Coronavirus updated for May 1, 2020: Our take on the current situation.
Hello everyone! As you know, we have written several blogs about this epidemic since February 2020. We are writing today to give you my take on some chronic controversies.
We live in the gated community Victoria Falls and we literally got an e-mail to reprimand violators because someone was seen riding a bicycle without a mask! Preposterous as some of these arbitrary mandates may be, the personal responsibility to stay safe remains.
There were some doctors recently in Bakersfield that spoke to local news and “emphatically” said they do not think people need to quarantine and that they believe all businesses should be reopened. YouTube took it down but it already had five million views! We may disagree about how appropriate social distancing mandates are and what is the role of government. We were mortified when they forced even private golf clubs to close their courses, despite members (owners) demonstrating an abundance of caution. However, this virus is real. They had major problems in New York City and in Italy. Lots of people died. Now cases in Riverside County are rapidly rising.
The idea with social distancing is to have the success they had in St. Louis with the 1917 pandemic when they mandated social distancing and not have the catastrophe they had in Philadelphia (watch at least 60 seconds of this brief video starting at 6:29 for one minute. Watching the whole thing is even better.
It is true that some people have a mild flu syndrome and then develop antibodies and thus apparently have relative immunity to the virus.
OUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR
At WellMax we have tested over 60 people trying to detect antibodies to the corona virus. These are not the rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) kits which are not accurate enough. Instead, the blood was drawn from the vein and serum sent to either Nichols (the specialty laboratory at Quest) or sent to Mayo Clinic. I have had detailed discussions with the Directors of Serology (which is the measure of antibodies) at both of these labs. Our first two tests were Dr Doriana and me. She tested positive; I tested negative.
BUT on further analysis her measured antibodies was slightly over the cutoff of 1.1. The average antibody titer of patients hospitalized at Mayo was reported as 78 (verbal communication). One might expect Doriana’s serum antibody level to rise further over time, i.e. maybe we just caught it early. No: upon retesting rather than have the convalescent serum antibody test go up, it actually was measured at less. It was called negative by the lab. In summary, we have had zero of 60 patients now that remain negative for the antibody. I was hoping that many of us had a subclinical syndrome, i.e., barely had symptoms but then got the immune response. It turns out that at least in the measure of our 60 patients, all of whom have been living in the Palms Springs Desert area for the past several weeks, nobody had evidence of exposure. So we’re all still vulnerable to infection.
This is a huge tragedy for our economy. I am glad that they are lifting restrictions. We have to get back to work. We will have bigger problems if we disrupt food supplies. I agree with that.
We are taking this virus seriously and we think you should too.
Doriana will personally continue to maintain social distancing guidelines and we are still applying all precautions in the office. Yes, we’re here every day in the office, but we are wearing masks and we have purchased special ultraviolet lights to clean the air. We have several big three-level super filters. Diane and Jennifer are wiping down everything after every patient.
The world found a treatment for AIDs, but at first, people died.
I remember in the late 1980s when HIV was first discovered. Patients developed full blown AIDS and nearly all of those patients died a horrible death. There were political concerns about people being controlled and tracking of the contagious contacts had political overtones. Was it big government? Homophobia? The backlash was crazy. Well, as a potential patient, it was easier to stay safe when one just avoided sexual contact with strangers. But now it is a lot more complicated. Should you get in the elevator without a mask? (No!).
So today there are lots of HIV patients now who go about their business as if they are not ill. Dramatic improvements were made in treatment of the disease and it is completely different now for those who become HIV positive, right? My point is that given some more time, we will have an effective treatment and a vaccine.
Do we need local or federal government to force us to not congregate? To force us to wear our seatbelts? We’re not arguing that. We’re saying: wear your seatbelt!
On a personal note, I still put a glove on today when I put gasoline in my car because I have become germophobic about it: I don’t know who has touched that handle! We probably would just have a miserable couple of weeks if we get sick (and yes, if Doriana gets it, I am sure that I’ll get it too!). We are holding out until for a treatment (and a vaccine).
We know that restrictions are being lessened and that’s for the good, but it does not mean that this was a hoax or that there is not still a definite threat. This is especially for older people and those with underlying medical illness.
The number of cases in Riverside County has been very low and the hospitals have not been busy but the case rate is rapidly rising and this is not over yet. We are still in the clinic every day. Call us if we can help.
WellMax news: Jennifer, Diane, and I are in the office almost every day and we can see patients. We are taking a number of precautions to prevent spread of the virus (especially for us!) but we are open for medical business and are seeing patients. There is “essential” medical care that is not only about a virus!
We are still offering our members the Corona virus PCR nasopharyngeal or throat swab to determine who may be infected. (And anyone can get it free at several places). And we are offering the Covid antibody blood test (the accurate one, not the kit) to members. Labs are opening this test up to the general public too (Health officials need the information.)
Desert Med Aesthetics news: DMA is following the most current stay home orders and is NOT seeing cosmetic patients at the moment – not because anybody has had the virus, but because cosmetic services are deemed “nonessential services”. That is expected to change very soon:
Call for updates. Stay safe!
Daniel Cosgrove, M.D. & Doriana Cosgrove, M.D.