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Aaron's back answering your submitted questions about things related to the COVID-19. If you'd like to submit a question for a future episode you can do so at

00:22 MYTH: Vitamin D/vitamin C/Echinacea/essential oils can help
00:33 MYTH: Drinking TONS of water aids recovery because you pee more, which helps flush out the virus faster
00:44 Is steam cleaning an effective way to clean spaces we must share with my paramedic husband? Are products like dish soap, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide effective?
1:36 When getting food take-out/delivery, what if the person preparing my food (especially non-cooked food like salads or breads) is sick?
2:56 If I have to go to the grocery store, what’s the safest way to go about it?
3:35 I have cerebral palsy and I don’t understand why the CDC says I’m at higher risk. Do you know why?
3:57 - I’m in an older age group (60+) but in excellent health, am I still at higher risk? What about people with conditions that are being managed, like BP well-controlled with medication?
4:34 - Can being well-rested have an impact on your risk of getting severely ill?
4:54 - Does smoking increase your risk of catching the virus or just how well you can fight it? Any evidence that it’s bad to smoke marijuana if you have covid symptoms?
5:32 - I’m taking walks outside and keeping my distance, but sometimes runners pass me - it’s quick but they’re breathing heavily less than 6 feet away - should I be concerned?
6:23 - When is someone with COVID-19 “sick enough to go to the ER”?
6:52 - “What if I do this or that event with my family/friends but we all promise to stay in our own bubbles, 6 feet apart, while we do it”
8:21 - Should I go somewhere like an urgent care if I have acute issues like UTI or sinus infection and don’t have a primary care doc to call?
8:43 - If you have no symptoms, is it safe/recommended to donate blood?
8:52 - Say I’ve got a cough and shortness of breath, but I also have asthma and allergies, and still feel good enough to exercise, can I go biking or walking outside?
9:17 - Is it possible that the spread of COVID-19 started happening before it gained prominence?
10:01 - Is there a difference between "incubation period" (how long symptoms take to show up) and when a test would be positive?
10:38 - Why does testing matter if treatment is the same for sick or nonsick?
11:54 - What is the timeline during which we can ramp up testing to make sure we can do the suppression you advocate?
12:38 - If I'm pretty sure I'm sick, but I'm self-isolating and managing mild symptoms, can I report that somewhere so it's included in the statistics?
12:54 - In a previous Q&A you said antibody tests would be low priority, why is that?
13:31 - Will I be informed if I have been exposed? How will that information be provided to me?
14:29 - In your first episode you said to prevent a catastrophic return of the virus in the fall we need to "keep this at bay." For the people in the back, what does that mean and how long do we need to do that for?
17:53 - Given your view on the virus returning in fall, can you discuss infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm’s opinion that Covid-19 won’t be affected by season changes based on past examples of SARS and MERS?
18:43 - Can UV light kill the virus?
19:12 - Isn’t fever part of the way your body fights infection? Shouldn’t we let the fever do its job rather than suppress it with medication like acetaminophen?
19:51 - What’s the deal with Azithromycin and hydroxychloriquine?
20:05 - Why can’t we use Tamiflu on high risk patients at the first signs of infection?
20:29 - Who can I call if I don’t have a primary care provider?
20:49 - Any advice for people close to the end of pregnancy?
21:17 - I live in NYC with my nine month old baby. Will months of isolation hurt his development?
21:40 - How am I supposed to know which experts to believe?

Related HCT episodes:
1. April 01, 2020 Q&A:
2. March 18, 2020 Q&A:

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#healthcare #COVID #coronavirus

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We're still sheltering in place, and we're still answering your questions about Covid-19.  That's the topic of this weeks healthcare triage.
*intro music*
We start right off the bat by saying that while we appreciate your questions, we have to skip those that ask for direct medical advice. We just can't do that like this, you should talk to your own healthcare professional.  But let's go!
We're gonna start with more myths.  First of all, more than one person asked about whether vitamin D or vitimmin C or echinacea or essential oils can help.  No.  There's no evidence for that at all.  Yeah, no.  Just gonna stop right there.
Drinking tons of water aids recovery because you pee more, which helps flush out the virus faster.  No.  No evidence for that at all.  In fact, no, no, you don't pee out this virus that's not how you beat it.
Some hygine and risk questions; doing the best I can with a shortage of disinfectant- is steam cleaning an effective way to clean spaces we must share with my paramedic husband? Are products like dish soap, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide effective?  You know, cleaning, cleaning with soap and water is going to do a fairly large amount.  Certantly disinfectant products will likely help.  I'm not sure about steam cleaning, I don't think that there's any proven to adding that on top.  If you're doing those other things, for the most part you should be fine.  But of course same rules we've always said; hand washing, hand washing, hand washing, don't touch your face, stay away from others who are sick as much as you can.  And I get the idea that in a house that's hard.  You know, stay away from others when you're sick, don't obviously cough into the air.  All of these things are helpful in the house.  If you are, you know, concerned further than that certaninly wipe down surfaces, wash them as best you can.
When getting food take out/ delivery, what if the person preparing my food (especially non-cooked food like salads or breads) is sick?  I mean, always we are relying on those who prepare and serve our food to follow the correct rules; they should not be clearly going to work if they are sick, they should not be coughing on food- they should.  No.  No.  Don't go (make) food if you are sick.  Of course there's asymtomatic carriers, what can you do.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Well, most food is being cooked, so unless they're literally breathing on it on it's way out the door you're, for the most part going to be fine.  Um, I wouldn't worry about the food.  Now, packaging, again, common sense stuff; if you bring it into the house usually what we do is if we are getting take out, we bring it in, we unpack everything, we put it on plates, we Wash Our Hands, after the unpacking, we wash our hands before we eat, we wash our hands after we eat.
With groceries, sometimes we'll bring them home, leave them for a while because stuff actually starts to degrade, remember the virus dosn't live forever outside of a human being.  Then same rules apply, wash our hands, put everything away, wash our hands again.  It's the best.
Some people are wiping down the stuff they bring into the house, that's an added step, I don't know that that's absolutly nessesary if you're doing all these other things.  And again, the virus is not jumping off the packaging and into your mouth, it still has to get there by touching your face.  So, Wash Your Hands .  Wash your hands.  
Grocery stores don't seem like a safe place to be right now, but food delivery is taking over a week.  If I have to go to the store, what's the safest way to go about it?  
Ok, pick a time when other people won't be there, so as few people as possible, usually early in the morning or as late as you can.  Stay away from other people.  You know, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.  Some places are giving out disinfectant wipes or washing down the carts, but clearly you can do that also yourself. Wash your hands.  Don't touch your face.  Don't touch stuff then touch your face.  Keep touching to a limited amount.  Be careful not to touch yourself while you're there.  Stay away from other people, get home, get in the car. Wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands, follow all the other rules.  
I have verebral palsy and I don't understand why the CDC says I'm at higher risk.  Do you know why?  
The CDC is basically trying to be careful and say that anywone with a chronic conditon is higher risk.  We are not conducting studies at this time to see which cronic conditions place people at increased risk.  We're just going with broad blanket statements.  You know, protect yourself as much as possible and that's what we're doing. 

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