The next six weeks will be risky for all of us as the Covid-19 epidemic continues to extend its reach. Nevertheless, I am convinced we can all stay safe with a high degree of probability during this time, whether by keeping in our circles of safety, or by careful use of personal protective gear, providing we are rigorous in our self-protection. I present and explain a graphical model of how and why the number of active cases will likely increase and by how much over April and May.
Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts are expanding exponentially, which will continue through this month. Later in April we pass a peak, or just reach a high plateau. Which is not known. Hospitals, physicians and nurses are struggling still without fully adequate equipment. We have no proven drug treatments nor vaccine. Almost all of our members are safe in their circles of safety, which work. Stay in yours. Do not see others in person regardless of the holidays upcoming.
Today marked beginning of the third week of our collective quarantines. Our practice has had just several possible or likely cases of Covid-19. We will be in “lockdown” certainly through April and most likely through May. We are not providing any off label treatments at this time. Much more testing of active and past disease is needed to enable us to eventually come out of quarantine safely, as well as face masks for all. These of course are not available as yet. But a good card game to try is.
Covid-19 continues to show more cases, more hospitalized, and more rapid spread. We are increasing testing but it remains inadequate, while personal protective equipment (masks and such) is running low for medical personnel. A small bright spot is the possible utility of an old drug in preventing secondary spread. We need to rigorously continue our self protection. April and May are unlikely to be better.
Shingles vaccine is an important vaccine for everyone over 50. It is highly effective. Supplies are finally improving. We are giving the shots in our office and have recently solved the bureaucratic puzzle to get patients Medicare Part D reimbursement. Pharmacies also can administer the vaccine.
The coronavirus, now called Covid-19, that originated in China last fall, is spreading fairly rapidly and somewhat surreptitiously. It likely is now in the US Northwest. This infection can be serious and cause for self-protection, even though many cases are mild. I update the status and summarize what you can do to protect yourself and your family in this almost unprecedented viral disease outbreak.