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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bow Tie

May 19th: COVID-19 and Reopening

As it turns out, Georgia misreported data to make it look like cases were down trending after reopening! Except that they WEREN’T. They also didn't acknowledge that the better numbers were more reflective of the social isolation/shutdown than the reopen. 2. The rumor that masks can cause carbon dioxide poisoning is fake. The study that seems to show that is poorly done and didn't study the right masks. Masks do not pose that danger.

I say those two things to say these things: So today Western New York starts to reopen in phase 1, but that does not mean we can just go back to the way things used to be. Everyone’s throwing around those 99% survival rates. While those are well and good, they leave out two things.

1) Those are still a LOT of dead bodies from one disease. 88,000 in 3 months is no joke. I have written before about the process of creating death certificates, and I have seen several deaths from COVID-19 that may or may not have been preventable if we had better adhered to social distancing. The COVID centers in Buffalo got SLAMMED this past weekend. Multiple colleagues and I had to put in extra hours or stretch ourselves thin to keep up with the patient load. Patients from home, from nursing facilities, healthy, chronically ill, you name it. I realize that the non-COVID-only hospitals had better weekends which is why we met the criteria, but believe me, it wasn’t that much of a downtrend.

2) Just because the statistics say it’s mostly survivable doesn’t mean anything if you as an individual get the virus and become sick. Even for those hospitalized that don’t die, the virus WIPES THE FLOOR with them. They get so weak, they lose weight from dehydration and lack of desire to eat because of the loss of taste/smell, and they’re miserable.

So don’t take any more chance on exposure than you have to. Keep social distancing. Even as you go out and support reopened businesses, MAINTAIN THAT 6-FOOT GAP. I know it makes things slower, and it’s annoying, but don't ignore it. I miss my friends, too, but it’s not yet a good idea to go hanging out with everyone like we used to - there is still risk for spread. And wear your mask (without touching it with your hands while out) - for at least a little more protection, and to protect others from what comes out of your mouth.

It is not yet time to go back to pre-COVID behavior. We’re not done with this pandemic by a long shot. For reopening to be safe, we have to maintain safe practices. Don’t be the ones to create a second wave that overwhelms the hospitals next month. Please.

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