COVID-19 Coronavirus and Lung Health: What can you do?

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Sun, Mar 1 8:06am

Good morning- I have hesitated to post anything about this new and dangerous group of viruses because I am certainly not qualified to discuss any science. And certainly not about genetics and viruses. But I can discuss how we can lessen our fears, be as prepared as we can and very simply if we get it, what do we do?

First of all the COVID-19 is the name for many similar viruses. It’s not just one. It is believed to have started by bat guana in Wuhan, China. Wuhan is the very large capital of Central China’s Hubei province. It is a commercial center divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers. This virus spread very quickly, perhaps like the flu. And because of travel. it is spreading throughout the world, and it is here in America. This is a group of very dangerous viruses has the potential to kill and has. Many of us with breathing problems must be very diligent to protect ourselves as much as we can.

You can help protect yourself by doing these things:

Keep your hands clean. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover your cough and sneezes to keep germs from spreading to others. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces routinely. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick.

If you have these symptoms please see a doctor: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath

I know that a lot of us have at least two of these symptoms already. So if your shortness of breath or your coughs become worse and you feel ill then it is time to seek medical help.

Here are several sites that have addressed the Coronavirus for more information.

If you know of anyone who is ill please stay away from them. Passing along the facts about this group of viruses is the best that you can do to help others avoid getting ill.

@alamogal635

@jolears You have a point. I think the media has also helped cause much more panic than needed. I'm not saying Corona Virus is anything to overlook, but it is a big newsmaker and the media will use it and milk it for as long as they can hook audiences.

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I agree. It is so difficult to separate the politics….which is uglier by the day……and the reality. I am trying to get information from this site, CDC, my state website for the virus, some of the programs on C span, and try not to get caught up in the unhelpful posturing by the politicians and the media. The media will certainly sensationalize this as much as they can, and the politicians will use it for their own selfish ends. I hope the scientists and health care professionals working on this are unfettered and are allowed to do what they do best.

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@merpreb

@contentandwell– There's no doubt that the US admin dropped the bomb on this one. Italy has a fantastic health care system but they are overwhelmed as well. There are three phases of this pandemic:
https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/09-03-2020/the-three-phases-of-covid-19-and-how-we-can-make-it-manageable/
Our aim is to stay in phase one. The longer we can stay in phase one, the better we can prepare for phase two. If we can stay here for the next one to two years, then hopefully a vaccine will become available and we can avoid phases two and three altogether. One way to do that would be just to ban all international travel. No one in or out. Just to be clear, I don’t think this is the right approach to take. One to two years is a long time.

Alternatively, we could just make everyone who travels here, Kiwis included, go into isolation for two weeks. Again, I’m not sure how well this would work in practice. My advice to everyone, even if you haven’t traveled, is to be on the lookout for any of the symptoms of Covid-19. If you have a fever, or a cough, or shortness of breath, stay away from other people if you can. If you have a runny nose or sore throat this could be a really mild form of Covid-19 so I would also isolate yourself.
Phase two – community transmission

The way Covid-19 is playing out globally, we are going to enter phase two at some point. This will happen when people who don’t realize they have contracted Covid-19 go about their daily lives rather than stay isolated. More and more cases will be reported each day as the virus transmits from person to person out in the community and outpaces our ability to keep up with the contact tracing. The quicker and higher the numbers rise, the more likely the outbreak will overwhelm us, making it harder to control.

The data so far suggests all of us are susceptible to the virus. It’s clear from what’s happened overseas that many people with Covid-19 spent many weeks being treated in hospital before they recovered. This isn’t a trivial disease. China built two new hospitals in a matter of weeks to keep up with demand. Do we have the resources to do that if it came to it?
Flattening the curve

Our aim will be to keep phase two of the epidemic curve as flat as possible, keeping the number of cases reported each day as low as we can. If we can achieve that, it’ll mean we’ll be able to treat everyone who needs treatment. We can all help with this by washing our hands regularly, avoiding touching our mouth, nose, and eyes, and staying away from other people when we are sick. This also means calling ahead if you feel sick and want to go to the doctor or hospital. The last thing we need is loads of our healthcare workers in isolation because they’ve been exposed to Covid-19. Forty-five staff from North Shore Hospital have been isolated as a precaution because of a probable cause.

Another thing we are all going to need to start doing soon is minimizing or avoiding contact with other people. This is called social distancing. If you are greeting people, don’t hug, shake hands, hongi, or kiss. Bump elbows or feet instead. Work from home if you can. Much as it pains me to say it, social distancing also means avoiding public transport (get on your bicycle!). Similarly, it means avoiding gyms, churches, cinemas, concerts, and other events and places where people congregate. At the community level we may need to close schools, universities, museums, and workplaces limit public transportation and cancel public events. This is what China did so effectively and what Italy is currently implementing in some regions.
Moving into phase three

We move into phase three when the outbreak is either brought under control or everyone has been infected and there are no more susceptible people left to infect. Vaccination is one way we can stop people from being susceptible, or at least enough people that the disease stops spreading from person-to-person – that’s what herd immunity is all about.

Given we are one to two years away from a vaccine, bringing Covid-19 under control is obviously the goal here and what China has achieved. But if there are still susceptible people in a population and we stop taking all the right measures then we will see cases flare up again.

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@merpreb Good article that you have included the link to and quoted here. Let's hope a vaccine is not as far away as the article suggests. If there were vaccinations for previous coronaviruses I would think it could be quicker since this is effectively a variation of them. Every year they come up with a new variation of the flu vaccine to ward of the current mutation, so why is this different?

This specifically mentions gyms so I guess I have made the right decision in suspending my gym activity. As I said in a different post, I think we all need to take responsibility to practice social distancing, which includes for a while not going to places where we could spread this if we have it and are not yet symptomatic.
JK

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@merpreb

@joelars– Joe, you do a fabulous job of researching. Your last question, "I question whether they would be as susceptible to many other, more common viruses, that we are consistently confronted with? The answer I believe is probably. But since this virus is much more lethal than common viruses we have to be more vigilant. Delay travel and do not travel into communities where there are is active COPID-19 so that you do not come into contact with anyone who is carrying the virus or is ill. Use common sense in your personal hygiene. And the list goes on and on. Joe, there are so many more unanswered questions than there are answers with this virus. I'm not sure if you are seeking answers to mollify your decision to just go about your daily routine or seeking answers where there are no answers yet. One recommendation is to go to the source of an article so that you can read the whole thing and not excerpts. Excerpts are known for misleading people because they take things out of context. Also, young people can be carriers, so you really never know who is or who is not contagious.
There is a bigger picture here and that is to stop the virus no matter what risk group you are in by being overly cautious. We aren't just individuals with a pandemic, we are what makes up our communities and it is our job to make sure we protect our communities
http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/statement-ncaa-covid-19-advisory-panel-ncaa-events
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

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@merpreb Hi Mary, you can fact check this, this is what I heard on the news yesterday: the Chinese American woman who contacted the virus at the source visiting relatives, infected her american husband after weeks of "intimate" contact back home in Illinois. The two went on to have "casual" contacts with 200+ people before realizing they were sick. The state tested the 200+ people and didn't find 1 case of infection. Their conclusion was casual contact is unlikely to spread the virus.

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@joelars

@merpreb Hi Mary, you can fact check this, this is what I heard on the news yesterday: the Chinese American woman who contacted the virus at the source visiting relatives, infected her american husband after weeks of "intimate" contact back home in Illinois. The two went on to have "casual" contacts with 200+ people before realizing they were sick. The state tested the 200+ people and didn't find 1 case of infection. Their conclusion was casual contact is unlikely to spread the virus.

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They were lucky @joelars. The odds are against them. Taking chances with this virus puts the entire community at risk. You can pick-out a million examples like this and the prudent thing is to follow recommendations as I've stated in previous posts.

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Good morning- Here are a couple of ideas if you are involuntary isolation like me or quarantined so that you won't go completely bonkers
https://www.parents.com/syndication/museums-with-virtual-tours/
Follow the most famous Bald Eagles in the world with way over a million followers: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/

If you have any other ideas would you kindly share them?

If you are ill with Covid-19 and are well enough to be on the computer would you mind telling us your story with it?

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@spudmato

This infectious lung disease group has become quite noisy. The din is overwhelming, and has strayed from the original personal approach to helping each of in our search for answers related to our issues. IN ADDITION IS WAS EVER SUPPORTIVE. Now it is a platform featuring personal opinions, and overkill of repeated information. What we need to know has been published by the credentialed outlets on a page or two.
Properly wash you hands.
STAY HOME IF YOUR ILL, AND CALL YOUR DOCTOR.
Practice social distancing
Disinfect
Be both good and lucky.
Sorry for the change.
I enjoyed the trip for a while, learned a bit about my issues, but monopolizers are a bit hard of hearing so they need to talk loudly, and often.
Goodbye and good luck.

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Hi all, Mayo Clinic Connect is and remains an online community where people can share experiences and ask each other questions about any health issue. At any time, you can choose which discussions and groups you wish to follow and unsubscribe from discussions or groups you no longer wish to receive email notifications about. Learn more about how you can tailor your notification preferences here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/get-started-on-connect/
With the threat of the unknown and authorities telling us to stay home, distance yourself from others, it can be very isolating. I for one am grateful that we have this social network, Mayo Clinic Connect, to stay connected and help alleviate the social isolation.

What are you doing to keep yourself healthy and occupied?

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Good morning- The result of COVID-19 in the lungs is from the air we breathe in causing pneumonia and lung damage. Some people are lucky to only get a mild case, some others not so much.
Here is a little about how pneumonia wks.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204
Here is another great explanation: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/11/science/how-coronavirus-hijacks-your-cells.html

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@colleenyoung changed the name of our discussion. It asks the question, "What can you do?" Now that COVID-19 is in my small town I have self-isolated myself. My husband does the shopping and any errands that are necessary. After he comes home we vacuum and spray counters with homemade hand sanitizer or Clorox cloths. Any grocery bags are placed on newspapers and then the newspapers are thrown out. We vacuum because droplets are heavier than air and can be trapped in dirt. Dave sprays his hands as soon as he's back in the car, after stowing the groceries and then washes them when he comes inside. This is the only "socialization" that he does. So, what can you do? What are you doing?

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@merpreb

@colleenyoung changed the name of our discussion. It asks the question, "What can you do?" Now that COVID-19 is in my small town I have self-isolated myself. My husband does the shopping and any errands that are necessary. After he comes home we vacuum and spray counters with homemade hand sanitizer or Clorox cloths. Any grocery bags are placed on newspapers and then the newspapers are thrown out. We vacuum because droplets are heavier than air and can be trapped in dirt. Dave sprays his hands as soon as he's back in the car, after stowing the groceries and then washes them when he comes inside. This is the only "socialization" that he does. So, what can you do? What are you doing?

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@merpreb I'm doing pretty much the same as your husband. I go out to do the grocery shopping.
It's impossible to find sanitizing cloths anywhere but I saw a suggestion somewhere that said to buy baby wipes and pour alcohol in the package. I think that sounds fairly logical and like it should work but I did not get it from what I would consider a reputable source. I put some lysol spray on paper towels and put them in zip lock bags to bring with me.
JK

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@contentandwell

@merpreb I'm doing pretty much the same as your husband. I go out to do the grocery shopping.
It's impossible to find sanitizing cloths anywhere but I saw a suggestion somewhere that said to buy baby wipes and pour alcohol in the package. I think that sounds fairly logical and like it should work but I did not get it from what I would consider a reputable source. I put some lysol spray on paper towels and put them in zip lock bags to bring with me.
JK

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Another possibility is CPAP wipes if you can find them.

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@johnbishop

Another possibility is CPAP wipes if you can find them.

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@johnbishop Do they have alcohol on them? Are they just called CPAP wipes?
JK

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@contentandwell

@johnbishop Do they have alcohol on them? Are they just called CPAP wipes?
JK

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I think most do not have alcohol but are just used to clean organic materials from the surface so probably wouldn’t work in this case 🙁

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this reply is for the general Mayo public and no one specifically. I apologize upfront for any offense I will cause in stating my passionate.beliefs. I'm 65 with stage 3 COPD. Therefore, I'm one of the enhanced risk of death people (from the coronavirus) virus. Nonetheless, I believe that our fear of contagion and serious health consequences, has resulted in unjustified and substantial damage to the majority of our population, specifically the younger (under 50) healthy population. Our fear however justified, (of contagion) has resulted in the following: shutting down many privately owned businesses throughout the country. It has resulted in the loss of employment for millions of young working people, many have young children to support. It has resulted in the loss of 30% of the wealth of those invested in the stock markets. It will result in hundreds of billions in payouts to various industries to stave off bankruptcies that would probably plunge the country into a depression. And economics aside, It has significantly eroded the quality of life for many younger people by shutting down: night clubs, restaurants, sporting events, schools, concerts, museums, hotels, casinos, health clubs, family gatherings, even ocean front beaches. Is it self-centered to force our younger population to pay that price for our fears? Realize, the chance of dying from the coronavirus is .02% for those 40 and under and .04% for those 40-50.. By comparison, the risk of death for those 20 and under from "regular" influenza is .41%. Therefore, this panic response is not about them but us. And is it a rational response? The, admittedly scant, data concludes casual contact will not result in contagion. Medical experts have consistently stated they either don't believe or have no proof to conclude that just touching surfaces touched by infected people will cause contagion-especially if we practice proper hand cleaning before touching our face. If we are that scared couldn't we choose self-isolation and refuse direct contact with others instead of demanding that all others make substantial quality of life sacrifices? Further, I thought the way a community builds up immunity or resistance to a "novel" virus is through interaction (assuming the virus isn't deadly). Even for the group at enhanced risk, like me, we have the right to live as we did before the virus if we are willing to assume the risks and don't force others to assume those same risks. It is a quality of life issue, and as such as adults we have the obligation to make informed choices. Here, the State has once again made those choices for us. If they are so wise, why didn't they do more to preempt this virus? I appreciate any objective criticisms. I'm biased and therefore, prone to make logical errors in my arguments. And again, I apologize for any appearance of disrespect to anyone on this site.

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@joelars

this reply is for the general Mayo public and no one specifically. I apologize upfront for any offense I will cause in stating my passionate.beliefs. I'm 65 with stage 3 COPD. Therefore, I'm one of the enhanced risk of death people (from the coronavirus) virus. Nonetheless, I believe that our fear of contagion and serious health consequences, has resulted in unjustified and substantial damage to the majority of our population, specifically the younger (under 50) healthy population. Our fear however justified, (of contagion) has resulted in the following: shutting down many privately owned businesses throughout the country. It has resulted in the loss of employment for millions of young working people, many have young children to support. It has resulted in the loss of 30% of the wealth of those invested in the stock markets. It will result in hundreds of billions in payouts to various industries to stave off bankruptcies that would probably plunge the country into a depression. And economics aside, It has significantly eroded the quality of life for many younger people by shutting down: night clubs, restaurants, sporting events, schools, concerts, museums, hotels, casinos, health clubs, family gatherings, even ocean front beaches. Is it self-centered to force our younger population to pay that price for our fears? Realize, the chance of dying from the coronavirus is .02% for those 40 and under and .04% for those 40-50.. By comparison, the risk of death for those 20 and under from "regular" influenza is .41%. Therefore, this panic response is not about them but us. And is it a rational response? The, admittedly scant, data concludes casual contact will not result in contagion. Medical experts have consistently stated they either don't believe or have no proof to conclude that just touching surfaces touched by infected people will cause contagion-especially if we practice proper hand cleaning before touching our face. If we are that scared couldn't we choose self-isolation and refuse direct contact with others instead of demanding that all others make substantial quality of life sacrifices? Further, I thought the way a community builds up immunity or resistance to a "novel" virus is through interaction (assuming the virus isn't deadly). Even for the group at enhanced risk, like me, we have the right to live as we did before the virus if we are willing to assume the risks and don't force others to assume those same risks. It is a quality of life issue, and as such as adults we have the obligation to make informed choices. Here, the State has once again made those choices for us. If they are so wise, why didn't they do more to preempt this virus? I appreciate any objective criticisms. I'm biased and therefore, prone to make logical errors in my arguments. And again, I apologize for any appearance of disrespect to anyone on this site.

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@joelars, I think I can understand why you feel passionate about this, although I will admit that we probably won't agree on the facts of the situation. I have minimal underlying conditions myself, so I suspect that I would survive a case of covid-19 but having had Influenza in the past, I don't relish the thought. I spent last weekend with my 20-something children and they are remarkably calm about this and okay with sacrificing some social life for the common good. Yes, there will be economic impacts to all of this but we have lived through difficult times before and we can get through this. The goal of shutting down public life is to "flatten the curve" of people going into our hospitals so that we don't have a huge surge of patients and run out of bed space or ventilators. In Italy, people are stacked in hallways and doctors are having to decide who gets treated and who does not. If we can slow down the spread of the virus, hopefully we can avoid that happening here and there will be care for everyone who needs it.

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@coloradogirl I agree with you about overcrowding the hospitals, but here's the problem: the forced closures and economic (and social) impacts are life altering even ruinous for many younger people. And consider the impact on their young children? And why? The average enhanced risk person is 65+ and on Medicare or on SSD. They aren't hurt economically, unless it is in the form of co-pays if they do get sick, and most won't.
I just read the latest statistics: 81% of infected people (largely 50 or under) have mild symptoms no worse than a light cold or no symptoms. 13% have more severe symptoms but severe is defined as at home be- ridden with flu like symptoms for maybe 1 week. Only 7% suffer more significant damage-even death-but most of this group is old or immune compromised. I'm questioning whether we are not properly protecting 75% of our population 90+ % of which is under 40. I want them to have the same opportunities I had. I was never quarantined or in a lock-down society even with the swine flu which by all present accounts was worse in terms of symptomology, particularly mortality rates. Why are they treated so differently?

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