Just received my daily update from Accountable Health Partners at the U of R. UR Medicine ran 78 tests for COVID-19 yesterday. 3 were positive (all 3 in hospitals). That is a 3.8% positive rate among those ill enough to be tested locally. The UR lab is now geared up to run 100+ tests a day. An outside lab reports 250 tests run in upstate NY with 14 positive tests for a 6.5% positive rate. The tests are still in short supply and are only being used for those patients with severe symptoms and where the results will help guide how they are treated.
One of the big unknowns is “how long is this going to last?” No one knows the answer, but public health officials have run several models (much like weather forecasters and we know how accurate those can be …) Sorry to all my weather friends. The most reasonable model suggests that we might not see a peak in cases until May 3rd (my birthday). Other models predict sooner or later peaks. The only thing we can take from this is that COVID-19 isn’t going away real soon. Please continue to practice physical distancing, avoid unnecessary exposures and perhaps we can shorten this peak.
On another note, I know of 3 puppies who have received new homes over the past week. Lollipop Farm has adopted out all of its animals which is great news. So thanks for the “Stay Calm and Adopt a Puppy” – but for anyone who has ever adopted a new puppy, staying calm might be a little more difficult.
And, if any of you are in need of a music lesson for you or your kids, or just need something uplifting, the Rotterdam Philarmonic played Beethoven’s 9th Symphony from their homes. Click on this link. Slipped Disc. So for another day, we at Lewis Pediatrics wish you well, be safe, “Stay Calm & Listen to Some Music”
We successfully emailed out our first newsletter thanks to Health Banks. Hope you found it interesting and not too overwhelming. We will continue to try to update you via this blog, our Facebook Page, pingMD and now the newsletter.
We anticipate continuing to function as we did last week. We kept the waiting room and halls empty. We still will need to restrict visits to the patient and one caregiver. All of our families were very cooperative and understanding last week. Thank you all for your help. If you would rather postpone your routine visit to a time in the future, we understand. However, we plan to continue with our current schedules.
And, in response to my request for “Stay Calm and …” sayings, one family responded with “Stay Calm and Bring Home a Puppy.” They figured this would be a great time to welcome Dimples into their home. As dog lovers, we completely understand.
The CDC in conjunction with Microsoft now has a helpful site to help answer questions you might have about symptoms of COVID-19.
All of us at Lewis Pediatrics continue to be available for you. And, again, please stay calm through all of this uncertainty.
Ibuprofen vs Tylenol in times of COVID-19
With COVID information flying fast and furious, it is important to turn to sources you can trust, like yours truly (I try my best). Information from France is suggesting that Ibuprofen may not be best for those with coronavirus infection. This information is anecdotal and has not been supported by any other country, even those with more experience with coronavirus such as China and Italy. So what should you do? Remember why we give fever-reducers. We give them so children can be comfortable enough to drink and sleep. If Tylenol gives your child significant comfort, then stick to Tylenol. If Tylenol does not allow your child to drink or sleep, then please give Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil.) The real risk of dehydration is a more significant factor than a possible risk from Motrin.
More cases are being diagnosed (because more tests are being run and backlog cleared), more patients are being hospitalized and we don’t know when the end will be in sight but it will be. We do need to “stay calm” and rely on good information, not sensational news or comments made by politicians who really have no right providing us with their own opinions.
I have heard from some families that kids have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The current recommendations from the Health Department are to “self quarantine” for 14 days from the exposure and take temperatures twice a day. Testing is not recommended (kits are still in short supply). If symptoms (fever, cough and trouble breathing) develop, please call.
In the meantime, take advantage of being “socially distanced” and read books with your children, play games (Mrs Lewis and I broke out “Boggle” the other evening and found a note pad from our children’s elementary school), and even go for walks and play out doors. Fresh air and ultraviolet light are good for you.
Everyone one at Lewis Pediatrics, including Harper and our fish hope you are all doing well. We continue to function “normally” and keep our waiting room empty while seeing patients.
It is inevitable that there are going to be many more cases of the novel coronavirus. In the coming days as the testing process becomes more streamlined, labs anticipate resolving the backlog of tests so we are going to hear of more cases but these represent days of testing. Do not panic with the news.
On another note, I have read some very uplifting stories:
In Charlotte, NC where my daughter teaches in a school where almost every student receives their breakfasts and lunches, McDonald’s has come forward and will provide any 12 year old or younger student in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system with free lunches through March 27th.
Locally, Charter Spectrum is providing K-12 students with broadband wireless service if they do not currently have access so that they can stay connected with school.
And today, Mrs. Lewis read that DiBella’s is offering a 50% discount to first responders, health care providers and members of the military and for all other customers’ orders, 50% of the order will be donated to local food banks.
There have been many postings on line of trips to museums, zoos and story times. It seems that the worst of times often brings out the best in many of us.
So to paraphrase previous posts, “Stay Calm and… Pay it Forward.”
COVID-19 is here. We cannot avoid how it has changed our daily lives. With children staying home, take the opportunity to talk with them.
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Simple reassurance. Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
Give them control. It’s also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep.
Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.
Monitor their media. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older children, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear.
Be a good role model. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate and neither should we. While COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, it doesn’t mean that having Asian ancestry – or any other ancestry – makes someone more susceptible to the virus or more contagious. Stigma and discrimination hurt everyone by creating fear or anger towards others. When you show empathy and support to those who are ill, your children will too.
I am happy to report that the first day of the new reality went very well at Lewis Pediatrics. We were able to maintain our schedule of visits with a completely empty waiting room. We anticipate continuing to see patients while respecting “social distancing” during the COVID-19 crisis. We are using Anytime Pediatrics as much as we can and anticipate expanding its use as much as possible.
We continue to receive numerous questions about possible exposure to someone who may have been exposed to someone who may or may not have COVID-19. Although the news reports more available testing, the tests are still in short supply and testing can only be done if criteria are met.
An exposure is being in close (less than 6 feet) contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 5 minutes. Symptoms that would suggest possible COVID-19 infection are fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
We will get through this. We will continue to be available for you. Please “Stay Calm and Carry On As Best You Can.”
1) As always, we strive to stay on time for your appointments to minimize waiting room time. We do not schedule “sick” visits during well visit hours. We wipe down surfaces with germicidal wipes multiple times during the day. If you are comfortable, you are welcome to wait in the waiting room. (again 1 caregiver and no other children/siblings per Monroe Health Department and UR Medicine recommendations).
If you prefer, we are trying the following:
In order to minimize any potential contacts in our office, we would like to offer “drive up” services.
2) When you arrive for your visit, please wait in your car and call the front desk at 442-1421 to let us know you have arrived. When a room is available, we will call you in to by pass the waiting room. Please plan on arriving early for your appointment.
3) For illness visits, weather permitting and depending on the illness and symptoms, we will conduct your visit in your vehicle so that you do not have to come into the office at all.
I am waiting to hear from the Monroe County Department of Health for recommendations about students at Greece Arcadia or contacts through the church. Currently the Hotline recommendation for testing for COVID-19 is if you have Fever, Cough and Shortness of Breath. Given the fact that early symptoms are similar to common cold symptoms, I asked for clarification about these populations.