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.

What we're doing to our younger people may be less important than what we are teaching them. We're teaching them, to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and mostly self absorbed. When it's over, the virus (which is probably less dangerous than sars or even h1n1) will be less damaging than the lesson we left them.

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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 agree with @coloradogirl’s response entirely. We are all in this together and have to do what is right for the common good. If we don’t isolate and practice social distancing the virus, which is far more contagious than the flu, will basically explode in numbers.
I have a 37 year old daughter and a 39 year old son and neither is upset about the restrictions put in place. They live in different states than we do and my daughter would love to spend the next month with us since they will both be working from home but it’s been decided that they could put my husband and me at risk so they will not. My daughter and I are both sorely disappointed but that is what must be done. That is the only thing that has been a problem for her and her husband at all.
JK

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@joelars

What we're doing to our younger people may be less important than what we are teaching them. We're teaching them, to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and mostly self absorbed. When it's over, the virus (which is probably less dangerous than sars or even h1n1) will be less damaging than the lesson we left them.

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I have to respectfully disagree. What my kids are learning from this is that as a country, we can band together to protect our weakest citizens and make small personal sacrifices for the greater good. Yes, some people are panicking but my kids are not. They are figuring out how to adapt to an unpredictable situation and take care of each other and their neighbors. As parents, I think that the example we set is important. The example that I am setting is to be calm and follow the advice of experts. Of course, it helps that my kids are all college educated and my daughter could explain the micro biology of coronaviruses to us.

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@coloradogirl

I have to respectfully disagree. What my kids are learning from this is that as a country, we can band together to protect our weakest citizens and make small personal sacrifices for the greater good. Yes, some people are panicking but my kids are not. They are figuring out how to adapt to an unpredictable situation and take care of each other and their neighbors. As parents, I think that the example we set is important. The example that I am setting is to be calm and follow the advice of experts. Of course, it helps that my kids are all college educated and my daughter could explain the micro biology of coronaviruses to us.

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So true, love thy neighbors! Before this whole thing exploded, I have been taking my 80 years old neighbor to the doctors and grocery store or just need to because she no longer drive. Uber is expensive! She lives alone and her siblings are far away. Since my son will do my grocery shopping if necessary, I told her to start making a list too and my son will get them for her. My children are worried about me and we stayed informed from the right sources, there are so much misinformation out there. Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true.

REPLY
@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 see a lot of numbers and percentages here. As a self-described research nerd, I am curious about the source of numbers for your calculations and the underlying assumptions in making them.
Remember that covid-19 is a new virus in humans and noone has immunity yet. While it currently seems to be mild in much of the population, we are seeing how it spreads rapidly and can overwhelm our medical care system very quickly. We also do not know how it will mutate as it progresses, and it could potentially increase in lethality.
The reality is that if we do not do something to try to "flatten the curve" our resources will be overwhelmed. Look at China and Italy, the situations there are the reason for the current initiatives here.
This morning I spoke to an ER nurse in a metro area of 3 million people. Their current metrowide inventory of available ICU beds is under 20. To say the medical professionals are alarmed is a gross understatement. In the event of a rapid increase in critical cases, who gets care and who dies? Who decides?
We know that most people will get covid-19, and a significant number will get quite ill, requiring hospitalization. We also know that if we "flatten the curve", drawing out the period of time for spreading the infection, that the system will be able to absorb the caseload. With enough time, a vaccine may even come available to protect the most vulnerable among us. Something else to consider: if covid-19 overwhelms the care system, young healthy people will not be able to get care either, for unrelated illnesses, accidents or injuries…so it is in everyones' interest to sacrifice for the common good.
I believe this is a fairly long-term situation we will be dealing with, but adjustment is possible. We are already seeing that there will be economic pain, and if all of our businesses and government at all levels pull together to make things work, we will weather it.
Like some others here, my milennial children and nieces and nephews are adapting, figuring out how to survive and help those around them. If anything, they feel we are not taking the concept of social isolation seriously enough.
Suggesting that a society not do whatever it can protect the vulnerable because it is costly and economically painful horrifies me. I have no other word for it.
Sue
PS Some people do remember being "locked down" or quarantined due to a pandemic – it was called polio, and while I have no knowledge of what it did to the stock market, it sure affected our lives before vaccine was available.

REPLY
@coloradogirl

@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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In Italy Nobody are stacked in hallways and all the people gets treated. We have public health system, rich and poor get the same attention. We don't pay for health.

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@mayofeb2020

So true, love thy neighbors! Before this whole thing exploded, I have been taking my 80 years old neighbor to the doctors and grocery store or just need to because she no longer drive. Uber is expensive! She lives alone and her siblings are far away. Since my son will do my grocery shopping if necessary, I told her to start making a list too and my son will get them for her. My children are worried about me and we stayed informed from the right sources, there are so much misinformation out there. Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true.

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Dear Mayofeb I thank you for many of us. You are truly a wonderful and thoughtful person. And as we all know there are many of us who follow your footsteps. Peach PS: Thanks for your son

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Good morning all -This group is a place where you will meet people living with a lung health condition or caring for someone with lung health concerns. We are a large group and it is imperative to spend our time supporting each other and discuss ways that will help keep us the healthiest during this crisis. As this virus spreads it is, given how vulnerable our lungs are it is to our benefit to follow the advice of the CDC and other reliable sources. I will continue to update what is being discovered about this virus and how it applies to us. Right now the best advice I can give you is to continue to protect yourselves and your communities.

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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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Joe- I am quoting Colleen to respond to your post: "The intent of this group is to provide a space for people maintain a social connection, help each other out and reduce anxiety during anxious times. The public should hold their elected governments to account. I suggest doing that in a constructive way on the channels where your voice will be heard, not here on Mayo Clinic Connect. Let's turn our focus to what we can do to stay healthy within the constraints and limitations of the current pandemic."
Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact Colleen here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

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@bibiliverbug

In Italy Nobody are stacked in hallways and all the people gets treated. We have public health system, rich and poor get the same attention. We don't pay for health.

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Two thoughts in reply to your Post:
1. maybe you should reply in private
2. you should be civil; it has the same meaning, and does not add to the general angst.
Let's be kind, and try our best to help each other during these trying times.

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@merpreb

Joe- I am quoting Colleen to respond to your post: "The intent of this group is to provide a space for people maintain a social connection, help each other out and reduce anxiety during anxious times. The public should hold their elected governments to account. I suggest doing that in a constructive way on the channels where your voice will be heard, not here on Mayo Clinic Connect. Let's turn our focus to what we can do to stay healthy within the constraints and limitations of the current pandemic."
Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact Colleen here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

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how was my post non-constructive? I understand it wasn't your audience wants to hear. I believe science or truth was the guide regardless of personal bias

REPLY
@coloradogirl

I have to respectfully disagree. What my kids are learning from this is that as a country, we can band together to protect our weakest citizens and make small personal sacrifices for the greater good. Yes, some people are panicking but my kids are not. They are figuring out how to adapt to an unpredictable situation and take care of each other and their neighbors. As parents, I think that the example we set is important. The example that I am setting is to be calm and follow the advice of experts. Of course, it helps that my kids are all college educated and my daughter could explain the micro biology of coronaviruses to us.

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It is clear that you have nice kids.
The base is not education (although that helps in opening minds to ideas, etc.) it is the empathy that healthy well grounded people posers that will stand our country in good stead. Empathy is what separates sociopaths from those that care about the impact they have on others. Cheers for the good people among us – that is the very great majority. The apple usually does't fall far from the tree.

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@sueinmn

@joelars I see a lot of numbers and percentages here. As a self-described research nerd, I am curious about the source of numbers for your calculations and the underlying assumptions in making them.
Remember that covid-19 is a new virus in humans and noone has immunity yet. While it currently seems to be mild in much of the population, we are seeing how it spreads rapidly and can overwhelm our medical care system very quickly. We also do not know how it will mutate as it progresses, and it could potentially increase in lethality.
The reality is that if we do not do something to try to "flatten the curve" our resources will be overwhelmed. Look at China and Italy, the situations there are the reason for the current initiatives here.
This morning I spoke to an ER nurse in a metro area of 3 million people. Their current metrowide inventory of available ICU beds is under 20. To say the medical professionals are alarmed is a gross understatement. In the event of a rapid increase in critical cases, who gets care and who dies? Who decides?
We know that most people will get covid-19, and a significant number will get quite ill, requiring hospitalization. We also know that if we "flatten the curve", drawing out the period of time for spreading the infection, that the system will be able to absorb the caseload. With enough time, a vaccine may even come available to protect the most vulnerable among us. Something else to consider: if covid-19 overwhelms the care system, young healthy people will not be able to get care either, for unrelated illnesses, accidents or injuries…so it is in everyones' interest to sacrifice for the common good.
I believe this is a fairly long-term situation we will be dealing with, but adjustment is possible. We are already seeing that there will be economic pain, and if all of our businesses and government at all levels pull together to make things work, we will weather it.
Like some others here, my milennial children and nieces and nephews are adapting, figuring out how to survive and help those around them. If anything, they feel we are not taking the concept of social isolation seriously enough.
Suggesting that a society not do whatever it can protect the vulnerable because it is costly and economically painful horrifies me. I have no other word for it.
Sue
PS Some people do remember being "locked down" or quarantined due to a pandemic – it was called polio, and while I have no knowledge of what it did to the stock market, it sure affected our lives before vaccine was available.

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I appreciate but am surprised at your response. Why didn't you fact check my numbers and respond with your results? Because if you did you'd find the source is the CDC but there isn't any contrary numbers. Rather, than play hit and run, please tell me if you checked the numbers I quoted before your response, because if didn't why wouldn't you? And if you did then you knew my numbers were valid.
People, I'm losing faith her. I really thought the mayo Clinic was about the truth, the science.

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@joelars

I appreciate but am surprised at your response. Why didn't you fact check my numbers and respond with your results? Because if you did you'd find the source is the CDC but there isn't any contrary numbers. Rather, than play hit and run, please tell me if you checked the numbers I quoted before your response, because if didn't why wouldn't you? And if you did then you knew my numbers were valid.
People, I'm losing faith her. I really thought the mayo Clinic was about the truth, the science.

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I meant "losing faith here"

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@joelars

how was my post non-constructive? I understand it wasn't your audience wants to hear. I believe science or truth was the guide regardless of personal bias

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Isn't that "confirmational bias" you are referring to?

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