UPDATE -March 27, 2020
Courtesy “Gregory Poland, M.D. / Vaccine Research Group / Mayo Clinic.”
Fact or fiction? Dr. Poland explains in this Q&A:
Q. Can hand dryers kill COVID-19?
A. Avoid hand dryers. The reason for that is that they just increase the air circulation of the viruses as that air, either warm or not warm, is blowing against your hands. That’s been well demonstrated with other viruses.
Q. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body kill the COVID-19?
A. Don’t do that. You don’t want to use those solutions on your body. They are to be used on hard surfaces. For your body, use simple soap and water. The way that soap and water works is really important because it informs how you wash your hands. There are surface tension agents in soap, so it takes away the electrostatic attraction of the virus to your skin, it removes oils and mucous that may be on your body that the virus can live in, and you are by friction literally washing it away with water. And that turns out to be the most effective thing we know.
Q. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with COVID-19?
A. The nasal rinses have primarily been shown to be effective with sinusitis and with allergies. I don’t know of any direct evidence for that with COVID-19.
Q. Can eating garlic help prevent infection with COVID-19?
A. Only insofar as it makes social distancing easier. There is no evidence that shows garlic protects people from the virus.
Q. Can you protect yourself by gargling bleach?
A. I know that on the internet people have talked about gargling bleach and also putting bleach on cotton plugs and putting it in the nose. That is an extraordinarily dangerous and unhelpful thing to do.
Q. Can antibiotics kill COVID-19?
A. No antibiotic can kill a virus. Antibiotics are only to be used when there is known, documented co-infection with bacteria.
Q. Rural communities don’t need to worry, right?
A. Wrong. I think that is a very dangerous myth, as is the myth that younger people don’t need to worry. This is a serious disease. Let me put it this way. Last week in the U.S., there were 18,000 cases. Today, there are over 85,000 known cases. There is no evidence that this is going to end soon. We are talking about taking these maneuvers for months ― plural ― not weeks. This is a very dangerous. It is rapidly evolving and a very dynamic situation. It is imperative that we decrease human-to-human transmission to flatten this curve so that the hospital and medical system is capable of responding and not overrun. In some of our larger cities, they are preparing tents, refrigerated trucks for the anticipated bodies.
COVID-19: Eating, moving and meditating are keys to staying healthy
By DeeDee Stiepan
Dr. Elizabeth Cozine, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician, offers these tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19pandemic:
Gyms may be closed, but there are still plenty of options to get in a good workout at home.
“If you have any sort of exercise equipment that’s been gathering dust in the corner, dust it off. Hop on a treadmill, bike, whatever. Something really cool that’s going on right now as part of this response to social distancing is that many app-based programs that are typically fee-for-use are offering free trials right now – for about 90 days – so try something out.”
Another good option for exercise is getting outside and taking a walk.
“You do need to be distanced from your friends and family, which is hard, but certainly feel free to take your kids, your spouse out for a walk. If you’re going to meet a friend for a walk ― maybe a neighbor ― keep yourself 6 feet apart. But get outside.”
During times of uncertainty and stress, sleep is crucial to allow the body to rest and heal. Dr. Cozine says it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene:
“Trying to go to bed at the same time every night, maybe sleeping in a little bit later than you normally would because you’re not rushing to get to the office. And see if you can try to get somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep, which is what most adults need, and make that a regular part of your day.”
One way to help promote sleep is through meditation. Dr. Cozine says there’s a lot of great evidence to suggest that meditation can improve sleep and help you better cope with stress and anxiety.
“I’ve found that it helps me turn off those hamster wheels of thoughts that are rolling in my brain, and it also helps me to get ready for the next step. So I’m not talking about sitting Zen, cross-legged for three hours thinking about ― I don’t know ― like a desert or something. I’m talking about maybe five minutes where you just reset. You could do it at your desk. Go somewhere quietly.”
Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more time on your hands and fewer options to dine out, Dr. Cozine says this could be a good time to try some dietary changes to make a difference in your overall health. However, Dr. Cozine doesn’t recommend making any huge changes to your diet during this time of stress.
“You might think about doing some things like eating more whole foods, thinking about fewer meat (dishes), reducing your processed foods, and thinking about moving toward eating as many plants as you can.”
Social distancing — putting space between yourself and others to reduce the spread of illness — is crucial when it comes to COVID-19. You should avoid large gatherings and keep contact with others in public spaces to a minimum. But that doesn’t mean you need to cut yourself off from friends entirely. Technology can help bridge the gap, and if face-to-face interaction is necessary, there are some things that can be done to reduce risks.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that leads to symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Symptoms can range widely, from mild to severe. The virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can extend up to 3 to 6 feet from that person and land on the surfaces around that person. If you breathe in the droplets, or they land in your eyes, nose or mouth, or are carried there by your hands, you are at risk of infection.
If you stay at least 6 feet from people who are infected, the risk of being exposed to the virus drops dramatically. Because there is growing evidence to suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted even before someone feels sick, it’s important to practice social distancing even with people do not seem sick.
Social distancing has been shown to effectively slow the spread of infection. It includes avoiding public spaces where you may come in close contact with others as much as possible. This includes malls; theaters; houses of worship; public transportation; or anywhere with large crowds, such as concerts or festivals. For public spaces that you have to visit, like grocery stores, limit visits to only those that are absolutely essential, leave kids and other family members at home, and go when crowds may be smaller. Wash your hands well before and after the visit. Assign someone else in the family to go if you are sick.
As part of social distancing efforts, many states are closing schools. As in your situation, that can leave children and teens eager to find activities to ward off boredom. For teens, the typical activities they may enjoy with their friends — like shopping at the mall, going to a movie theater, meeting at a coffee shop or gathering at a private home in large groups — all are strongly discouraged in a time of social distancing.
That doesn’t mean that they need to be cut off from each other completely, however. And social interaction is important. Encourage your teen to stay connected with friends in a way that doesn’t increase the risk of infection. For example, many teens are savvy with technology. There are a host of apps that offer easy communication in real time for groups to stay in touch.
If a gathering of two or three people is absolutely necessary, then going for a walk outside in the fresh air — in an area where you will not come in close contact with others, such as a large park — is less risky than meeting inside someone’s home. Getting fresh air and exercise also can be a mood booster, which is important for everyone during this time. But it will take some diligence on your part to keep those get-togethers safe. Check to make sure no one in either family is sick or is showing signs of illness.
You, your teen and his or her friend should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after their interactions. They need to avoid hugs, handshakes, fist bumps or any other physical contact, and keep space between them. Teens should be reminded to clean their phones and other devices regularly, following manufacturer recommendations.
Transmission within households has been one of the primary drivers of spread in this outbreak. If meeting within a household is felt to be necessary, then disinfection of commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs is recommended.
Recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are ever-changing. Stay informed and get your information from a reliable source, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and Mayo Clinic News Network. — Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Check the CDC website for additional updates on COVID-19.
March 24, 2020 – MUST HEAR INFO – Source: Mayo Clinic