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  • Writer's pictureLisa Reynolds, MD

Coronavirus Update 4/5; universal masks; Dr Lisa's TownHall & her proposed recovery plan

Coronavirus Update

Sun 4/5/2020 noon

Summary: “When I wear a face covering, I protect you. When you wear a face covering, you protect me.”

I Repeat: Oregon appears to be flattening the curve: Stay Home, Wash hands, Save Lives

More on: Oregon HB1 The Oregon COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Act

Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Tue (4/7/2020, 7 pm, fb live or register for Zoom.)

Updated: Resource guide, including how to access benefits (state/fed)

Lisa Reynolds MD

This is Lisa Reynolds, MD. Portland Pediatrician, mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.

Coronavirus: The numbers

  • WORLDWIDE: 1.1 million confirmed cases, 65,000 deaths, 175 countries

  • US: 311,000 confirmed cases, 8,500 deaths;

  • WASHINGTON: 7500 confirmed cases, 310 deaths,

  • OREGON: 1000 confirmed cases, 26 deaths (the number of new cases is fewer)

  • 75% of Americans under a Stay Home order

  • Important dates: First confirmed case in US 1/19/2020 (WA); first US death: 2/29/2020 (WA); first confirmed case in OR: 2/28/2020; first death in OR: 3/14/2020. Gov Brown’s Stay at Home order 3/23/2020.

Oregon update: Stay Home Save Lives is Working!

  • Institute for Disease Modeling (Gates foundation): There is strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission by 50-70% compared to baseline (what the rates would have been without state government intervention).

  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME, Univ of WA): Oregon Peak disease (highest number of cases): May 5. If we continue with strict stay at home behavior, we will have enough ICU beds, hospital beds, and ventilators to take care of our sickest citizens. THIS IS THE GOAL.

  • We are nowhere near loosening restrictions, which would cause a rebound and a rapid increase in the number of cases. 97% of Americans will have NO immunity to COVID-19 after this first wave. Stay home, save lives, wash hands.

  • Hospitalizations in WA state for COVID-19 symptoms dropped 20% last week compared to the previous week. This is the first decline since the early days of COVID-19 in WA.

The US, however, is in dire straits

  • IHME estimates that the US’s COVID-19 cases will peak on April 15. On that day we will need 262,000 hosp beds (we will be 88,000 beds short), 40,000 ICU beds (we will be 20,000 beds short) and 32,000 ventilators (short).

Other Updates

  • Oregon Governor Kate Brown sends 140 ventilators to New York. The modelling in Oregon (see above) suggests we will not need these ventilators if we adhere to strict social distancing.

  • Oregon unemployment is currently at 16%, up from an all time low of 3.3% in early March. Oregon unemployment is expected to reach 20%.

  • Oregon Department of Education has

  • The CDC recommends that we ALL wear masks when out in public, to prevent spread of virus from asymptomatic shedding (ie one can be contagious even when one does not feel sick). This does not replace social distancing. County Health Officials in the Portland Metro area agree. Recommended: home crafted cloth masks; please reserve medical masks for medical professionals. Wash/clean daily. The CDC offers a way to sew a mask as well as a no-sew option here.

What I will do on day one in the legislature:

I will introduce House Bill 1: The Oregon COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Act

  • Healthcare for every Oregonian. Governor Brown was correct to arrange for insurers to waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing. “No one should have to ask if getting a COVID-19 test is something they can afford.” Try replacing “COVID-19 test” with insulin. With albuterol. With a consultation with a heart specialist. Do you see where I’m going with this?

  • Telehealth expansion, reimbursed similarly to in person visits.

  • Return to public life: Extensive testing to make sure we know who is contagious (and needs to stay isolated) and who is not. We should also check antibodies to see who has immunity.

  • Future Vaccine: Detailed plans that we will deploy once a vaccine becomes available so we can inoculate all Oregonians safely and efficiently.

  • Economic recovery

  • A Public Health System Modernization Plan with the logistics of building an Oregon arsenal of personal protection equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

  • Input from you: I am setting up a crowdsourcing way to get input on HB1. There is an opportunity to do things differently as we rebuild from the ruin of the pandemic. Let’s work on this together.

What you can do right now (it’s worth repeating):

  • Prevent Infection:

    • Wear a mask in public (preferably a cloth hand made mask-save the medical masks for the medical providers).

    • Prevent yourself from getting sick. One infected person will infect 400 others in a month.

      • Wash your hands.Your hands carry almost all of your germs to the respiratory tract (leading to infection). 20 seconds. Soapy water. Wrists and fingernails. Towel dry. Or Hand Sanitizer (second best).

        • Before you leave your house.

        • When you arrive someplace

        • Before/during/after food preparation and eating

        • Before/after cleaning your home

        • Before/after diaper change

        • After shopping cart, sneezing, blowing nose, pet care, garbage.

      • Try not to touch your face (introduces germs from your hands to mucus membranes of eye/nose/mouth). Wash hands if you do. Use tissue to touch.

      • Clean your home. Here’s a great primer on cleaning high touch surfaces (door knobs, faucet handles, light switches, fridge door, etc).

      • Clean your phone (99.9% bacterial kill, like Clorox wipes)

    • Don’t spread (or receive) germs to/from others (in Oregon we say “don’t accidentally kill someone”). Remember you (& others) can shed virus without showing any symptoms. Viruses are smart. STAY HOME SAVE LIVES

      • “Cohort” with your household and NOT beyond that group.

      • When out for essential needs: Keep 6 feet of distance between you and others

      • Cover your sneeze/cough with kleenex (then toss then wash your hands). Or into your elbow (second best).

    • Continue to get exercise. From NYT: You can invest in home exercise equipment or smart-home exercise systems like Peloton or the Mirror, but that can get expensive. You can find a number of workouts to do at home for free. Beginners can try the Well Six-Minute Workout video series. We’ve got a guide to How to Start Working Out, the 9-Minute Strength Workout and Yoga for Everyone. Taking walks and jogging or running are safe ways to exercise outside, maintain your distance from others and keep you from going stir-crazy at home. Learn more about setting up a space in your home for exercise.

  • Medical Considerations

    • Have 90 day supply of medications on hand

    • Know where nearest hospital is and how to get there

    • Have your health insurance information/cards at the ready

Remember, this is a defining moment in our history. When we look back, we will talk about what we did and how we coped with the COVID19 pandemic of 2020 (if we do the right thing, it won’t be the COVID19 pandemic of 2020-2022). Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s check in with our neighbors. Let’s spend time as a family that we would not otherwise have (in real life or via video chat). We need to keep our kids’ brains stimulated, either through school based virtual learning or through resources we find on our own.

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This website is written by Lisa Reynolds, MD, Portland, Oregon Pediatrician on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic. Mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.

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