A summary of discussion points from today:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Masks

  • Those who need masks the most are those working with infected individuals. Well fitting N95 mask is recommended. The number refers to how permeable they are – higher number is better theoretically. But realistically, any mask is better than nothing. Combined with gloves, masks help limit contagion. Save N95 masks for higher risk situations. If the mask is ill fitting, it is uncomfortable and people tend to fiddle with their mask and actually can increase exposure because they touch their face more frequently and take it off more frequently.
  • Everyday wear in public it is most important that it fit well and be comfortable. Should cover nose and mouth. Fabric masks are reasonable alternative.

Can we reuse paper masks – N95 and surgical

  • N95 and surgical masks can be reused. In medical environment they are disposed of immediately. But for around the home and in public they have a longer lifespan.
  • Good to take them off and let them dry when you get home – moisture from your breath will make them not work and actually allows more virus in. Dry by hanging up or putting them in a paper bag, interior part folded inside. They dry quickly and you can rotate several masks and reuse many time. The paper masks cannot be washed. Once soiled, replace them. Do not use disinfectants on them. Dispose of them when the elastic is worn out and they don’t fit anymore.

Fabric Masks

*Ananda business, MeditationBench.com is already underway with making masks.

  • Good for protection when going out of the home if you are not infected. Fabric masks can be washed and you can have several to rotate. Do not spray with disinfectants, sanitizers or essential oils – you don’t want to inhale those things. Just the mechanical weave of the fabric is enough with washing. Should be comfortable and well fitting.
  • Carbon filters don’t add anything that is needed unless protecting yourself from noxious fumes, but not helpful for virus protection.
  • Deaconess.com has a good outline for a simple mask. They use tight weave cotton. 2 layers would be best. Do not flip it over and use both sides next to your face.
  • We can set an example and wear masks whenever we are out, so it becomes normal and natural for us. We know it is effective and easy and inexpensive.
  • With kids – need to work with what is realistic and if they are fiddling with it a lot it may not work.

About the virus:

  • Once the virus has hit the stage where you are seeing clusters of cases and explosive growth, it takes about 8 – 10 weeks to peak and start falling off.
  • Right now we have two major areas that have had explosive growth – NY and WA state. WA was first, but NY is larger.
  • After isolated cases, it’s about 3-4 wks later you see people hospitalized, after they have gone through milder symptoms that eventually get worse.
  • What can be done when a cluster breaks out?
  • – could we possibly create a clear zone around the cluster by identifying cases and tracing contacts and creating a perimeter of immune individuals, or treat them as a “fire break”?
  • – focus is on contact tracing at this time, in those areas that do not have huge outbreaks yet. Some places it is getting too difficult to do because the number of cases is exploding.
  • Much of the information comes from the CDC update yesterday. You can see these online.

Serologic Testing

  • People who have mild symptoms may develop IGG (long term) antibodies and we can use their blood as preliminary treatment in serious cases before the medication takes effect.
  • What they are aiming for in the research right now is a finger prick test that is simpler and safer than doing a blood draw.
  • It is looking like with the characteristics of this virus, “herd” immunity will be at about 70 – 80% which means that number of people have developed antibodies and maybe a vaccine can help that number.
  • Very possible that there will be 2 – 3 waves of infection over 2 – 3 years.
  • Monoclonal antibodies – we have the capability of isolating the one antibody you want and manufacturing just the one you want in large quantities. So that becomes the initial treatment. It is very specific, unlike gamma globulin. This is know technology, but need to adapt to the SARS 2 virus.
  • These treatments would be for the first two days or so.

CDC and White House Task Force:

  • Have asked older population with high risk to self isolate. This is partly to see what actually works worldwide. When we reach the end of two weeks doing this – we may be able to see if we can loosen things. It’s a balance between keeping the number of patients down while also keeping the economy going. After looking at this it will be more clear what next steps need to happen. South Korea is a good example of taking aggressive measures and keeping the numbers down.
  • Everyone will have to make sacrifices in the short term to help protect everyone and get the long term results. This is a chance to be a great generation that responds appropriately.
  • Continuing to look at how to keep supplies moving and the infrastructure intact during this time.

Testing

  • Home testing is being developed, with $$ from the Gates Foundation. We will see this coming and being available in addition to the hospital testing.

Dr. Larry Brilliant,

Statistics:

  • Nevada County – 3 cases / up from 1, 2 cases are “travel related” when people have acquired the virus from being in known hot spots. All are isolated, one is hospitalized.
  • U.S.: testing is up and we are getting caught up with cases that have been out there.
  • Confirmed cases 46,000 / up from 35,000, serious cases 1000 / up from ~800, deaths 580 / up from 485. About 1% fatality rate.
  • Italy: cases 64,000 / up from 59,000, serious cases 3200 / up from 3,000, deaths 6000 / up from 5500
  • fatality rate 7 – 10%, partly due to overwhelmed health care system
  • When we are able to do serologic testing, where blood tells us who has antibodies, the fatality rate will go down as the case number is more accurate.
  • S. Korea: cases 8900 / up from 9000 (very stable), serious cases still 59, deaths 120 / up from 111
  • Oregon stats are found here. https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

In divine friendship in God and Gurus,
Lorna for Ananda Portland