Let us not follow the path of our deadliest 1918 flu pandemic. First wave of 1918 flu was in spring of 1918, second wave which was the deadliest and killed most people was in fall of 1918 and the third wave happened in the winter of 1918 and spring of 1919. The pandemic finally subsided summer of 1919. It is believed to have killed approximately 20 to 50million people globally. The second wave actually killed more people for variety of reasons at that time.
In Ohio, we have started opening up as of May 2020 and elsewhere the other states have already opened up or are in the process. The question is are we ready to open up?
I would say maybe.
We would like to be ready because we want to be. This is not a good enough reason.
We could be ready if we applied ourselves. This is doable if we are careful.
We will be ready when we have a vaccine. We are all waiting for this and we have a few vaccine trials which are being accelerated to help us. However would it be soon enough? That is a million dollar question.
The only way right now to be ready is by applying ourselves. We need to follow certain rules and regulations before we can consider venturing out.
There is no denying that we are still in a pandemic which means that COVID-19 continues to be present in multiple countries and continents. We continue to become infected easily from each other and that we still do not have any immunity against it in terms of a vaccine or natural immunity.
Covid-19 is dynamic in presentation, in treatment and in survivability.
Initially our trigger words in the medical community were cough, shortness of breath, and fever. As the disease continues we have seen muscle pain, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of smell and taste, skin manifestations, and blood clots. It is not confined only to adults as there have been some cluster of cases in which the children have had skin manifestations and generalized inflammatory disease.
The treatment is also varied depending on what symptom you have and what your body is responding to. The blood clots can be treated with anti thrombotic drugs. Antiviral drug such as Remesdivir have been tried effectively. Use of intravenous SARS-Cov-2 immune globulins plasma from patients who have recovered from the disease and other modalities such as Interleukin 6 inhibitors which are at the moment in clinical trial phase. If the patient does not respond to any of these then they are ventilated to give them a chance so the body can try to heal. So essentially we are treating the symptoms and there is really no guaranteed treatment out there.
Not everyone who is getting Coronavirus disease-19 is dying. Some are living through the disease and it all depends on the presence of other comorbidites such as but not limited to chronic lung disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, asthma, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases.
I would say that we are still essentially in first wave of the disease because new cases have really not reduced as much as we would like them too. At it’s peak on 19th April 2020 Ohio had 1380 new cases. As of 16 May 2020 Ohio was at 520 new cases and we are beginning to open up certain personal businesses such as salons, and dine in restaurants with patio seating only. I would be interested to see where we are in one month in terms of new cases. Hopefully the number of new cases would continue to reduce. The stay at home orders are still in place till end of 29 May 2020 for Ohio.
On May 17, 2020 there has already been a request by the Toledo, Lucas county department of health from the public to reach out to them if they visited a certain barber shop in the area on May 15 ( the first day that the personal businesses opened back up). This is the first step for tracing of contacts of COVID-19 patient. We have to be all ready to hear more such public health announcements, as the authorities try to prevent a second wave. They want to trace the contacts and stop it at that before the disease progresses further. All of us also have to do our part by restricting our movements as much as possible and also to being open to answer questions on our movements if such a need arises.
The rules to prevent a second wave are simple and they are the same ones from the first wave. Stay at home as much as possible, wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, wear masks when you go out and maintain the social distance of 6 feet. We are still in the midst of a pandemic.
Whether we like it or not, this will be our new way of life. As soon as we can accept it we should start implementing the tools to help us live this way of life. Make a personal family plan on how to go back out and what is acceptable risk for your family. In your plan you would need to definitely incorporate social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands. Plan on having multiple masks for each member of your family one for each day they have to go out. Have a clean area in your house where you store the used masks in a paper bag. The mask can be used again after 48 hours as the virus will not last that long. Wear masks whenever you go out in public. Stay at least 6 feet away from another person so that social distancing can be maintained. Visit only those personal care businesses, restaurants which are able to provide information on how they are handling the social distancing, wearing of masks and cleaniliness. Your home is still the safest place.
We have to continue to be on guard. It is difficult but not impossible. Everyone should consider it their personal responsibility to help in prevention of second wave.