Colorado Primary Healthcare would like to give everyone an update in regards to how we are handling the Coronavirus. This will change frequently. The most important thing is that unless you have shortness of breath or are having chest pain, heart palpitations or feeling as though you are going to pass out, you do not need to do anything but stay home and call your doctor.
There are no treatments, as this is a virus. This is not something that needs antibiotics. Half the country, maybe less, thinks this is a hoax or an overreaction. From reading medical literature and hearing from the expert scientists that dedicate their lives to this, this is clearly the scariest thing they have ever seen in their forty-year career working in public health, infectious diseases, and pandemic research.
This may get better quicker and not meet the statistics of infecting 60% of the country or killing 3% of the people that get infected, which is what has happened in some parts of the world.
Our Office Protocol:
For the safety of our patients and staff, 80 percent of our appointments are constructed via Telemedicine. You can sign in to our portal, or if you are not signed in already, call our office and our staff would be happy to walk you through the sign-in process. You can also call the office to make an appointment with one of our clinicians. Most of us are working from home, but there is always someone in the office. Whether it be staff, clinicians or the practice manager.
Right now, we do have some test kits, no one else that we know of does. Those will be gone within a business day or two. We do not know when we will be getting more. The problem is that we cannot get access to test kits. So we don’t know who is infected or mildly symptomatic, with a cold or actually has COVID-19. People that don’t have symptoms or are infectious in terms of the whole population. We just don’t know yet.
We are learning every day! There are some new tests to know if you’re infected. There are other tests, but we are not sure how accurate they are regarding if your body is creating antibodies to it, meaning that you’re immune. These things are not ready for widespread use yet, because they cannot be made quickly enough.
We have a protocol in the office that if you see a clinician via the telemedicine platform, we do have ways to get you tested if you are high risk. We don’t know when those test kits will be available for us. We are sure that the federal and state government will be arranging test sites all over the country as quickly as possible.
But again this is a virus, if you have life-threatening symptoms with breathing trouble and seem to be getting worse, call your doctor. Then we can help navigate you through the system of getting tested or getting to the emergency room, because if this continues to explode within a handful of days, then the hospital beds will be filled.
We do not want people to go to the hospital who are potentially infectious unless it is a life-threatening situation.
So, if you are concerned, the first thing to do is take Tylenol. If you have a fever, chills, or muscle aches, do not take Ibuprofen. There is something about this virus (which is still unknown), that Tylenol works better and Ibuprofen may be dangerous.
The recommended dose when you get sick is that you can take up to 3000mg Tylenol in a 24 hour period. So, start with 500mg, then if you feel if your chills or fever recur after 3 hours, you can take a second one. Tylenol usually comes in 500 mg tablets, and there is plenty of it. The other name is Acetaminophen. Check your local pharmacy or you may be able to order from Amazon and have it delivered to you.
The pharmacies, the banks, and the grocery stores are the only things that are going to be open soon, if not already, around the country.
You should be able to get Acetaminophen or Tylenol. Find the cheapest one you can. You don’t need a name brand anything! Then just rest, eat healthily and order your groceries online if you can. The food supply chain is more than adequate. It is just a bottleneck right now of trying to get it from the people that grow it and sell it, to the actual grocery stores. This is because, generally, half of our food in the United States goes to restaurants.
Use precautions if you go to a grocery store if you cannot get delivery. However, getting groceries online is very easy and will save you at least an hour of time. It saves your previous buying history and your preferences. You just go through all the items and click on what you want.
In terms of using stores, doing your work and going to the doctor, these things have changed for good. Unless you need a procedure, surgery or visit the emergency room, we anticipate half of all visits to doctors will be done online. We don’t see that changing back to the old way once this pandemic recedes. This will be the new normal.
You will go onto your phone or computer to have a doctor’s appointment. It has been increasing in its usage for years, slowly. But now it will change most likely forever. The size of your doctor’s office, in terms of the number of staff and clinicians needed to be on-site, will change dramatically. This will drastically change the real estate industry, especially healthcare places that will need less office space as people will be working from a remote location, half the time or more.
We will continue to update people regularly as changes come. We don’t want to be alarming by any means, but seeing the patterns of what is happening in other countries, and as things accelerate, staying home is the best thing you can do to prevent the spread of this.
Out of everyone getting sick, 19% get hospitalized. Of those people, a little less than half may need intensive care and a breathing treatment, such as ventilators. There are a lot of 32-55-year-olds getting this. Originally, it was thought that these people would get a severe infection, that was more than just a cold. If you were over 60 – 70 years old, that is still true, but there are a huge amount of people showing up to the emergency room that need ventilators that are in the 30 – 55 age group. Do not think just because you are young that you are not going to get severely ill if you catch this.
We want to remind you, our office is available. We have someone on call 24/7 if you have concerns. We recommend you call your doctors office if you have any symptoms of upper respiratory illnesses because it will affect your risk assessment of how you are treated and how you might infect your family, friends or coworkers. You need to know if you need to be strictly quarantined or not and the testing access will improve significantly, daily.
There are people working to get these tests out, so stay healthy and stay home. Use FaceTime and Zoom meetings as applicable. It is important to keep in touch with the people who mean a lot to you.
Everyone needs social time, and texting may not do it for you. So use a video platform. If you have children, contact their friend’s parents and get your children to use these platforms to connect with their friends. Have a virtual playdate, because kids don’t understand why they are stuck at home and why they cannot play with other kids.