POST – Cooler Heads Will Prevail

I know everyone has been anxious and worried about Covid-19.  Hope everyone has remained safe without any issues.

From a non-medical perspective, there has been a lot of panic, mainly due to lack of understanding.

Here is my take on this pandemic – (in simple non-medical terms)

    • It is caused by a virus
    • Viruses are NOT living organisms – they enter our cells (thru various openings in our body) and cause damage
    • Covid-19 spreads from “air droplets” – so sneezing and coughing will aerosolize the virus, allowing it to “spread”
    • if you “touch” it and then wash your hands, the virus dies, and it does not cause any harm
    • If you touch it and then touch your face, you will “breathe” it into your lungs and “infect you”
    • If the virus is sitting on a surface (table, cell phone, door handle, etc), it will slowly “die” on its own – but it may remain infectious for a few days
    • If you touch an object that has the virus on it, hand washing will kill it – so constant hand washing will help prevent infection
  • Once infected, you may experience “flu like” symptoms – fever, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, etc
  • If you have these symptoms, my recommendation is to NOT panic, and do NOT go to your local emergency room
    • Clean everything in your house, wear a “mask” or a wrap a handkerchief around your nose / mouth
    • The mask is to prevent you from spreading the virus
    • Self-isolate
    • Take Tylenol for fever, drink plenty of fluids, gatorade, hot soup, etc — just as you would treat the flu
  • If you develop shortness of breath, then call your local primary care physician for further directions
  • Currently the “death rate” is between 2%-3%
    • Since the death rate is:
      •  # people dying / # people infected,
    • and we do NOT know how many people are infected, the denominator is unrealistically low, causing the “rate” to be very high
  • In reality, the “death rate” is probably around 0.5% … a little higher than the typical annual flu — SOOOO – do NOT panic
  • After everything is said and done, I believe 80-90% of the world population will be infected, and yes, a few will die
  • If you look at the converse … if 0.5% die, that means 99.5% will survive, without any issue

The Chinese department of health has published a Corona (Covid-19) Virus Guidelines handbook.

Below is a link for the latest version of these guidelines (7th edition).  It is meant to be used by medical professionals, so it may not make sense to the non-medical reader.  But, it is a nice reference.

Stay safe

  • Sudhir S. Athni, MD
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