COVID-19 – as restrictions lift

Dear Reader

As states and countries open more services, and people are becoming increasingly fed up with being stuck at home, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is increased. Scientists and doctors around the world are desperately trying to unravel the puzzle that is COVID before another hundred thousand people die, and we too need to do our part.

It’s easy to feel scared. I know I do. I will show my age by saying that there are times I feel like the punk at the open end of Clint Eastwood’s ’45 Magnum. This virus should make us scared. Scared enough to take precautions that can save lives.

Each day that passes brings a new nasty surprise. This virus attacks blood vessels, which means it can attack every organ of your body. Lungs, kidneys, brain, gut, right down to COVID toes. Patients are now presenting with diarrhoea and vomiting, to only collapse a day later with lack of oxygen. Blood clots and other inflammatory complications can cause sudden death.

What can you do other than worry? Until there is a proven and tested vaccine, the only treatment for the moment is social distancing. That is becoming very difficult as workers are being forced to return to work because they have no income, or because they will lose their jobs if they don’t come to work.

In a time of fear, respect is the most important ingredient for success. Respect space. Respect it if someone wears a mask. Respect the need to limit your socializing and shopping. No matter how tempting it may seem to travel, respect the need to limit your risk and therefore your risk to others by limiting your travel. Do only the necessary shopping and plan so you only visit the store once a week or less. Travel only to work and home. 

And please, limit your contact with anyone with an immune problem. As lonely and isolating as this time is, the alternative could mean death to your loved one. The risk for death rises as the age of the person rises. If someone you love is over the age of 55, has diabetes, or lung or heart disease, or any chronic medical condition, then visit carefully.

I advise my patients to visit outside, bring a deckchair, and your food, stay 6 feet apart, and take everything you came with, home with you. 

Please take care. We will learn in the next few weeks what the rest of summer holds for us. In the meantime, err on the side of caution. 

All the best       Judy

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