May 6, 2020

6 months old

We are into May which means the virus has been around for 6 months only. As dire as the situation can be, the astonishing speed at which discoveries and understanding of the virus is growing is reassuring. Internationally, scientists and clinicians are collaborating and problem solving together in unprecedented ways. Many questions are still unanswered, but many are, such as the worries about possible reinfection of people in Korea, since they tested positive after they had negative tests and recovered from infection. However, new analysis shows they were not re-infected but traces of viral RNA from the original infection were found. This is not completely surprising when you realize the PCR test confirms presence of RNA that belongs to the virus, but not whether it is still viable and infectious.

We understand more about the critical period of days 5-10 into an infection when peoples’ condition can suddenly worsen. And we know more how to manage that period and how stay safer, which may actually mean going to a hospital sooner, to get oxygen and other treatments. And so much research being done about antibodies and vaccines that I am hopeful we will have solutions.

But for many those solutions may not come soon enough. This New York Times article has a great illustration to show that America as a whole has not flattened the curve and we risk mini-surges as we open up the country. So the best way right now is still to avoid getting exposed. This is going to take some time.

My heart is breaking for Indian Country, especially the Navajo who are suffering immensely. The one good thing they have is the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham who is leading the state with the heart and mind of someone with public health experience. I love this interview with CNN. Her leadership is inspiring and will save lives.

We are in this storm together and we can help each other find shelter. Support each other and help each other stay sensible. And don’t forget to take care of yourself! Here are some tips.

Wash your hands and cover your nose!
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.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01315-7

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-reinfections-were-false-positives.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/well/live/coronavirus-days-5-through-10.html

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/amanpour-and-company/video/why-covid-19-patients-should-be-going-to-hospitals-sooner/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/science/llama-coronavirus-antibodies.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/06/opinions/native-americans-covid-19-avoid-catastrophe-jones/index.html

https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/mind/stress/social-distancing-self-care