via facebook :
I am a family doctor and I am terrified for the vulnerable members of our community. These are the numbers. In our small community of Crozet, VA, approximately 10K people, estimated between 40 and 238 deaths from covid-19 coronavirus, unless we as community members enact drastic social distancing measures immediately. If we wait until we have a documented case we have missed our chance to #flattenthecurve. That first case will represent many, many undiagnosed cases that may have been circulating for weeks. Please protect yourself and our most vulnerable and do not go to school, work, or other activities. You can transmit this virus unknowingly to someone who can die from this. Someone please tell me that my math is wrong?
I want to clarify that I am not terrified for myself, my husband, or my children. If any of us contract this virus, especially the kids, we will most likely have a mild case that we will recover from without much difficulty. As a physician, I am terrified for the most vulnerable members of our community who will not recover so easily. I am terrified that we know this data, yet it is not getting out to the public. We should learn lessons from Italy, Washington state, California, where very good hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, without enough ventilators to keep patients alive or enough protective equipment to prevent the doctors from getting infected. This virus is very contagious and people with mild cold like symptoms can easily spread it to others. The only known way to reduce deaths in a community is for all of us to stay home. Including those who feel fine. I don’t want everyone else to feel terrified. But I do want everyone to take this extremely seriously.
From a longer email she sent to her patients:
The World Health Organization currently estimates the overall risk of death from covid-19 at 3.4%, based on data from China. Dr. Fauci at the CDC has put this at 1%. These numbers may over-represent the actual risk of death as more mild cases were likely not diagnosed or tested. These numbers will change as we learn more.
Please protect yourself and those you care about by doing the following:
1. Social distancing:
-Do not attend any unnecessary gatherings of people.
-Do not attend religious services.
-Do not go to the gym.
-Do not travel.
-Keep your kids/yourself home from school if possible.
-Work from home if possible.
-Stay in your own home or outdoor areas as much as possible.
-If you are a leader of any organization, suspend all meetings/classes/practices/games.
We cannot stress highly enough the importance of this.
The time to do this is NOW, before we have widespread transmission in our local community.
This is going further than the current Virginia Department of Health and CDC guidelines, but we strongly believe it is necessary. Due to the current limited testing, the number of cases in Virginia is likely much higher than we know, and social distancing is the only known way to slow the spread of this virus.
This protects you and your family, but also protects the vulnerable members of our community.
Without these measures, the current medical system runs a real risk of being unable to keep up with the needs of our patients (not enough breathing machines and other supplies to care for all who will need it).
Widespread social distancing as soon as possible can make an enormous difference in number of infections and deaths.
See details here: coronavirus: why you must act now
and here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-cancel-everything/607675/
2. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol prior to eating and after touching potentially contaminated faucets, door handles, and counters. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
3. Prepare for future changes by having a at least a 2-3 week supply of anything you would need, including prescription medications.
Symptoms of covid-19 may include:
– Fever (88% of lab confirmed cases)
– Dry cough (67%)
– Fatigue (38%)
– Sputum production (33%)
– Shortness of breath (18%)
– Sore throat (14%)
– Headache (13%)
– Muscle/joint aches (15%)
– Chills (11%)
– Nausea/vomiting (5%)
– Stuffy nose (5%)
– Diarrhea (4%)
– Coughing up blood (1%)
If you develop symptoms:
1. Self-isolate in your own home, in a room separate from other family members and pets. Most cases are mild cold symptoms that will resolve on their own. You can use over the counter medications as needed for symptom management.
2. If you have difficulty breathing, call 911 or go directly to the emergency department. Wear a mask if you have one to protect those you may come into contact with, and call the emergency department to let them know you are coming.
3. As of right now, testing in Virginia is limited and we do not have the capability to test in our office. If you are concerned that you may have covid-19, please contact your doctor, who can discuss recommendations.
This is a rapidly evolving clinical situation and all of this is subject to change. Again, this is what we are currently recommending for our own family, in order to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable around us. The Virginia Department of Health recommendations can be found here: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/ and CDC recommendations can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Maura McLaughlin, MD and Tim McLaughlin, MD
COVID-19 Prep Update- March 14:— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) March 14, 2020
Last night I was on with state & local officials around the US well into the night. By March 23 many of our largest cities & hospitals are on course to be overrun with cases.
I am going to prepare a memo for them. I will share highlights here.1/