June 16, 2020

Flushing out the news

We heard some good news that a common medication can help with COVID-19 treatment today. Dexamethasone is a steroid anti-inflammatory similar to prednisone and is often used in critically ill patients and patients with lung disease like COPD or emphysema. It can only be given IV but does help patients with COVID-19 that need oxygen or critical care. This news is hopeful, another tool, not a magic bullet, but the more we know, the better we can help patients survive. The news is given with a grain of salt- the data still needs to be peer reviewed.

Other news is about the infectiousness of children, or not. This new data seems to show that children, especially younger ones may not get infected and if they do, they have mild cases. True that most do fine, but still some may get Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome. This information may help schools re-open which can be a lifeboat for many families, as the economy starts up.

That same news may help grandparents get to see their newborn grandkids. Suddenly I have friends that have either new grandkids or younger friends who are bringing hope to the world with their newborns. I want them all to be able to meet, and I want to meet those babies too!

Other data is starting to show that many doctor’s offices and clinics continue to be slow with few patients, which is a huge business strain on those entities. But it is not fear of coronavirus exposure, it is the loss of health insurance. As the economy tanks, people lose their jobs, Unemployment Insurance helps pay the rent but not the health insurance. Somehow we have to do better as a country for these people. It is tough when most health insurance options are tied to jobs and there are no jobs.

And the big question on my mind, is about the flushing of toilets and the dangers! This makes so much sense when you think about it. I wonder if it is one reason why household members are much more likely to get infected if someone brings it home. It sure makes it harder to think about going camping in most state or national parks. Maybe if there is a compostable toilet, like the one we used at the campground in the North Cascades, I would consider it. Darn, we are planning to take the van and travel to Montana at the end of next week. I think we can still make it work-I need the vacation. But now public toilets are a consideration for us all- avoiding them as much as possible seems wise.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, and stay far enough away to be safe.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.