PREVENTION – How do we protect ourselves?
COVER UP – SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING
The main way coronovirus is spread is through droplets from coughs and sneezes. They have found that it can hang in the air from being aerosolized but we don’t know if that is just from medical procedures or if it is in the community that way. The absolute best we can do now is self-isolate ourselves and our families. Keep your face covered when you are out and about, if you are working with people (supermarket, seeing patients, etc), when you are with people, and when you are with a sick person.
KEEP WASHING THOSE HANDS.
- The single most important thing now is social distancing – keeping people at 6-10 feet away from you when you are out and about. Wear a face covering (see above) Limit trips out of your house to essentials only. It is ok to hike or walk outside so long as you are not driving far to do it but not with more than one other person. Never shake hands; acknowledge people with a nod, or namaste, or a wave. Don’t allow others in your house unless they have no cough, fever, recent travel, or recent contact with a positive COVID person). Have people wash their hands as soon as they enter your home.
- Second most important is to wash our hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Wash your phone every time you wash your hands.)This is because the virus is spread by droplets and things we touch and it has a fatty envelope which is broken down by good old soap and water, or alcohol. Wash hands for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday slowly to Elizabeth Ortiz y Pino!) Rub every surface of your hands including the backs and between your fingers, rub the tips of your fingers on your your palms and grab and rub each thumb. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is easier said than done. We touch our faces more than 90 times a day. Face masks/coverings and glasses help you to avoid touching these areas especially when out.
- Third – Wear face covering when you are in public or with other people. You can make your own masks from common materials around your home that are between half and almost as effective as a surgical mask. Better if you can get the fit right. The WHO does not recommend medical masks because of the global shortage for medical personnel on the front lines.Homemade masks made of hundred percent cotton T-shirt and or pillow case seem to be the best so long as they fit well. One study says they filter about 57% of the virus out of the air if it’s being shot directly at the material. The duckbill pattern is good, but you can also make a simple pattern like a surgical mask with pleats. Just make sure it’s sealed all the way around your face and sew in a paper clip for the nose area so that you can bend it around your nose. Find a simple Pattern here.Use one of these best materials for a diy facemask.
- Stay at least 6 feet (CDC) from anyone – If you both stretch out your arms, your fingertips should be at least one foot apart. .
- Clean surfaces that you regularly touch both at home and work. Clean your computer keyboard and mouse. Wash your phone and glasses regularly
- We are now limited to gatherings of a maximum of two outside in NM..
- Use this WHO daily update site for daily world reports – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
- Use this site for USA cases by state and by county in some states https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-updates-united-states.html or the CDC site which is not as easy to use.
- Check the NM Dept of Health website daily for updated restrictions https://cv.nmhealth.org/
Clinic Update As of March 19th 2020, the clinic will be closed along with other businesses in NM per the Governor’s Order.
3/31/20 We are happy to announce we will be doing remote (video) Chinese medicine consultations for current patients as of next week (April) , keep your eye on our clinic website booking page for updates. We will use herbal medicine, acupressure, ear acupressure seeds, moxibustion (burning herbs) etc as the modalities once we assess your needs.
What will an acupuncture telehealth appointment look like?
First you will book online as usual (or call in if you don’t do online), then (we are trying to get this set up online) you will pay for the session at our regular sliding scale ($17-50) plus pay for an acupuncture supplies box ($20) which we will either mail to you (+$5) or you can pick up from North Campus Abq area.
We will call you at your appointment time, via Facetime or whatsapp, and spend ten minutes with you doing diagnosis and treatment plan. We will write out your plan and mark any point location maps and email these to you. We will set up a follow up training appointment (sliding scale $17-50).
We may decide that Chinese herbs are the best solution for you. If so we will assess what form you are willing to take them (teas or pills). Pills usually cost $14 (plus P & P) for 6-8 days. Herbal teas cost about $5 a day. If we send you teas we will only send up to two days worth to start with to see how you get along with taking them.
After that you will treat yourself on a schedule and make another appointment if you need your point location or technique checking, or if your symptoms change and you need a new plan. We may want to see you on a regular basis but we will tell you so if that is the case.
Some Background about Coronavirus
Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the disease COVID-19 has reached many countries including the United States, and has reached New Mexico. The number of cases in China is decreasing which is implying that with good management it could be a three-four month cycle but we should be prepared for longer.
Here is some basic information gleaned from the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Public Health Association (APHA), the NM Dept of Health, as well as The Guardian newspaper and LiveScience websites.
Starts like a common cold, then:
Fever, Dry Cough, Shortness of breath,
Can have cold-like symptoms. Can progress into life threatening pneumonia.
Some places have added sore throat and diarrhea to the lists of symptoms
80% of people have mild symptoms, Children tend to have mild symptoms. People most at risk are the over 60s, those with underlying respiratory conditions (asthma, COPD, emphysema) or other chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease, cancer) – so that includes a very high proportion of us at CAA – both patients and staff! Pregnancy poses no extra risk and you cannot get it from your pet however don’t let strangers pet your dog. Young people are not immune. Both here in the USA and in Italy 35% of the intensive care patients are under the age of 40.
Coronavirus is concerning because of the death rate. You may have heard that more people die of flu every year, which is true, however, the death rate from this coronavirus is high – 3 people in 100 cases die. By contrast,13 people in 10,000 die of the flu. Also, although the WHO and others are working on a vaccine, there is currently no coronavirus vaccine, whereas there is for the flu.
How is it spread?
Almost always through close contact with a sick person. The virus is spread via droplets from coughing and sneezing. Some think it can hang in the air (aerosol) for up to 3 hours – but this is not clear whether it aerosolizes through medical procedures or can happen by coughing. It can be caught through droplets landing on surfaces, a person touches the surface then their nose, mouth or eyes. The virus only enters through one of these routes (nose, mouth or eyes). Most commonly though it is caught through someone coughing or sneezing near you or you are in close contact with someone with COVID according to the CDC and the WHO.
It is not known how long it survives on surfaces – it could be from a few hours to a few days., what I have read recently says from 2-3 hours up to 3-9 days! Quite a range. Recent tests from the cruise ship that had lots of cases showed virus alive at 17 days. So, lets just assume it is everywhere. Quarantine anything that comes into your house, mail, packages, your son’s basketball, for one to two days. The virus lives longer on hard surfaces than on soft surfaces. Disinfecting surfaces with disinfectant after cleaning with soap and water will kill the virus. Disinfectants that work are; Bleach (5 tablespoons in a gallon water or 4 teaspoons in a quart); Ethyl or rubbing alcohol (60-90% in water – check the bottle to see starting % then use math!); Hydrogen peroxide (3% is how you can commonly buy it. Use it straight and leave on surface for 6-8 minutes). Disinfectants are recommended if you are living with a person positive for COVID-19
The incubation period is commonly found to be between 1-14 days – typically 5 days. This is the time when a person has no symptoms and doesn’t know about it. It is possible that you can continue shedding virus after symptoms are gone, but right now for people who are sick the CDC recommend that you can stop isolating 3 days after you have no fever (without medication) and your other symptoms are improving
There is no treatment for corona virus, just rest and take care of yourself. Most people (80%) have mild symptoms. Serious infections are treated using support measures at hospitals. The WHO and other organizations are testing Western and traditional medicines to see if they will help. Antibiotics do not help because this is a virus. About 16% will need to be hospitalized.
When to Self-isolate?
To avoid the spread to others self-isolate in your home for 14 days when indicated! (So be prepared with food, water and things to amuse yourself now.) These are current NM department of health recommendations
- when exposed to a person with a COVID-19 positive test
- when traveling from a high risk area – https://cv.nmhealth.org/
- When traveling by plane
- when you have cold or flu symptoms or high fever before having a negative test.
When to wear a mask?
WHO suggest only those who are sick or are caring for the sick should wear masks due to there being a shortage for medical personnel. However, masks do help us not to touch our faces. A bandana or balaclava would do that as well but it might scare people. If you use a mask when you are out and about, throw it away if someone coughed on you and don’t touch the outside of it.
What if I am sick?
If you have any of the virus symptoms – fever, dry cough, shortness of breath – call into your doctors, don’t go in person, and they will direct you where to go. Do not go into any medical facility without being instructed to. You can also call the NM coronavirus info hotline at 855 600 3453.
Should I get tested?
The only circumstances that you should get tested are if you have a fever of over 100 degrees, and a cough, and shortness of breath (difficulty breathing). If you have been exposed to a covid-19 positive person, you should get tested if you get a fever of over 100 degrees, and you have either a cough or shortness of breath. The reason that we wait until the fever shows is that the test may not pick up the virus until then (there just isnt enough of it to show) so you will end up getting a false negative – meaning you will think you don’t have it but you do have it.
Should I cancel my group?
Yes, right now (3/26) numbers are doubling every two to three days. If we don’t social distance or isolate now, we will have an overwhelming number in 2-4 weeks. This is our only opportunity to make this catastrophe milder.
What does Flattening the Curve mean?
Approximately 40-70% of people are expected to get the virus. What health departments and governments are trying to do with isolation and other social restrictions is slow down the number of cases so that the number of people who need hospitalizing does not overwhelm the healthcare system. If they keep the number of serious cases lower, even if they are spread out over a longer period of time, the hospitals will be able to cope and the death rate will be much lower.
Strengthen our Immune Systems
This is somewhat of a concerning thought – so the next question is what can we do? Remembering that 80-84% of the cases will not need hospitalization and will have something like a bad bout of the flu – we should do everything that we would normally do to strengthen/balance our immune systems so that we get a mild version – that includes not getting stressed or panicky – I know that is hard at the moment. If you take vitamin C in flu season or other supplements, go ahead and take them now or when you feel vulnerable – remembering that this is for the long haul. You can use acupressure or acupuncture to balance your immune system. Continue to practice excellent hygiene and be super careful whatever risk group you are in. More techniques here.
What do I do if someone in my house is sick with COVID-19 or the flu?
First, we are sorry. Then follow the CDC guidelines for living with a person with COVID-19 and also caring for yourself if you get sick.
Above all don’t panic! It’ll cost too much and you’ll be called a hoarder!