CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 12/13/2020
FROM JOHNS HOPKINS:
1. INTERPOL Warns of Global Threat to COVID-19 Vaccines from Organized Crime Networks (Homeland Preparedness News) As the world deals with the ongoing chaos and death inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, INTERPOL is warning of a new threat to global hopes: organized crime networks are targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online. In a global Orange Notice alert to the organization’s 194 member countries, INTERPOL stated that the pandemic has already spawned unprecedented levels of opportunities and predatory behavior. Falsification, theft, and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines have been an ongoing issue, as well as the sale and use of fake vaccines. As travel resumes and testing becomes even more necessary, the production and distribution of fake testing kits will also likely increase.
A PHYSICIAN’S TRAVEL GUIDE DECEMBER, 2020:
Don’t go. At home, your exposure risk should be ZERO.
Travel alone or with your close household contacts only — those that you own.
No small children if possible when traveling ( or at home) if possible.
Two things ALWAYS — 100%—STAY six feet from others and WEAR your best mask. Store-bought surgical masks especially KN95 are so cheap that it doesn’t make much sense to wear cotton masks. Someday N95 masks will again be available, but for now, they are reserves for Health Care Workers.
If you are a Health Care Worker, limit, and/or avoid any home contacts possible. Try and live separately.
When gassing up, it is reasonable to use bare hands followed by hand-wipes. Use gloves if you have them.
Eat in the car.
If you must get out to eat, eat outdoors and stay as far away from other people as possible
Drive through and curbside is better than going in to pick up take it out. Order you take out by phone so that you have no wait inside.
ADDITIONAL ADVICE FROM THIS BUSY PRACTICING INTERNIST WHO LOVES TO TAKE A ROAD TRIP ABOUT EVERY THREE WEEKS.THIS IS A WORKING HOUSTON DOCTOR WITH LOTS OF COVID PATIENTS. HE CONTINUES:
“In so far as eating is concerned, I am not familiar with clear evidence to show food can transmit the virus, but I wonder about that, given the prominent number of gastrointestinal symptoms my Covid patients’ exhibit. So, I like places that look ‘masked up,’ rather than indifferent. I do not like outdoor eating, but if you must, tell the waiter to stay 12 feet until called by you and of course put your mask back on then and make sure he wears a mask.
“Bathrooms are the biggest risk in traveling, I think. The problem is average travel bathrooms have huge numbers of users in a day, and the combination of low ceilings, lots of people, all the flushing will keep aerosols swirling around in the bathrooms. If one cannot use their own motel room or nature, I think extra time and effort to try to locate less-trafficked bathrooms is a good idea, as is limiting your output by limiting your input. So drink less and avoid caffeine.
“Motel rooms offer multiple problems, and I lack the science to be certain that central air is evil. However, I prefer rooms with only a window unit servicing my room only. I don’t think last night’s guests nor the maids are giant risks, but I prefer rooms that open to the outdoors. Then, I go through an arrival ritual of opening up whatever can be opened, like doors and windows and I turn on all the fans, then go sit in my car awhile and read till the voodoo sense of my room being aired out makes me more comfortable. Same with wiping the surfaces I will mostly use. Maybe unnecessary but maybe buys a little comfort. For multiple-day stays, tell the maids to ‘stay outta my room’.
“Staying with others, in their home or a lodge? DON’T. If you insist on trusting your health to others over whom you have no absolute control, you should stay masked, and on the other side of the house. Anytime the number is more than one, especially if children large and/or small are coming and going, then your hosts really are not that safe.
“There remain those times that I am going to join a crowd because I must or want to. Maybe a convenience store bathroom because no other choice or a museum I badly wanted to see or whatever. The best tip here is to be unwilling to let it get out of hand. Be selective. Be persnickety. If I order food and drive through to the window and some kid’s nose is sticking out, then the joint is a Corona-den. The helpers aren’t wearing masks. I just tell the kid ‘never mind’ and drive off to somewhere safer.
“Go into the convenience store bathroom and turn around and leave to try another as this one was just, “wrong”. It is often the case I have a hot cup of coffee and suddenly the line turns Corona-crowded–I put the coffee down and walk–the rules about ceiling height, ventilation and density ought to be obeyed, even if rarely, road-trip inconsistent.
“If I walk into a store to buy something and there is no line, I pay the guy for what I want right then. If it must be scanned, I overpay him now and show him on the way out if he is busy; he is satisfied to keep the change. It has never been as good an idea as it is now to pack food and beverage to avoid these places.
“My ears hurt from patients telling me of the friends, family, and business people they trusted and got Covid from. Some just lie, others just kid, but all who give you the bug were wrong. ‘But they took a test…’ Come on, we all know testing does not assure anything unless positive. We all know your friends ARE mostly being good, except when they hang with their kids who are not…The vaccine is coming — this is the wrong time to get tired and loose. The message you DON’T want to hear is ‘Mr. Jones, if you can hear me over your ventilator noise, I am going to give you the first dose of vaccine.’
So, stay home and await the vaccine. This advice is surely better than hitting the road, as I say, even if I do not DO.
(J. Harris: Thank you DOCTOR NO. The only thing I might add is to avoid compressed air hand dryers in bathrooms. They aerosol everything that’s already settled out.
Since March, I just assume that everyone that I see is a possible Covid carrier. They are who they have been around — and who their families and coworkers and waiters, and friends and maids and cooks and mechanics, and dentists, and club members and game wardens, and cashiers, and clerks, and accountants, and beauticians, and barbers, and school teachers, and preachers, and choir directors, and Internists, and lovers have been around.)
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