but fever/chills and cough are in most affected patients. It can take 7days or more to build from mild to significant symptoms.
6. You need assessment in an ER or Covid assessment centre only if you become extremely week or very short of breath and can’t manage at home anymore
7. Seniors need to hide. For quite a while. This is a REALLY big issue for them. Mortality rates skyrocket after the age of 65. Think of some seniors who are isolated and likely lonely and reach out to them to find out how you can help and to check on them. It is going to be a marathon not a sprint.
8. Antibiotics are useless for this. Otherwise we would be handing them out like candy. Antivirals and vaccines are likely months away so we will need to ride this one out without the use of those handy tools.
9. If you have any love ones out of the country get them back here immediately. There is NOTHING worse than trying to manage a critically ill relative over the phone from a continent away. And… the insurance companies are withdrawing coverage as of March 24th.
Let me know if I can help or if you have any questions
P.S keep smiling. There will be lots of free Steam Whistle and Hockley beer after this virus is all gone away