Connecting With Your Patients

This is the Coronavirus that causes COVID19.

This is a novel virus and it is known as an “envelope virus” because it has a tiny opening that makes it very fragile. That means we can kill it! To “break” this virus, something needs to get through the lipid bilayer – soap and water are GREAT at this job! Use it often.

How can I tell if I have it?

The science community continues to learn about what having this virus feels like. If you believe you have symptoms, call your clinical team FIRST. Do not go in person. Here’s a bit of what we know so far:

Does it hide?

This virus seems to be a great hide-and-go-seek player, yes.

Part of why you are hearing a lot more about this virus is because it can stay dormant for as long as 14 days, which means you won’t have these symptoms. Most folks will see something in 4-5 days and often a fever is first which is why it helps to record your temperature every 12 hours.

Feeling sick? CALL your health department or clinician and ask what to do next. Do not go to events, work, or school.

How fast does it spread?

Every disease has a spread rate or R0 factor (R-naught). That tells us the number of people likely to get sick from one person being infected with an illness.

US coronavirus is estimated to have an estimated R0 factor of 2.3.

How fast does it spread?

Every disease has a spread rate or R0 factor (R-naught). That tells us the number of people likely to get sick from one person being infected with an illness.

How does it spread?

Coronavirus is consider a dropletbased virus, which means you must come into contact with the fluid from things like a cough or sneeze

What are my chances that I will get REALLY sick?


*These figures are currently considered higher than today’s real data because they were taken from the first 1,590 cases in China from the first generation virus. This data recorded lung conditions as COPD

We have SCIENCE to answer this question! Scientists all over the world working in public health have been tracking how patients are doing and share those data with us through the World Health Organization (WHO).

Public health researchers use key terms to calculate risk in an area or individual:

  • Case Fatality Rate (CFR): The number of deaths divided by the number of cases.
  • US Infection Fatality Rate (IFR-US): This number adjusts the CFR for a country’s quality of health systems and services.
  • Hazard Ratio (HR): This number is the increased rate of severe incidents compared to someone without chronic disease.

This means you can calculate your Risk Ratio!

HR x IFR = Risk Ratio

What does it mean if I have asthma and I am 45?

Plug in the values!

(2.68) x (0.2) = 0.536%

Phew! This means only 5.36 out of 1000 people will have an aggressive case of COVID-19.

Flattening the Curve

Right now, you are hearing a lot about flattening the curve. When there’s a new disease spreading, early interventions can help community resources serve those in need and avoid catastrophic incidents


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Isolation: Separates a person who is sick from those who are healthy.

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Quarantine: Separates people who are exposed and may become sick but aren’t sick yet.

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Social Distancing: Allows communities who are not exposed to reduce the risk of exposure by staying home and not hosting events.

A school district going remote saves 10 lives a week. A 100,000-person event canceling saves 200 lives. Any 20 coworkers working-from-home for 4 days save a life

Why do it?

The ultimate goal of social distancing is to immediately reduce the number of contact points between people. 

It’s very contagious, and each day of reduced contact through social distancing by one individual can save the community ~$350/day (doubling each week since 3/6). 

What Can You Do to “Flatten the Curve”?

Clean your room! This is not a drill. Take a moment to pick everything up, clear off surfaces, and wipe everything down with soap and water or a spray like Lysol.

No shoes indoors! Remove your shoes outdoors and leave them there for a few hours, coats too. New package deliveries should also stay outside for a bit. Consider showering right when you come in from the community or school. Any clothes worn outside, put in laundry immediately. Consider taking your clothes off inside out so any attached virus can stay inside there.

Keep your home clean! Using soap and water (or 60+% alcohol-based cleaners when appropriate), clean your doorknobs, car door handles, countertops, appliance buttons and handles, cabinet handles, and even the common-shared fridge item touchpoints. Don’t forget your cellphone (remove cases), laptop, and all household remotes! Wash clothing after one use and linens more regularly, using the dryer on high heat.

Better greetings. Don’t shake hands, try a Spock or jazz hands hello!

Projects at Home! Prepare for some extra time with your whole family. Have a few new books ready to read, or maybe plan to finally learn knitting and get those materials on hand.

Get moving. It’s important to stay active, but limit to things like a great walk or hike where you can keep distance from others but still move your body. (Dance parties in the kitchen work too!)

Online School! Your school is likely announcing online classes soon and they’ve all been working extra hours to make it happen. This is exciting and hard to do all at once.

Virtual Friend Time! Get creative on ways to connect with your friends and schedule times to talk virtually. Can you video chat to watch a movie together? Check in over breakfast? Text a short video message! 

Talk about how you are feeling. It’s okay to be worried.

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