This is a sensible post.
Fact checked on Snopes:
The author is James Robb, MD UC San Diego
Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:
1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us! Jim
James Robb, MD FCAP
***POSTPONED to MAY 14, 2020*** Community Meeting - April 6, 2020 on Business Continuity Planning for Pandemic Events
***POSTPONED to MAY 14, 2020***
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A CALL TO ACTION!
The West Maui Taxpayers Association, Inc. (WMTA), is continuing to advocate for Emergency Planning for our Isolated Community with elevated concerns prompted by the threats associated with the CoronaVirus.
Failing to plan is planning to fail has been an axiom taken to heart in our isolated community when emergencies occur. We are subject to unprecedented challenges to receive acute life saving care and all too often have suffered tragic outcomes too painful to describe.
In emergencies, our options are limited and our challenges heighted by the threat of the corona virus threat. It’s already a serious risk to live in West Maui over an hour away from access to an Emergency Room for life saving acute care. It’s obvious that this new threat illustrates things are worse when pandemic healthcare threats present themselves.
We have scheduled an community meeting event with an Expert on Pre-pandemic planning and preparations on Monday, April 6that the West Maui Kanoa Senior Center at 5pm. Dr. Dennis Terpin, an Expert in Emergency Planning. He has planned a special follow up Business Continuity Planning workshop for Pandemic Events the WMTA will sponsor the following day on April 7, 2020 from 8 am to 12 Noon; to help you to develop your own Pandemic Policy using a template he will provide to all who register for it by contacting him at www.Safety1hawaii.com. (Info. - Dennis Terpin at Ua446@aol.com – 630-699-7171)
This Community event on Monday, April 6that the West Maui Kaunoa Senior Center, (788 Pauoa St. Lahaina) is free of charge and open to all.
More information on this Event can be found on our website at www.westmaui.org
Contact : WMTA President, Joseph D Pluta 808-661-7990
Maui Health System plans to establish urgent care center in West Maui this yearFebruary 6, 2020
LAHAINA - Maui Health System (MHS) Chief Strategy Officer Jim Diegel said the organization is committed to establishing a presence in West Maui this year, with future plans that include a 24-hour Emergency Department.
MHS, which manages community hospitals and clinics affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, envisions some form of an urgent care center with extended hours in West Maui.
The facility will be staffed by physicians who are board-certified in Emergency Medicine or Primary Care.
"We will, either in partnership with existing players on the West Side or maybe by ourselves, we will have a presence by the end of 2020," Diegel announced at the West Maui Taxpayers Association's Annual Meeting on Jan. 8.
Several years in the future, MHS' second strategic step will be to establish a free-standing, full-service Emergency Department that's operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"So we believe that the future here for West Maui, absent a full-service hospital, which are very expensive to build and operate... we think that solution is a 24/7 free-standing E.D.," Diegel explained.
"That will take a little bit of time to put together; we would need to determine where such a facility would need to be sited and go through the appropriate Certificate of Need requests, and then there are sizable capital investments involved with that."
A MHS analysis estimated it would cost a minimum of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 just to build and prepare the facility.
Based on the size of the West Maui community and reduced volume at the existing Emergency Department at Maui Memorial Medical Center, MHS' preliminary estimates project an operating loss of around $2,000,000 per year, Diegel said.
Funding and multi-stakeholder partnership options will be explored, and community engagement will be essential to the process, he added.
Even with donated land, plans for the West Maui Hospital and Medical Center have stalled. Diegel said it's unfortunate that plans for the critical-access hospital in Kaanapali didn't move forward.
Many small rural hospitals across the U.S. are closing, and many are converting into free-standing Emergency Departments, Diegel said.
These facilities receive patients and stabilize them. They typically have the ability to hold a patient for 24-48 hours before discharging them or transferring them to a full-service hospital.
Diegel has attended community forums with MHS CEO and Hospital Administrator Michael Rembis.
Residents have repeatedly voiced concerns about traffic and access to healthcare on the West Side.
"We have heard over the last many months... specifically your journey to improved access to healthcare and services that you need here on the West Side," he said.
"I have now experienced what it's like to be in gridlock coming across 30 (Honoapiilani Highway), both ways... and we've heard story after story of really the inability to access the appropriate care that we need here on West Maui."
Recognizing that emergency transit can be an issue, MHS has taken steps to improve helicopter transportation from West Maui to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
The helicopter won't fly at night because there is an unlit radio tower in its departure path about 800 feet from the hospital.
MHS is working with American Cellular Tower to install lights on the 186-foot-high tower.
Once it's lit, the Federal Aviation Administration and Air Traffic Control will approve night flights to and from the hospital's helipad.
Diegel asked West Maui residents to recommend sites in West Maui where the helicopter can land to pick up patients.