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Corona virus update August 25, 2020

We have lots of GOOD news.

1. Drs. Dan and Doriana will soon have a highly accurate test for Covid before symptoms. It’s now much safer to have relatives visit ??

2. Covid rates are coming way down now in our county.

3. Playing golf or tennis — and just being outdoors — is safer than staying inside: Canadians should not stay home this season!

4. Get your flu vaccine soon, and get the pneumovax (pneumonia vaccine) if you haven’t already had it. These may protect against Covid! (and you need them anyway)

Here’s the details of our four points above. There are references and links at the bottom of this page.

Good News Number One:

Abbott ID Now is a great test machine. We’re getting one delivered next month! We can tell you within a few minutes if you have Corona virus or Influenza, even before symptoms. For example, maybe your friends or relatives are coming, and you’re concerned that maybe they are in the incubation period for the virus. Checking their temperature at the door is nice, but maybe they’re contagious but don’t have symptoms yet.[i] So, you or your guests can swing by WellMax or Desert Med Aesthetics and we will tell you within 15 minutes or less if there is Corona virus in that person’s throat. No test is 100%, but this one is really good.

Or maybe you start to feel ill, and you’re wondering: is this influenza or Covid? Come to the office and we will tell you in a few minutes.

(Here is the scoop on testing for Covid, why different tests are very different and why we’re so much happier now Covid testing

Good News Number Two:

The rate of hospitalization for corona virus has fallen over 50% in the past week and are way down since June in our county (all of the Palm Springs to Indio valley is in Riverside County).[ii] In March, it felt like we were all “sheltering in place” and the ER visits and case reports remained low, so people started to socialize again, mostly in air conditioned rooms because it became too hot to be outside. Cases spiked. Now new Covid cases are coming down dramatically, and temperatures are dropping soon, and we SHOULD go outside! And everyone should come back to the desert for the season. It’s safer here. I’ll tell you why:

Good News Number Three:

In a report from the CDC updated July 30th:
“Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.” [iii] There were actually mandates from our County health officials for “outside dining only” at restaurants here in the desert. Well that doesn’t work too well when it’s 100 F at midnight, as it was recently here. However, it’s going to get really nice outside here soon. They are making special plans in Palm Springs and La Quinta to increase outside dining. How likely are you to spend much time outside this fall, winter, and early spring, if you live in Idaho, Montana, Maine… or anywhere in Canada?

Flights are open, even from Canada. Yes, the border is closed to cars, for now. But there are flights every day. I’ve heard Canadians say they’re going to stay there and not risk coming back to the desert because we have an epidemic. So they’ll sit in their living room and look out at the frozen ground and breathe each other’s air. Don’t stay there. You’ll just get depressed. We’re having the fun here, getting outside with golf, tennis, dining outside, and staying safe with early detection.
(Disclaimer: There is still an epidemic, so use your judgement. For Canadians, check with your travel insurance company: rules and prices may have changed.)

Good News Number Four:

Vaccines for influenza and pneumonia may improve your immunity to Covid. Each person’s immune system has antibodies but also T cells, and T cells “remember” better than the antibody system. There is apparently crossover in the proteins between other “corona viruses” that presented as common colds. AND, those who have had flu and Pneumovax vaccines appear to have a lower rate of Covid infection. “Make sure you get your scheduled vaccines,” said Dr. Andrew Badley, an author of the study and a leader of Mayo’s COVID research task force. “Not doing so is not doing everything you can to reduce your risks.”[iv][v] So get your flu vaccine now. We have them; you can probably get one free at most pharmacies. And get a pneumonia vaccine (Pneumovax) if you have not already. (These are also available at pharmacies and usually covered by insurance for those over 60 yo, but we recommend them for virtually everyone).

We hope to see everyone this season.

Stay safe!
Drs. Daniel and Doriana Cosgrove