I talked to a PA and MD students and this is what they had to say about COVID-19 and...

What you should keep in your house (and it’s not TP!)

  • OTC fever reducers

  • OTC anti-inflammatories or pain killers

  • OTC nasal irrigators

  • OTC chloroseptic throat spray

  • A digital thermometer

  • General first aid supplies

  • Tissues (a normal amount for flu season)

  • Enough food to last through potential quarantine if you’re infected (14-21 days)

  • Cash (in case of emergencies)

  • Water (if you can avoid plastic bottles, that’s ideal!)

  • Indoor activities for you, your family, and your pets

  • One month supply of any rx to which you’re prescribed

  • Baby supplies like diapers and formula (if applicable)

  • Soap or hand sanitizer (just slightly more than normal)

  • Cleaning supplies (like Lysol and reusable cloths, etc.)

Who you should be listening to

  • The World Health Organization (WHO)

@WHO on Twitter
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

@CDCgov @CDCemergency @CDCDirector on Twitter
  • The National Institute of Health (NIH)

@NIH on Twitter
  • Your doctor

  • Public health professionals who have studied coronaviruses

  • Your state or federal public health departments

Who you should not be listening to

  • Your non-professional social media friends

  • Reddit, instagram, etc.

  • Any news source that doesn’t cite where they got their information from

  • The rumor mill

Why public health officials are so nervous if COVID-19 is still less “deadly” than the season flu

Coronavirus has proved itself to be extremely contagious and lasts an impressive amount of time in the air/on surfaces.

  • We don’t have an approved vaccine readily available yet.

  • This virus is newer to us and thus our understanding is limited.

  • The pandemic has immense economic consequences.

  • They are struggling to control public panic caused by misinformation.

Herd immunity

  • It’s important... You may not be in an at risk group but it’s still your responsibility to act in accordance with law and public health policy to protect the immunocompromised!

  • This is also a great reason to get vaccinated, just as a side note.

Avoidance vs. acceptance (if you’re not in an at-risk category)

  • People are spending an immense amount of time and money trying to avoid contracting COVID-19 but the reality is that many of us will end up getting sick (it is a pandemic after all).

  • If you stay abreast of new information and are not in an at risk category, you should simply have a plan for if (read: when) you get ill...

  • Child care? Pet care? Sick days? Insurance card available just in case? Food? Water? OTC medicine? A place to quarantine?

  • The mortality rate amongst young, healthy individuals is low and you will likely just feel feverish and gross for a few days (of course this isn’t always the case)... You may even be asymptomatic.

  • If you or someone in your house is in an at risk category, follow your doctor’s professional advice, please!

What they’re personally witnessing

  • High stress interactions

  • Temperatures being taken in professional environments

  • Reduces clinic appointment hours

  • Ramp up of policy and patient care controls

Flattening the curve

  • This refers to the benefits of self isolation and social distancing.

  • If we follow mandatory procedure, we can keep the number of new cases each day manageable for healthcare workers and facilities, thus preventing an out of control situation where there isn’t enough “care” to attend to all patient’s needs.

Want to hear about young people and their response to coronavirus from the perspective of an epidemiology student? Check out this awesome article, https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/covid-19-you-may-be-bored-but-others-are-scared.html!!

Additional Information From: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus https://www.forbes.com/sites/siminamistreanu/2020/03/17/coronavirus-causes-a-dramatic-collapse-of-chinas-economy/amp/

Cover Art by Nature (www.nature.com)

Special thank you to my interviewees who will remain nameless at their directive! :)