In December 2019 a new infectious disease called COVID-19 was discovered in China. This disease, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 ((SARS coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2), spread quickly to over 100 countries. In January 2020 it first appeared in the United States of America.
There can be asymptomatic infected carriers of the virus. Those symptomatic may present with fever, cough, muscle aches, fatigue and shortness of breath. They can progress to pneumonia, multi organ failure, and death in the most vulnerable--those with chronic illnesses, high comorbidity with hypertension and diabetes, the immunosuppressed, and the elderly. It spreads via droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. It is transmitted person to person and does survive hours to days depending on the surface.
Here are a few highlights
1. Wash and lather your hands for 20 seconds (PAPA recommends saying the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be while washing) .
2. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if unable to wash. Rub your hands til hands feel dry.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
4. Avoid close contact with sick people.
5. Put distance of six feet between people. Avoid gathering of people of ten or more.
6. Use disinfectant for sanitizing.
7. Cough into your forearm.
8. Social distance for the next two weeks
Incubation period is 2-14 days.
The CDC ( Centers for Disease Control), FDA (Food Drug Association), the NIH (National Institute of Health) and WHO (World Health Organization) are working to find a vaccine. This unfortunately will take perhaps 12-18 months. There are two drugs that show much promise: hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial used also for rheumatic diseases, coupled with antibiotic azithromycin. There are reports that this combo has been used successfully for treatment. There is no prophylactic treatment yet. The above drugs have few toxicities, are old drugs known for their safety and are prescribed by physicians. There are investigational drugs that are being tested. AVOID nonsteroidal antiinflammatories such as Ibuprofen, aleve/ aspirin or advil
There has been cooperation between countries sharing statistics, treatments tried and clinical data.
Faith in the Word, Jesus Christ, saves. PAPA recommends following the guideliens set by the CDC and each day go to CDC.gov for new information. Do not undermine the seriousness of the problem. But do not give in to fear as God is in charge. May we see this illness through a supernatural faith with God as the center. .
We should become powerful prayer warriors letting the Lord be God. In the bible there are three solutions to a plague-- the smoke of the incense, together with our prayers ascending up to heaven ( Number 16: 46), reciting 100 blessings daily (David and the plague--the Talmud) and spiritual works of mercy. Pray daily the rosary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy and attend virtual Masses, and receive Jesus through a Spiritual Communion.
Please pray for the health providers, the priests, the patients and their families.
God Bless You
Olivia M. Bannan, MD