Carol Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:22 am
This is a private email passed from one professional in Wisconsin to another. It doesn't violate copyright laws so I am going to post it in its entirety considering the severity of the virus. I have also changed names to protect the privacy of these professionals.
You all may not know it, but I am involved with a national organization called Take Heart America, and also with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. As such, I have become involved in some of the latest research and have been able to meet and get to know some of the leading emergency and cardiac medicine doctors in the world. Tonight I was emailing with one of them, and he sent me what I can only describe as 'a real wake-up call' in response to my suggesting that we get together. I am sharing this with you and my friends and family in the hopes that it gets the unvarnished truth out about what is going on in terms of the corona virus. The email went as follows:
As a good friend, I want to communicate the following information about COVID-19. . Please do not misinterpret my communication. I am not sending this to scare you, just to provide you with the latest, and most reliable information healthcare providers have received to prepare for this pandemic, so you and your wife can make informed decisions for yourself. The major points (as of today – this is rapidly evolving) are as follows:
1. This is serious.
2. Half of all deaths are under age 50.
3. Anecdotally, XXX has 2 patients with COVID-19 on ECMO - one previously healthy 27 year old and one previously healthy 30 year old.
4. With COVID-19 infections, there appears to be a component of direct infection of the heart, decreasing strength of the pumping action of the heart. Older people and people with cardiac and pulmonary conditions are at further, increased risk.
5. There is no known effective treatment.
6. Many patients with COVID-19 and symptoms are presenting to the emergency department only with upper respiratory complaints or a cough – no fever.
7. Following infection with COVID-19, there is an asymptomatic period of 2-9 days where people spread the disease to those they come into contact with. For every known case, there are at least 10 asymptomatic cases spreading the disease.
8. Thus, the number of asymptomatic infected people actively spreading the virus in public settings is exponentially higher right now than the number of known cases.
9. Fr******** ED had its first confirmed case Saturday. Yesterday they had 6 confirmed cases. The rate is rising exponentially.
10. The only known effective way to not get this disease is strict social isolation now (not next week!).
This disease is unprecedented in any human experience in the last 100 years (since the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918). Given the available information today, my personal advice is to consider COVID-19 like a possible fatal disease in your decision-making. Example: what is the benefit of going to the restaurant tonight and having a wonderful dinner with my wife versus do I want to risk possibly getting a potentially fatal disease? That is the analogy for the meaning of “strict, social isolation”. Go in your house, shut the door, and don't come out. Timing is everything. The rate of known cases will exponentially increase by the day. “Now” versus “next week” matters.
Not widely appreciated is that the expected duration of the need for this kind of strict social isolation is in the approximate range of at least 4-6 months. Wisconsin is expected to peak for known cases by mid to late May. It will also probably take just as long for it to taper off (IF social isolation compliance is effective).
Accordingly, the responsible suggested recommendations are to cancel all in-person meetings. Do everything remotely. Stay home. Wash your hands frequently (use hand sanitizer). Sanitize your computer keyboard, cell phone, and surfaces at home frequently. Don't touch your face. Order groceries by delivery, if possible. Leave home only when absolutely necessary and then follow the "at least 6 foot rule" - keep at least 6 feet between you and the other person.
You and I are at further, increased risk. In response to your request to meet in several weeks to discuss XXX, let's do it by phone or computer.
Again, I don't want to scare you. However, we all need to have the correct information (the government has done an absolutely shameful job until the past few days) and respect this pandemic, and then keep it simple, do some basic things, implement strict isolation by the definition above, keep positive, and provide leadership institutionally, locally, and at home and with your loved ones and friends.
Hunker down, and...stay healthy!
May God protect us all from this pestilence.