Pi day, settling in

Settling in for the weekend and the long haul, Jamie made an Apple Rhubarb Pie to celebrate one of my favorite days, Pi Day, when science meets deliciousness. Yum. This seems the new normal, cooking and baking, opting to go to the small neighborhood market, rather than the crowded and popular store, where we might expose or be exposed. Reading, working on taxes, and yes, I did yet another video conference call at 9 AM with the other leaders at my work. We are brainstorming how to meet the anticipated surge, while still caring for our regular patients and meeting their health care needs. I made a point at the end of the meeting to remind everyone to take care of each other and to take care of themselves. We need to be in it for the long haul. But this may be the new normal for a few weeks, hopefully not months.

This virus is new and we are still learning, it looks like people become immune when they recover, but it is not completely clear yet. But almost daily, respected journals like Lancet, out of the UK, and JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine in the US< and others, are publishing new data. Fast tracking “pre-print” of studies before they are “peer reviewed” which mean the information my change some after the writers get feedback from others. I continue to be astonished on the rapid increase of knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. One new pre-print study looked at 9 patients in Germany. Infectious viral particles were found during the first week of symptoms, but the numbers of those infectious viruses went way down when the immune system kicked in about 8-10 days. Viral RNA, the genetic substance of the virus, was found later, in their noses; but it was incomplete so not able to infect. Yes, they found viral particles in the stool, but they was not infectious. Good to know. This is good information for those home and recovering.

We still don’t have great data on how infectious people are before they have symptoms. But we have clues that people early in their infection can transmit the virus, based on case reports of so many people who get the coronavirus do not have a known exposure. And that is the key to flattening the curve. This is truly not about you getting exposed, but your responsibility to not give it to someone else. And look at this Washington Post article below that is a great simulation of why it can make a difference and maybe save a life or two.

I don’t have much more to say today, we are all hunkering down and adjusting to this time. But it doesn’t have to be empty time. So please, get to learning those tunes, making those crankies, creating that thing you have wanted to create, plant that garden, or find someone to help. I will be busy, too, doing what inspires me.