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  • Writer's pictureLisa Reynolds, MD

Coronavirus UpdateTue 4/14/2020 3 pm West Coast Coalition, Governor Brown’s Press Conference

Coronavirus Update

Tue 4/14/2020 3 pm

West Coast Coalition, Governor Brown’s Press Conference

Also: 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: 2 million confirmed cases, 124,000 deaths, 177 countries

  • US: 600,000 confirmed cases, 25,000 deaths;

  • OREGON: 1500 confirmed cases, 53 deaths (32 in senior care homes)

  • 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, Washington and California announce coordination in “reopening”

  • The west coast states will work in concert to use science and data to determine re-openings.

  • Seven east coast states announced a similar (non-binding) pact.

  • These coalitions are a rebuke to Pres Trump who claims only he can direct reopening (or remaining shuttered).

Oregon update: Governor Brown on re-opening (Press conference 4/14/2020)

  • No timeline for easing restrictions (thank you!) but expected to be in place until Mid May

  • Yesterday, Gov Brown said the first restriction to be lifted would be to allow elective surgeries and procedures - monitoring closely for signs of an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

  • BEFORE reopening (in stages) Oregon needs to see:

    • A declining number of deaths per day.

    • Robust testing and tracing and to isolate infected people and their contacts.

    • Sufficient hospital beds to take care of ill people and PPE to prevent spread.

    • Sufficient PPE for workers (like hairdressers)

My concern: Where are the materials and the system and the workforce for widespread testing, tracing and isolation?

Portland anticipates $100 million in lost revenue this year

  • Cost cutting: Non union employees furloughed for 10 days. Raises cancelled, Mayor Wheeler forgoes salary until the end of the year.

Oregon update: Stay Home Save Lives is Working!

  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME, Univ of WA): UPDATE: Oregon Peak disease (highest number of cases): April 26. 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. Total deaths: 250, plateauing on June 1. But, this plateau assumes that appropriate measures are put in place to guard against the reintroduction of COVID-19. These measures may include mass screening, contact tracing, testing of all individuals entering the country, and quarantine of people who test positive.

  • 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.

The US, however, is in dire straits (but less dire than projections of last week)

  • IHME estimates that the US’s COVID-19 cases peaked on April 10. On that day, we were short 4,000 beds and 7,000 ICU beds. THESE projections are lower and apply strict stay at home through May. A total of 69,000 deaths are predicted.

Other Updates

  • 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%. Our 30 year high was 11.3% unemployment in 2009.

  • Oregon schools are ramping up to provide virtual learning.

  • 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.

    • Direct federal dollars to Oregon/Oregon programs. (Federal debt.)

    • Although states are required to balance their budgets, there is some spending that is exempt from this restriction: capital spending on infrastructure projects and spending on federal programs like Medicaid and education. Federal Reserve can “buy” debt issued by state govt (repurchase every 6 mo). [The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the US and its purpose is to alleviate financial crises.] [Source: State and cities are on the front lines of the coronavirus. The Fed needs to help them, Jeff Spross, The Week, 3/23/2020]

    • Oregon will need to consider selling bonds to raise money for massive investment, rebuilding, and support to all Oregonians that is not covered by the exemptions above.

    • Oregon can come back stronger and better than pre-COVID-19 conditions.

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). Wash for 20 seconds with soapy water, including wrists and fingernails. Towel dry. IF you don’t have access to soap/sink, use hand sanitizer (thoroughly, as outlined for handwashing).

        • 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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