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COVID-19 Reader Questions
Your Coronavirus Questions Answered
Questions answered: 35
Where can I get Zithromax?
Asked By: Anonymous on December 6, 2021
Hello! You can get the antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) through a doctor’s prescription. The antibiotic is commonly used for bacterial respiratory infections, but is currently only considered for treatment or prevention of bacterial co-infections that can occur as a result of a COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) illness. Viruses are very different from bacteria, and most antibiotics are useless against viruses themselves. And although it has been shown that Azithromycin might have some antiviral activity against some types of RNA viruses, it is far from a cure. It’s also advisable not to take antibiotics unnecessarily, as that can lead to resistant strains of bacteria.
A relatively new class of antiviral drugs have been developed that can reduce the active virus in the body, stave off infection, but do not eliminate it. The FDA has approved remdesivir (marketed as Veklury) for treatment of certain hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but the drug is delivered intravenously and not given as a preventative. Ironically, one of the more common side effects of remdisivir is respiratory failure.
(Information from The Lancet and fda.gov).
I'm concerned about the administration of the vaccine in large crowded indoor places. Neighboring Clark County is planning to utilize the old Penny's store. I'm concerned that some people may resist getting the vaccine because they have thus far avoided large crowds and might consider the process, itself, risky, especially older adults who have to walk with assistance devices. Is there no way a vaccine can be administered via one's car with a drive thru type setting such as an airplane hanger or such? People don't want to get sick while doing what's necessary to stay well.
Asked By: anonymous on March 1, 2021
Hello! This is one of the great dilemmas of public health: trying to treat as many people as possible while keeping the potential of disease spread at a minimum.
The remote risk of a recipient having a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine requires the newly vaccinated to remain seated and accessible to emergency healthcare providers for at least 15 minutes, which precludes receiving an injection in a car.
An NPR report examining the “6 feet of separation, 15 minutes of contact” mantra cited researcher Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist and contact-tracing expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who pointed out that infections are more likely to occur when people had “meaningful” amounts of close contact – such as traveling, dining or living together.
Infection opportunities also depend on the room size, air circulation, as well as the behavior of individuals in the room — i.e., quietly talking or loudly shouting — and whether they are properly masked. The 15-minute guideline, the article states, is simply a way to help contact tracers quantify which types of interactions were long enough to be significant.
Based on this, the constant movement of people a vaccination site who are properly masked, socially distanced and have plenty of access to hand sanitizer, would indicate a relatively low possibility of infection.
For the truly dedicated, an online tool, COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guideline, is available to gauge the statistical risk of possible COVID-19 infection. The work of MIT researchers Kasim Khan, John W. M. Bush, and Martin Z. Bazant, the tool can give guidance on how long it is safe to be in a room with someone who is COVID-19 positive, based on room type, size and ventilation and filtration system. It is derived from their findings in a preprint paper, “Beyond Six Feet: A Guideline to Limit Indoor Airborne Transmission of COVID-19”. It is important to note that this tool is meant only to provide suggestions and guidelines, and that spread or abatement of the COVID-19 virus is determined by many other conditions.
Yes. I had an adverse reaction to Thimersol in the past when it was used in eye drops. Will it be safe for me to take the Covid vaccine if it has this preservative in it?
Asked By: Anonymous on March 1, 2021
Hello! None of the current COVID-19 vaccines contain Thimerosal. They do, however, contain the emulsifiers polyethylene glycol and polysorbate.
According to the website contagionlive.com, the biggest concern has been over severe allergic reactions to these additives, rather than the active components.
The site points out that rare allergic reactions to vaccines are often to inactive ingredients, such as egg protein, gelatin, formaldehyde, thimerosal, or neomycin. None of these are contained in the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain polyethylene glycol, and those produced by AstaZeneca and Johnson & Johnson contain polysorbate 80.
An article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, cited in the website above, points out that only patients with a history of severe allergic reaction associated with a vaccine and/or severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine were excluded from trials, and that those administering the vaccine are required to ask about any previous severe allergic reactions. Recipients of the vaccine are required to wait at least 15 minutes to ensure that there is no severe allergic reaction, which typically happens within a minute or two after exposure to an allergen.
The article also states that most patients allergic to one vaccine can receive one of the others safely.
How do people who haven't any friends, make friends now that there are no places safe in real time to get to know people? Where and how is it safe to do that online? Should there perhaps be a new online venue to address this issue, especially for older folk who prefer something user friendly?
Asked By: Hola on March 1, 2021
Hola! This hits at the heart of the number one consequence of isolation. But that’s the one thing we all have in common now, which can make it the perfect ice-breaker.
The New York Times recently published an article which explores this question. It presents several approaches to friendship in the era of COVID:
• Revisit old or dormant friendships. This is touted as an easier path to friendship, as there’s a shared history already in place. And the actual finding and connecting is a lot easier in this digital era.
• Stay connected with current friends. Write letters, call, video chat, email, text. But writer Aminatou Sou suggests avoiding communicating in the same manner you do for work: if you video chat for your job, don’t video chat with friends.
• Try different types of interaction. Writer Rachel Syme founded Penpalooza, a service that connects people interested in becoming pen pals. Another, Bumble BFF is similar to an online dating service, but for friendships. There are also many online clubs — from book groups to chess to poker — that welcome interested persons.
• “Repot” friendships. This interesting concept comes from digital strategist Ryan Hubbard. Because many friendships form around common activities or locations, he encourages moving friendships to new, different context.
• Don’t rule out in-person, socially distanced meetings. As the weather gets warmer, carefully planned meetings in outdoor situations can be refreshing.
• Most importantly, as in the pre-pandemic world, it’s essential to make the time.
If you do find yourself in dire mental or emotional straits, you should seek out a mental healthcare professional or the services of groups like the Yellow Springs Senior Center. If you are in an imminent crisis, call the Yellow Springs Police at 911.
Does science or the medical community yet know if the covid virus can re-surface in children who have tested positive even if they present no immediate symptoms? Does it have the ability to behave as the chicken pox virus does ; "Can the virus from chickenpox come back? ANSWER After an outbreak of chickenpox, usually in childhood, the virus that causes it stays in your body, lying dormant in certain nerve cells. Although your immune system usually keeps the virus in check, anything that affects the immune system's ability to hold back the virus -- illnesses, immunosuppressive drugs, severe stress, or aging-related changes, for example -- can allow the virus to return with a vengeance." Or is this something that we can only experiment with to determine?
Asked By: AnonymousVector on August 7, 2020
People seem to not understand that wearing of masks is to protect "others." I am greatly alarmed by the evidenced mass stupidity reflected in countless comments concerning masks; does this mean that we are getting more stupid as a nation and what can be done to make us smart again?
Asked By: VoteHimOut on August 7, 2020
You raise some great questions. We believe that relying on trustworthy news organizations that ascribe to sound journalistic practices is a good start (for instance, those that follow the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics).
That cloth face coverings (not surgical masks) protect others more than the wearer has been the overwhelming consensus of scientists and public health officials. But you may be interested to hear that there is some evidence they protect the wearer by decreasing the viral load they may inhale, which has been shown to result in a milder infection. Here is an article on that.
How accurate is the death rate numbers? What I am wondering is if all Covid-19 deaths are included or just those deaths with Covid as primary cause. Do they also tally deaths with Covid as a "contributing factor" secondary to a chronic condition?
Asked By: Watson on August 7, 2020
This is a great question, and I’m not sure I can answer it fully at present. However, I have submitted an inquiry to the Ohio Department of Health to get more clarity.
From my understanding, deaths are tallied when the initial information is recorded, and the death may be removed if subsequent investigation finds that COVID-19 was not the cause of death. I don’t know if it includes only COVID-19 as the primary cause or as a contributing factor.
In an interview with Greene County epidemiologist Dr. Don Brannen in May, he told me that the Ohio Department of Health reviews all death certificates if there is any mention of COVID-19. He said the process of certifying deaths is “pretty thorough” and that, if anything, there might be over-reporting rather than under-reporting of deaths. From his perspective, public health had “a good handle on the number” of deaths from the disease.
But other experts have suggested that under-reporting was more likely, pointing out the fact that “excess deaths” have been measured in 2020 compared with previous years. Yet some believe that those excess deaths are not from COVID-19 but from the effects of the lockdowns, especially those who delayed seeking medical treatment.
I found this Scientific American article from May helpful on these issues: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-covid-19-deaths-are-counted1/
This post will be updated with more information from the Ohio Department of Health on their data collection.
Asked By: Untitled_234 on July 27, 2020
Asked By: Anonymous on July 13, 2020
Are asymptomatic positives being held accountable if they fail to practice Health Dept. guidelines such as self-quarantine for 14 days and masks? I am concerned about the potential weaponization of the virus by hate groups. Stranger things have occurred and these are very tumultuous politically chaotic times. Willful spreaders should be held accountable.
Asked By: Anonymous on July 13, 2020
Greene County Health Commissioner Melissa Howell responded to your query on July 13:
An asymptomatic positive self isolates at home where they are not required to wear a mask. A person self-quarantines when they have been exposed to a known case. Self-isolation and self-quarantine in Greene has been done voluntarily.
There is growing demand among scientists and doctors for the WHO to inform the public about the "airborne" capacity for this virus. If that is the case, will it not be more prudent for the entire state to mandate masks indoors and outside where distancing isn't sustainable? And would it not be a dereliction of duty for any states'
Asked By: anonymous on July 12, 2020
I’ve been following this issue as well. Last week, in an open letter, more than 200 scientists called on the World Health Organization to acknowledge that COVID-19 can be spread in smaller, microscopic particles in the air and not just through large respiratory droplets, as the WHO asserts.
If the novel coronavirus can be spread in the air, then social distancing and hand washing will not be as effective in slowing the spread. The authors recommend “airborne infection controls such as local exhaust, high efficiency air filtration, and germicidal ultraviolet lights” and increased ventilation.
“Hand washing and social distancing are appropriate, but in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people,” the letter states.
Will Senior Centers become a "thing of the past" or will some activities move to Zoom or outside in cars or what's up with this topic that no one mentions??
Asked By: Moe on July 12, 2020
Thanks for your comment, Moe.
Senior center facilities have not yet been given the greenlight to reopen in Ohio. Our local senior center, however, is offering a lot of virtual activities. We’re updating their efforts in the next issue of the Yellow Springs News, July 16.
Wearing a mask and mandating it for public wellbeing should be regarded no less than observing no smoking ordinances because of the dangers therein with second hand smoke. I believe if we had someone at the helm setting a better example for our nation it would be easier to find common sense.
Asked By: VoteHimOut on July 12, 2020
Thanks for your comment.
Since I'm in the high risk group, I'm having to be extra careful.
I know that it is likely to have long term effects on our visitor-based economy.
Asked By: Barbara Mann on July 12, 2020
Thank you for your suggestion, Barbara. We will start to run the number of active local cases on the police report page each week.
As of Sunday, July 11, there is one Yellow Springs resident who is actively ill with COVID-19. The individual is self-isolating in the village while they recover. Prior to that, the village went nearly five weeks without an active case in the village. That person is the third to have been confirmed to have COVID-19 here, after one person contracted it and died in March, and another recovered from it in May. Three additional local people in April and May were identified as probable cases after they both had contact with someone known to be positive and developed symptoms.
Clark County Health Dept. has said that "...there is no official definition of recovery for Covid-19" yet individuals who meet certain criteria are released from quarantine. Am I do assume that these same individuals may still be carriers of the virus and transmit it to others even though there symptoms have subsided since we now know asymptomatics can and do pass the virus along? This is confusing. I always 'assumed' those testing positive were re-tested before coming out of isolation to show the virus was inactive, but, apparently, this is not the case. With around 800 positive cases in your adjacent county of Clark County, this is a concern to me and should be to you. Masks are necessary. Statewide. (Here is a link to the document I quoted from http://www.ccchd.com/documents/contentdocuments/doc_23_5_1840.pdf)
Asked By: ANON on July 12, 2020
Thanks for your comment. From my understanding, Greene County Public Health does not require the person who was self-isolating for two weeks after testing positive to receive a negative test result before re-entering society. Many of the sports leagues that are re-starting do, which may be a reason for the confusion.
Greene County is now beginning to report individuals who are “presumed recovered” from COVID-19. As of July 11, 192 people who were sick with COVID-19 in the county are now presumed recovered.
As for asymptomatic people passing on the virus, the World Health Organization did say in June that looks to be less of an issue than previously feared. Instead, the more significant issue are pre-symptomatic individuals, who don’t know they are sick yet. However, some other health experts contended that claim. An article on that issue is here: https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/09/who-comments-asymptomatic-spread-covid-19.
If the virus is airborne as being suggested by many professionals, is it not a dereliction of duty for our govenor or any govenor to fail to mandate masks?
Asked By: anonymous on July 6, 2020
Thanks for your comment. Yes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is believed to spread from person to person “mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.”
“These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).” Source.
The federal government has deferred to the states with regards to mandating use of masks as a public health measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although requiring employees to wear masks, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has deferred to municipalities when it comes to mask wearing by the general public.
So far, a handful of cities in Ohio have passed mask mandates, including Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. Yellow Springs does not have a law requiring masks be worn in public, but has passed a resolution encouraging their use in stores and sidewalks in the downtown area.
Is Clifton Gorge open for hikes?
Asked By: AS on May 26, 2020
Yes, the hiking trails at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve are open. So are trails at nearby John Bryan State Park. Both are managed by the state and remained open throughout the crisis.
However, trails are closed to the public in the adjacent Glen Helen Nature Preserve, a private preserve owned by Antioch College. Those trails were closed on March 26 and there is no plan to reopen them.
Asked By: Anonymous on May 22, 2020
Many local businesses have uniform signs promoting masks, or more specific signs indicated they are required. Below is the front door at Tom’s Market last week, which shows a the sign distributed by the YS Chamber of Commerce bearing the message, “Mask on YS,” and a sign with a more specific message indicated that masks must be worn, and will be provided if a patron does not have one. If you need to know the policy of a specific shop, the best way to to call ahead and inquire. Hope that helps.
If individuals or businesses fail to exercise precautions that would help protect the most vulnerable, including older Americans , can and will these entities be held accountable via possibly individual or even class action lawsuits, as it would seem to suggest a form of age and/or disability discrimination other than just 'lack of concern for others'. I really hope legal consultants and advocates are looking into this. Suggestions maintain “personal responsibility and accountability to others,” though doesn’t specify what measures to take" yet the guidelines have been posted and published enough that business enterprises could not plead ignorance of what they are.
Asked By: Duke on May 22, 2020
Thanks for writing, Duke. A variety of lawsuits are being filed right now, including against companies by workers who contracted COVID-19 on the job. There are others too, against various industries and governments. This website details some of them: https://justicecounts.com/coronavirus-lawsuits-covid-19-lawsuits/
The people relying on home delivery are also influenced by their own state of health, and other risk factors, such as what they observe. There were many folks in downtown Yellow Springs Saturday without masks and passing each other on the sidewalks within 6 feet. They may think it a personal liberty to take chances, but their behavior threatens not only the safety of others but, also, the survival of the Village economy because the risky behaviors deter more health conscious visitors and shoppers. The signs requesting visitors to wear masks and maintain social distance were visible. It would have great if visitors complied.
Asked By: Newt on May 21, 2020
Thank you for sharing your concerns, Newt.
There is a long article in the May 21 issue of the Yellow Springs News on the issue, “Varied views on mask rules.” It will be online next week if you don’t have a subscription or cannot pick up a copy at the newsstand.
In short, the Village of Yellow Springs is hoping to increase signage in the downtown area to increase compliance with the mask recommendation, but is not currently going to pass a measure requiring masks be worn in public or in shops. And while most downtown shops require masks on their stores, some are softening their stance due to worries about losing customers.
Is Perry League t-ball happening this year or will it be cancelled due to the pandemic? Who is a good contact to ask?
Asked By: Pam on May 21, 2020
Last week, Coach Jimmy Chesire announced that the 2020 season of Perry League T-ball, which was to have run from June 5 to Aug. 7, would be canceled.
His full post from Facebook is here:
Hello all my t-ball friends,
I am sorry to say we must cancel our summer 2020 Perry League season. Our normal ten Friday night program, which would have been from Friday, June 5, to Friday, August 7, is cancelled because of the life-and-death threat of the corona virus. Social distancing will be needed to continue this summer. We can’t have t-ball if we need to be a least six feet away from everyone every t-ball night.
Besides social distancing there is the need for testing. Most experts says it is too dangerous to be gathering in groups now and that it will continue to be dangerous until there is reliable testing that can be done on everyone. With such tests we will know who has been and who is infected. And then we can isolate only them, those infected, allowing the rest of us who have tested negative to return to a “normal” life.
I am sorry. I wish we didn’t have to do this. But we must do what we can to be safe, to protect ourselves and our children. I think this is the right thing, the best thing, for us to do.
Perry League League Program Coordinator
May 14, 2020
I'm concerned about social isolation for those in recovery and older people who don't have strong ties with family or may be less technically astute. I see that Google has an app called "Meet" for online meetings for anyone. I'm wondering if community groups could be established to help people via that? I know the elderly and those with underlying conditions who are not planning on venturing out because of risk. There needs to be more done, especially in some communities who have offered very little. Yellow Springs is light years ahead of most. Thank you!
Asked By: Anonymous on May 18, 2020
Thank you for your suggestions. It’s an important issue. We covered some of the mental health challenges associated with the pandemic here: Pandemic stressors affect mental health
The state of Ohio also launched a “COVID Careline,” a toll-free and confidential line for people who are struggling. The number to call is 1-800-720-9616. It will be available for Ohioans from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Calls made outside of that time frame will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
As for your idea about assisting older villagers with online communication, it’s a good one. The Yellow Springs Community Foundation has created this resource to help people navigate one of the most popular videoconferencing apps, Zoom. That page is here. There’s even a form to request their help.
We’ll look into other coverage on this critical topic.
Would it help vulnerable people to wear something like a work apron when they have to go out into a store. I am thinking something that has multiple pockets to hold a pump sanitizer, tissues, and santi-wipes; maybe also a small detachable bag to dispose of tissues as not to litter. I don't sew, but if I did I would make such a thing and if I could find one, I certainly would purchase one. Thank you for your coverage!
Asked By: Anonymous on May 18, 2020
What a great idea! Perhaps some of our local sewists will get to work.
How does one maintain social distance in an eatery if the table isn't 6 feet across? How do you eat with a mask on? How do you serve from 6 feet? Gives a whole new meaning to "slinging hash" doesn't it?
Asked By: Anonymous on May 18, 2020
Thanks for your questions. The guidelines for restaurants are here. It is mandatory for restaurants to do the following: “Ensure a minimum of six feet between parties waiting and when dining – if not possible, utilize barriers or other protective devices.”
It doesn’t require that tables be six feet apart, but that diners who are not in the same party, are six feet apart or are separated from one another by utilizing a “barrier or other protective device.” The assumption is that diners in the same party have already been exposed to one another, and therefore they don’t have to be distanced from each other.
As for dining with a mask on, masks are “recommended at all times, execpt when eating.”
The state is requiring most restaurant employees to wear masks, but it doesn’t address the issue of approaching the table to serve. Your question is a good one!
With the warmer weather here people are going to be having yard sales. There are guidelines to help keep people safe. Wearing masks and disposable gloves is part of those guidelines. Here is a link for more information: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/checklists/english-checklists/Garage-Sales-and-Outdoor-Retail-Sales-COVID-19-Checklist These guidelines should apply to outdoor sales that are held to benefit charitable causes as well. Following safety precautions helps protect us all. Be safe; stay well.
Asked By: Stew on May 18, 2020
Thanks for drawing our attention to these, Stew! The full guildines are availabe here.
Are gas stations in Ohio required to clean the pumps after customers use or is it best for us to clean them, wear gloves, or what measures to be safest. We will need to purchase gas to cut the grass and, frankly, I'm having anxiety about the pumps. Disposable gloves are difficult or impossible to come by right now as are disposable masks. How does one open the economy if we can't find these things : ( I don't want to go out until there is a vaccine either.
Asked By: Anonymous on April 24, 2020
I hear your concerns. There are no additional requirements for gas stations, as far as I know. However, they should be abiding by the Ohio governor’s business guidelines to increase sanitation. It includes the following recommendation:
Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as workstations, countertops railing, door handles, and doorknobs.
- Use cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.
Of course, whether or not any individual gas station is abiding by those guidelines is another story.
Here is an article with good tips for using gas stations during the coronavirus crisis.
The governor is expected to release additional guidance for businesses ahead of the May 1 reopening of more businesses. Stay tuned to ysnews.com for updates.
Will the Yellow Springs Farmers Market be open? If so, what will it look like?
Asked By: Anonymous on April 24, 2020
The Yellow Springs Farmers Market is still taking place, but it is on a drive-thru basis only. Due to social distancing requirements, walk-up customers cannot be accommodated. It is on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Limited food vendors are available and as more local food becomes available more vendors will join. Some vendors are taking advance orders. Visit their Facebook page for updates, or email yellowspringsfarmersmarket.com.
UPDATE, May 21:
The Yellow Springs Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8–11 a.m. at Antioch Midwest. Produce, eggs, honey, soaps, plants, and more. Customers must practice physical distance at all times. Masks are strongly encouraged. Even outdoors we must keep ourselves and our neighbors safe. Visit http://www.ysfarmersmarket for online ordering and more information.
So some of us at "high risk" are really considering total isolation until a vaccine is available. Will that be doable in the Village?
Asked By: Henry Myers on April 22, 2020
Thanks for your question, Henry.
The Yellow Springs Community Foundation is currently reaching out to all households in the village and township to determine what their needs are, so the foundation can figure out how to meet them. I would recommend you share what you might need if you have to stay home until a vaccine is available. You can fill out the survey here.
Also, you can reach out to your neighborhood block contact for additional questions or support by finding your contact on this map.
I hope you can get more clarity on how your needs might be able to be met here in the village.
I want to know how this pandemic impacts jury duty. My husband is on a list as possible juror and he is over 70. There would be no way we would feel comfortable in a public setting such as that right now. Please find out how state officials are going to handle this. We are stressed enough and doing our part to stay alive by staying home. Help.
Asked By: Bart on April 20, 2020
Thanks for the question. We’ll work on getting this one answered more definitely for you.
On March 30, the Ohio Supreme Court gave guidance to Ohio courts (there are 164 of them), to minimize physical appearances at court, among other suggestions. (Read them here). However, nothing was mandated, and courts are each are implementing measures they see fit.
At the Greene County Court of Common Pleas, many cases were continued for 60 days in mid-March, which means that they may begin resuming in mid-May. Some hearings and pre-trial conferences have been taking place over Zoom instead of in-person. However, jury trials can’t take place over Zoom, I was told. But they are still developing a plan for how to make them safe.
I'm wondering if " An “army” of amateur epidemigists mobilized to trace cases" can actually help prevent people from getting the virus right now or is that measure soley for study of the disease. If an app can be put on a smart phone to track it like they suggest, why not put an app on there to tell people to back off if they're closer than 6 feet? Something like a car alarm is what I have in mind. We're no where near the old normal are we?
Asked By: anonymous on April 19, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed some of these ideas in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. I’ll repost here:
We keep hearing the words, “contact tracing.” Can you just explain how that works? Because that feels crazy to me that you can trace a person’s movements over the course of several days.
Yeah. So, to do it over several days gets really problematic, because particularly when people move around a lot, because for every single case, if you got to trace 800 people, then you’ve got a problem. Because you probably don’t have the man power to do it. A somewhat practical contact tracing is if someone goes to a meeting, or a class and goes back home two days later, and winds up having documented coronavirus disease, what you would want to do is to see when the person was in this classroom, or in this theater, or in this club. Who were the people that that person was in contact within six feet for more than like 10 or 15 minutes? You can’t be contact tracing everybody that happens to be, you know, in a movie theater when someone is there, because that would be ridiculous. It would be logistically impossible. But you know that the closer you are to a person, and the longer the duration of time with a respiratory illness, that’s a greater chance of your being infected. So, for example, I work at the NIH. If I went to a lab meeting that had 15 people in it, and I went back the next day, two days later, and I was sick, we would get everybody who was in that meeting, particularly those that were sitting next to me, and you would definitely get them to either be tested or to be isolated for 14 days.
Google and Apple are saying they’re going to develop technology to trace this via mobile phone. Do you think that’s a good idea? Have you consulted with them on how to develop those products?
I haven’t personally consulted with them. But one of the sticky, sticky issues about that is that there is a lot of pushback in this country to get someone or some organization—particular if it’s sponsored by the federal government, I think they’d feel better about it if it’s private—to have by GPS somebody know where you were and when you were there. Even though from a purely public health standpoint, that makes sense. You know, you could look at somebody’s cell phone, and say, “You were next to these 25 people over the last 24 hours.” Boy, I gotta tell you the civil liberties-type pushback on that would be considerable. Even though from a pure public health standpoint, it absolutely makes sense.
And an article on some of the efforts South Korea is using to track citizens’ movements using their smartphones: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-southkorea-respons/ahead-of-the-curve-south-koreas-evolving-strategy-to-prevent-a-coronavirus-resurgence-idUSKCN21X0MO
The masks that people wear are to be worn in addition to the six feet distance apart, right not in place of the social distancing. I was stunned to see a photo op on Urbana's newspaper website of people in masks huddled together. Please explain it again for readers so that they understand. Thank you!
Asked By: Anonymous on April 10, 2020
You are correct. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control emphasized in their official recommendation that while people should wear masks to help slow the spread, it should be used in conjunction with current social-distancing measures, not in place of them:
It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. (Source: CDC)
The CDC additionally recommended that people wear cloth masks, so as not to exacerbate the shortages of the masks needed for heathcare workers and first responders. They have a guide to creating your own mask, and tips for using them here.
Check out the efforts of Yellow Springs residents to make masks for local grocery store clerks, first responders and others here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
Do they know if asymptomatic carriers of the virus might manifest symptoms at some future time the way chicken pox does with shingles?
I am very concerned about the economic impact because things may not return to 'normal' until their is a vaccine.
Asked By: Anonymous on April 10, 2020
This is a great question, but a hard one to answer definitively.
On Monday, April 6, the South Korean CDC reported that 51 patients who were thought to be cured of the disease tested positive again. They posited that the patients were not reinfected because of short time frame after they were released from quarantine, so the virus may in fact have reactivated in them, as the chickenpox and herpes viruses can do. However, the KCDC said they would be doing more epidemiological testing on those cases. Other possibilities are testing errors, or that residual traces of the virus had yet to leave the patients’ systems, according to one article.
There have been reports from other countries that those who recovered from COVID-19 were reinfected, but those have also yet to be confirmed. There is also not enough evidence to determine how long someone who has recovered from this coronavirus is immune.
Will Tom's potentially be offering to delivery to everyone if things are prolonged, or just to the elderly?
Asked By: Anonymous on April 6, 2020
In a joint effort, Tom’s Market and the Senior Center are working to deliver groceries to the community; the service was originally offered for seniors only, but has since been expanded to any villager who needs the service.
The Senior Center’s Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Ann Tracy and Transportation Manager Robert Libecap have been coordinating the shopping and delivery of groceries from Tom’s Market.
Those interested are asked to email their name, address and grocery order to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. Orders received by noon, Monday–Friday, will be processed for next-day delivery. After noon, orders will be processed for delivery the day after. Though emailing is preferred, those without email may call 937-767-5751 at any time and leave a message that includes a name and telephone number. A Senior Center volunteer will return the call and take the order. Credit card information is needed to fully process an order. This information is not kept on file and as soon as orders are checked out at Tom’s, the information is shredded. Delivery to an address is only once per week; those ordering are advised to order a week’s worth of groceries at a time.
Can we build immunity against it?
Asked By: Anonymous on April 6, 2020
Scientists currently don’t know if those who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune to the disease, and if so, for how long.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the duration of immunity to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is currently unknown.Studies on a different coronavirus, MERS-CoV, showed that patients were unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recovered. Another coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002-03 created immunity for two years among those who were infected and recovered.
But over the last month, news reports from Japan, China and elsewhere have documented patients becoming reinfected with SARS-CoV-2 only weeks after their initial infection. In one Chinese study, 14% of those who recovered tested positive at a later check-up. A Time Magazine article reported on many of these developments.
In early April, the CDC began testing some Americans for antibodies to the virus, which could help scientists better understand both the spread of COVID-19 and when restrictions on public life can be lifted.
How do you balance the need of self-quarantine and the cost of emotional distress caused by loneliness in kids and elderly?
Asked By: Anonymous on April 6, 2020
During the coronavirus pandemic, those who were exposed to someone who has, or is suspected of having COVID-19, or those who have traveled outside of the state, have been asked to self-quarantine in order to protect others. The typical period requested is 14 days.
But for some, this period of time could lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and isolation. According to the CDC, the most at-risk groups are older people, those with chronic diseases, children and teens, healthcare providers and those who have mental health conditions or substance abuse problems.
At its site, the CDC has specific suggestions for parents, for first responders and for those who have been released from quarantine, along with ways to reduce stigma and stop the spread of rumors. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has released a helpful guide about how to navigate difficult emotions during this time, along with resources for reaching out.
If the stress becomes unmanageable, several organizations recommend utilizing telehealth services to talk with a professional. On April 4, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed an order expanding access to telehealth services in the state. The move allows mental health, behavioral health, family and marriage counselors to provide such services over phone or videoconference without an initial in-person appointment, or, for the practitioner, special training.