What a day. The World Health Organization declared this a “pandemic”. Before you freak out let me clarify what that means. It means that this infections have crossed geographic boundaries and is affecting an exceptionally large number of people. It does not mean that it is necessarily deadly. The truth is that those of us in the health profession, especially those have been in my field have known that this is what was probably going to be happening. The physician assigned to Congress and the Supreme court supposedly stated that there will be approximately 75-150 million Americans affected. That may true. Or it may not. The difference starts NOW. It should have started two months ago. This is what is called #FlatteningTheCurve. Which means that the greater the number of people that get infected, the more other people will get infected. Some people I have spoken to have thought it is no big deal because 80% of the people get only mild symptoms (see yesterday’s post). Well, it is a big deal, because the more people get infected the more there will be of really sick people. Which will possibly put a huge drain on our health care system. That being said. DO NOT GO TO YOUR DOCTOR JUST TO GET TESTED. (Hopefully in the near future that will be the case) Firstly there are not nearly enough tests. If you feel sick CALL YOUR DOCTOR’S OFFICE FIRST or CALL YOUR HOSPITAL. They will guide you to testing if appropriate and to treatment. But when in doubt call your physician. (Make sure to buy a thermometer! Most places with telemedicine are going want to physically see you take your temperature!). All is NOT bad news. Many will be putting pressure on government to increase testing production. Research on potential treatment is proceeding at a speed that I have never seen before. Research on a vaccine is also proceeding in lightning speed, with the first human tests possibly starting in a few months. But right now, YOU can make the biggest difference. In conclusion, the time to make a difference is NOW. Hygiene is crucial. WASH those hands. Use towels to close and open doors. Avoiding places that are too crowded is also helpful. If you feel sick, stay home and CALL your health care professional. And remember, this is NOT a foreign virus. This is a virus. Period. It does not discriminate. So, chin up. Let’s stay healthy.