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Coronavirus Facts and Fiction: Everything You Need To Know With Dr. Alexea Gaffney

Coronavirus Facts and Fiction: Everything You Need To Know With Dr. Alexea Gaffney

Posted by Social Integration on Apr 20th 2020

Hey there! Welcome to #AskDrPatel where I answer your questions about CBD and CBD products!

Follow this interview with Dr. Alexea Gaffney, an Infectious Disease Specialist, as she goes over facts and misinformation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Now today we have a very special episode of ask dr. Patel where I have actually brought on an expert physician and infectious disease expert to answer any and all questions related to COVID-19, coronavirus. We're in an exceptional circumstance unfortunately and so I took it upon myself to bring in a specialist to answer questions for you guys because there's a lot of information out there, a lot of it is misinformation and so just wanted to let you in on a conversation dr. to dr. so that you can get the facts.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Okay Dr. Alexea you could go ahead and introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your background?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Absolutely, so I'm Dr. Alexea, I am a triple board certified infectious disease specialist. I have trained in internal medicine and pediatrics and completed board certification in both of those specialties and then further did subspecialty training in adult infectious diseases. Beyond that I'm also a speaker, author, and breast cancer survivor. As a result of that life's journey I have delved into the world of life coaching specifically for women and for individuals who are experiencing cancer and for their families. So I create healing pathways so that others can experience total health and wellness, mind, body, and spirit. I'm so happy to join you all today.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah, great, so where are you joining us from?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So I'm joining you guys from Long Island, so a suburb of New York City. Specifically I live and work in Stony Brook New York so it's kind of a pretty bustling suburb and the interesting thing about where I work is Suffolk County is like surprisingly an international hub and I don't think people appreciate that and then we have a lot of commuters who go into New York City every single day or go over to Connecticut every single day or travel further out to the eastern end of Long Island and we have a very mixed population of folks here, so we see it all.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Okay and you're in an area that's been hit really hard by COVID-19?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Yeah, our Hospital has had quite a few cases. In fact all of our community hospitals have seen cases and the numbers are climbing day by day so we are several hundred and counting. I'm certain the numbers have even been updated since I left the house this morning.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah, so I feel like I'm in a movie, essentially what it feels like. So tell us what are we dealing with here you know in terms of the virus itself what do we know, what

do we have yet to know?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Okay so what we know for sure is that this is not a hoax, this is not bioterrorism, this is something similar to what we've seen in the past. So we're seeing a novel or a new strain of corona viruses that has impacted humans and that is causing in the most severely affected people, pneumonia that impacts both of the lungs, sepsis which for you guys in the community if you're not medical people sepsis is basically fever, high heart rate, low blood pressure, and organ damage or organ failure in the presence of an infection. So we're seeing people get critically ill catastrophically ill as a result of this viral infection. And most people they're suggesting that this infection might be mild and that some people may not have symptoms at all but can still spread the infection and that was something that wasn't clear in the beginning. But we know for certain is that this virus is spread through human to human contact so we can spread it directly to one another through coughs, through sneezes, through you know contaminating some surfaces with infectious basically saliva that's carrying the virus and then we might pick it up. So we know the type of virus it is. It is believed to have come from an animal source, perhaps bats seems to be the working hypothesis about where did this virus come from. And that's not new we've seen viruses jump species before. That's you know how humans ended up with Ebola that's how humans ended up with SARS and MERS from animal exposures. So we think it came from bats, we know that the epicenter of this now worldwide pandemic was in Wuhan, China, and it's basically spreading because of the ability to travel the world to get to different places very quickly and you know take it home with you on a business trip or from leisure travel. And so here we are, 2020 with a worldwide viral pandemic infection.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

So here's the thing, compared to other coronaviruses what is it that's causing, other than the travel that you mentioned, what's making it spread so easily?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So coronaviruses in general spread easily, there's a large number of corona viruses, I'll say our plain old boring corona viruses that we see every year that cause common colds. And we know how transmissible those are. You think of children in a classroom, you know at the start of the week maybe one kid is out and by the end of the next week or ten days at some point you lose nine or ten kids out of 18 or 20 in a classroom. So it's not so much that this is more readily spread than other corona viruses, it's that the severity of the illness is much greater than other corona viruses, or much greater than you know, our typical seasonal influenza which is no wimpy pathogen either.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

yeah okay so in terms of what we've seen in other countries, like China, like Italy. Can you speak to some of the trends, numerical trends and, progression of the pandemic in those countries?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Yeah so China's numbers are really coming down in terms of the number of cases that they're diagnosing every day and that is because China has already done what we're trying to do here. They flatten their curve, so if you don't understand what flattening the curve means, it basically means that we have to slow down the spread of the infection so that the peak number of cases that we're diagnosing on any given day comes down dramatically. If we're having less people get infected that means there's less people going out into their world, whether that is their home, their workplace, their community and spreading the infection, because this virus is taking off exponentially. So where China has flattened its curve they're seeing much less cases. If I am not mistaken, Italy has now surpassed China in its number of cases and even though they put in some restrictions they've had to be more aggressive about restricting their population because they're still seeing a marked increase in the number of cases every single day. You know, they're having days where the number of deaths has been like 475 they reported not too long ago, two days ago actually 475 deaths in one day. They have maxed out the capacity of their healthcare system, you know they've run out of beds(vents?*) they have exhausted their critical care teams and their ability to supply critical care. And the interesting thing is initially I had it that, well we have way more ICU beds than Italy. Granted I knew that if we let this get out of control we don't have enough ICU beds, but in my mind we had more than they had right. But the reality is per person or per capita they have more ICU beds that we have. So if they're beyond max capacity and they're literally having to leave people to perish because they just cannot support them through critical illness. If we don't sit ourselves down and really take heed to the social distancing and quarantining and isolating for those who've had travel or definitive exposure, we are going to be in a world of trouble very quickly.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Got it, got it, okay so basically the main difference between China and Italy are the measures.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Their response yeah how it like we all back in December we're looking at China like oh my god I can't believe they would do that to their people and why are they being so forceful? You can't lock people away in their homes. But in a situation like this where we will not cooperate where we will not do what is for the greater good of all of us I can understand why they would take it to that extreme. I hope and pray that we, you know, now that we have testing kits and mobile testing sites and the numbers are climbing and climbing and climbing and now people are

beginning to say "you know what my neighbor got diagnosed" or "my friend down the street you know lost a whole household of her family members". Now that it's real and apparent and it is a very present danger that maybe we'll now take it seriously.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Let's talk about who's being affected by this. I think that's really the crux of what's leading to a lot of misinformation. Getting to a lot of people not social distancing. So let's talk about that you know, let's talk about in terms of age groups, in terms of comorbidity.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So, the advertising, the opening to any CDC update or World Health Organization update that you might have seen the the first social media infographics all said people 60 and up

are at highest risk for this infection. But people 60 and up are not the only people at risk to succumb to this infection or to develop pneumonia or become critically ill for this infection. They are just the people who represented the largest proportion of people who died from this infection in China. But if and obviously the general public does not have access to our medical journals and the literature that's coming out of China and so they're just taking what they're being presented at face value. But really there's other risk factors that people haven't even begun to consider, high blood pressure, diabetes, previous heart attack, previous stroke, anything that encapsulates cardiovascular disease if you fall under that umbrella you're at high risk, immunocompromised.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Just to interject really quickly, cardiovascular means anything that has to do with your heart or your blood vessels.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

That's right, yeah, anything that's circulatory any disease of your circulation is a risk factor. Even overweight and obesity when I was speaking to some of the providers on the frontlines in Seattle Washington, the ER doctors and hospitalists when they were intubating 38 and 40 something year old people they were like, you know what at this point we're just going have to call being overweight, just tipping the scale at obese or even being pre-diabetic a risk factor because that's all we could think of in our young adults or middle-aged adults who

were critically ill or succumbing to this infection. And then so immunocompromised patients and that's a whole host of people, maybe you have asthma or COPD and you take steroids on a regular basis, maybe you have sickle cell anemia and your spleen doesn't work. Maybe you're you have lupus or an autoimmune disease and you take immunosuppressive drugs. Maybe it's just got a little bit of psoriasis and you take medicines to help keep that at bay. There's cancer survivors in this country and all over the world of all ages and cancer survivors are a group of individuals who are at increased risk from having received chemotherapy and radiation in their lifetime. And don't forget about all of the folks who are receiving chemotherapeutics, whether it is for cancer or autoimmune disease or other chronic medical conditions who

are out and about in society with all the rest of us and at risk to succumb to this infection as a result of that. So there's people of all ages who fall into those categories so we can't just say you know, oh well for Grandma and them, we're all at risk you know. The least number of deaths was in children 10 and younger. But it's not true that no children died of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. It's just that they had the lowest percentage, or they encapsulated the lowest percentage group, but it's not zero for any age group. So the idea that because I'm 20 or I'm 25 and I'm healthy I'm not at risk is not true. Even if you didn't get critically ill or go into respiratory failure you're still bringing that home to your parents and your grandparents and the people that you work with or go to college with or the people you're in your community with. So we just don't think about it like that.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah and you put it into great context, how easy is it to catch the common cold. And this bug falls in the same family of bugs, so we catch it easily but the main difference between this and the bugs that cause the common cold is the severity of the illness that it caused. And and while we're talking about severity of illness, just speaking to other other colleagues and who are on the frontlines they're also talking about how the COVID-19 the corona virus also infects the heart muscle as well, can you talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney

Yeah so in the infectious disease world we're very aware of viral myocarditis where people present almost like they're having a heart attack but the blood vessels are just fine and so people can develop a cardiomyopathy or long term heart failure, but that cardiomyopathy or heart failure in the setting of these viral infections can be so devastating that the heart either goes into abnormal rhythms, or it stops beating altogether, or it just completely beats ineffectively. So we have strain on the heart from that regard and then just also think about in you know, clinician to clinician, in the setting of substance how we see high output cardiac failure in our septic patients, so now it's doubled the risk at that point right, the viral myocarditis, and then a sepsis picture that's putting stress and strain on the heart. You know, we don't know this data yet for coronavirus but we do know for influenza that people are at increased risk of having a heart attack like the first 30 days out after they have an influenza infection. So it's quite possible that this virus also operates similarly, so there's so much at stake here and I think people just think well if I'm lucky I'll just get a cold and I don't need to worry about it. But everybody is susceptible to every possible presentation of this virus and you have no idea and a total inability to predict which type of infection you're going to get or what type of how your body's going to respond to the infection, and so it's best just not to take the chance.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah, and we know now that you know worst case scenario it impacts some very crucial systems in the body right, the lungs and the heart. Let's talk about symptoms and the severity of symptoms and when people should seek medical care and when they don't necessarily need to seek medical care.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney

Right, so in those individuals who might have little to no symptoms or mild symptoms, those symptoms might look like what we know as a common cold or upper respiratory tract infection. Maybe some nasal congestion, not particularly runny nose, maybe some discomfort in the throat, some dry coughing maybe a little bit of fatigue. I've read some patients reports so those who are young enough, or savvy enough to report who've been definitively diagnosed didn't get critically ill and they can tell us what's going on. A lot of people reporting a flu-like syndrome so muscle aches joint pains, fatigue but it doesn't seem to come on as quickly as the flu. So if you've ever had the flu you could be fine in the morning and then by lunchtime like knocked off your feet. I've had the flu and that's how it was for me. Came into work like it was any other day and then like got dragged out of the office or put out of the office because all of a sudden I was just overwhelmed with you know fever, weakness, muscle aches, joint pains, etc. So people get that but it's more of a gradual onset in comparison to flu where it's a very rapid onset. There's a very small proportion of patients who are experiencing diarrhea with this infection as well. Not so much talk about rash or other symptoms like that. So if it stays that way then people may recover over several days or maybe two weeks and part of that is why there's this two-week quarantine or isolation period that individuals who had definitive contact or who've traveled to high-risk areas are being asked to follow. So if you don't recover from that kind of presentation then what usually happens is people start to get worsening cough then they start to develop shortness of breath, and that's because the pneumonia is now setting in and so people may have chest comfort they may be more weak, more fatigued, because their oxygen carrying capacity is diminished, and then at that point if they haven't already they're probably going to start to develop fevers or perhaps low body temperatures, especially in the very young and the very old. So if your temperature is really low in the setting of signs and symptoms that suggest infection that should be actually treated or regarded just like a fever would. So monitoring temperature is so important at this point. People may experience like shaking chills may be more weak a lot of the reports that I've read of patient encounters were that by the time they really started coughing non-stop and having a lot of shortness of breath they were very weak, couldn't get out of bed, had no appetite, like really and truly lethargic. And then some people recover from that stage and that's really the turning point of this infection. Do you have enough physical stamina and enough health to recover from that stage, or are you the person who's going to have to go into the hospital and get supplemental oxygen, need other respiratory support, or are you going to at that point crash and burn. are you going to become septic and go into acute respiratory failure. So you know that would look like coughing to the point where you just can't catch your breath, you're not being able to get good deep breaths in. I'm hearing reports of you know people just appearing blue or purple, what we call cyanotic because their oxygen is so low and we've seen people have multi-organ failure so not just failure of the lungs and the heart, but also failure of the kidneys and failure of the liver because there's just not enough oxygen, there's not enough circulation and they just need blood pressure support in the hospital at this point. So by the time you're reaching that then you're going to have people who are stuporous or delirious not responding, difficult to arouse, and so those reports of people collapsing in the street are very real

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah okay, so where are we in terms of the treatment stage of this?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So treatment is all supportive, there's no definitive therapy for this now. One of the pharmaceutical companies had a trial drug that if I'm not mistaken they were using for Ebola that was being initially released on a compassionate basis as like a last-ditch attempt to get people who already are maxed out on blood pressure supporting meds, already intubated maybe on ECMO, so basically using like an external lung to oxygenate their blood and still not recovering, then hospitals we’re calling and requesting this drug. And I heard that like literally on Saturday nights people were having to figure out ways to contact the CEO of this drug company to see if they can get medicines for their patients. So now my understanding is that this is going to be offered as part of a clinical trial, but we know as clinicians clinical trials don't just get up and running overnight. There's so many ethical and legal issues at play it takes time to get that so that's out. I hear people playing around or toying with the idea of using anti-malarial drugs, or drugs that we kind of use to suppress the immune system and there's not even enough data out yet for me to comment on that so I think maybe that's another conversation for later on as more data arises. But right now that's kind of the thing that I'm hearing amongst the medical community and that I have friends who are kind of internet savvy and looking things up you know calling me or texting me saying hey what about this anti malaria drug. So there's nothing definitive to treat this, it literally must run its course and it's a question of can we support you and keep you alive until it does.


Can CBD Treat or Cure The Coronavirus (COVID-19)?


Dr. Rachna Patel:

Right,you know, being that I'm in an alternative medicine field, there

have been a lot of sort of misinformation spreading about certain alternative medicines for treating coronavirus. To that a little bit I know there's a especially been a lot of information about elderberry for instance. You know, and all these other medications essentially, alternative medications out there that people are touting as treatments or cures. Speak to that a little bit.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So you know, if elderberry could fix coronavirus we'd be pouring it down everybody's throat. And actually some of the preliminary data, not confirmed not one hundred percent true but, well I shouldn't say not a hundred percent true, not one hundred percent proven. But some of the data is suggesting that taking elderberry may be harmful in the setting of coronavirus. The same is true for like ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs coming out of China and learning from their experience, there was a question as to whether or not these kinds of exposures worsened people's outcomes. So I think right now across the board what we're saying as clinicians is just use Tylenol or acetaminophen, whatever brands you purchase it in, but acetaminophen, use that as your pain reliever right now use that as your fever reliever right now and put the NSAIDs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs so just to name a few, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen, aspirin, put those to the side right now because they can negatively impact you should you pick up this infection. Now I would say this is not an entirely new phenomenon. Because we know this for our pediatric patients. We don't give pediatric patients aspirin because aspirin in the setting of certain viral infections can cause significant illness in children, so this is not an unknown phenomenon. It's not something we typically worry

about in adults. But now that we're seeing this data we're going to just try to stick with alternatives, so the elderberry may have a similar adverse outcome. But the interesting thing is that yes people without having any understanding of you know how a disease process works or pathology or pathogenesis, will then say this essential oil can cure this because it's a corona virus and we've always dealt with corona viruses. Well if your peppermint oil or your tea tree oil relieved your congestion during your regular old boring coronavirus or rhinovirus common cold, that's not a cure that's symptomatic relief, your body overcame the infection and you treated or addressed your symptoms with something like an essential oil or you know some other alternative or homeopathic remedy. But right now there is no known cure for this virus and so we are again doing one another a disservice by claiming that I have the end-all-be-all and the fix all for this thing. And people will be falsely reassured you know if I put on my oil or if I take this tincture then I can continue to go to work, or I could freely shop at the grocery store, or I don't need to social distance myself because I'm safe. And this the sad part is in the Internet age you can find something that looks really legitimate that is supported and co-signed by a thousand people but that's completely false, so it's really dangerous out here in these internet streets.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah totally agreed, and you know, being a physician who runs a  CBD products company, who you know has treated patients CBD products, I will tell you that CBD does not treat or cure coronavirus. So if anybody is telling you otherwise, they're lying to you. I think that's that at the end all and be all of that fact. Okay I'm going to play a little bit of devil's advocate here right. When it comes to social distancing you know you have a healthy individual a young healthy individual who isn't as at much risk so they're thinking okay well you know shouldn't the people most at risk be isolated why should I be isolated as well.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So you should be isolated, young healthy person, because just for that reason. You can carry this virus being young and healthy and having a mild infection only benefits you, but it makes you the corona Mary you know thinking about typhoid mary, of your family, of your household, of your community of your school, of your office. You feel fine you're not impacted by this but everybody you clear your throat in the presence of you know wipe your nose, shake hands, share the same phone or keyboard with, pass your cell phone to you know grab a swipe of their dinner plate at home. Every one of those people that you encounter you can possibly spread this infection to and they may not be just fine with it. And you know just speaking of just fine, would you be just fine with knowing that you bought coronavirus to your mom or your dad or your grandmother or your grandfather and that's what caused them to be hospitalized and critically ill. Would you be just fine with knowing you brought the virus home or to work that killed someone you know or loved? That is why we need to socially distance, that's why if we have the ability to telework work from home, work from a phone, a laptop, or a computer, we need to do that. That's why we shouldn't have flocked to the beaches of Miami and gone on spring break, because that was anything but social distancing and now you got to come home and be in the household with all of these family members. And in the state of the world where everybody's rent and mortgage is too damn high, many people are living in multi-generational households, two and three generations of people living in a household, and I've seen it personally now that we're testing now that more and more cases are being clearly defined. Now I'm also learning about people who someone went to the hair salon or someone went out to dinner picked up the virus brought it home, everybody in the house is sick but two people or four people are critically ill and in the hospital in the ICU. And now that we're testing routinely we're getting more and more reports back from our patients in our community that it's touched down it's hit home. And they can tell you where it came from, in the beginning it was a little harder to track without everybody being tested and if there wasn't just a definitive travel history then or you know somebody didn't just get off of a cruise ship, then it was hard to know where it came from. But now that we're identifying the cases, people can now sit down and recount well where did we go, who were we with, okay that person was the outlier in our household that got sick. Who were they in contact with, okay it turns out somebody in that household was infected and so one of the numbers I saw was that if that one person could on average infect three people that they encounter if they you know gotten if they were in contact with or encountered ten people, they would possibly infect three of them and then those three people are going to infect three people, and so on and so on. I think based on like that kind of a calculation if there were 15 points of contact it would basically reach like 14 million people, would become infected in a very short time.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

I mean to put it into context, the bubonic plague, another infection, took down 200 to I think it was about 300 million people, 30% of the population of Europe. So just just keep that in mind, you know, a viral infection, an infection in general that's highly contagious can be devastating to an entire population. It's this tiny little invisible thing that we can't even see and it can take us down. As invincible as we think we are as humans. Here's the other thing, is there an end in sight?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

We're not anywhere near the end because we still haven't gotten social distancing we still haven't gotten self-quarantine and isolation down pat. I mean you know look at the guy who had symptoms got tested and went and got on an airplane, you know. Look at, there was another case, there was a someone who worked with or was affiliated with some American University also, I don't know why that person got tested. I don't remember if it was exposure or symptoms went and got tested, reportedly was told to self-quarantine or isolate at least until results were available and went to a social networking event. And at the social networking event were doctors, and residents, and med students, and other college students. And then where are doctors and med students and residents going and college students? To hospitals, healthcare systems, to lecture halls with you know depending on the size of the university maybe you have 10 people in your class, maybe you have 50 people, maybe you have 500 people in your class. And so now that we're having federal and state mandates to social distance, to work remotely, to close down businesses, etc. we're going to start to get control over it. But we're as far as I'm concerned we're three months behind.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

How much social distancing are we talking about and for what period of time to get control over this?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So we won't even know when we can loosen the rings of social distancing until we continue to test and we reach a peak or a maximum height a number of new cases diagnosed a day and then until the numbers slightly you know begin to fall down consistently. It's kind of like with the flu right, when flu season hits you get those reports from your hospital or your department of health that tells you you know flu is still peak we're reporting this number of cases per day or per week on average and then you know you kind of don't worry about it because you know that flu season is there and you test, test, test and then somewhere late in the spring you finally get the message that the number of cases are starting to decrease. We won't know until we see it. I think that we're going to be in this for months, you know at least three to four months. And that's the short end of it I don't think that this is a two-week social isolation or four week or eight weeks social isolation. We have to gain a lot more ground before we even try to begin business as usual or before we try to resume classes. I still was seeing people having play dates. We're not on vacation, the point of taking the children out of school was so that you know the children or the staff don't bring it into the school and then disseminate it in their communities. If you're going to have a play date you might as well send your kids to school. So you know and people were still having birthday parties, and social gatherings, and you know weddings, and all of these things and I understand they're major life events they're things we expect to only do once in a lifetime, but we want to have that life time we want to have a life time with one another, and so we have to make what feels like big, but are really in the grand scheme of things small short-term sacrifices for the greater good of all of us. We have to really find our humanity and we really have to honor one another and respect one another's life and health as if it was our own. And until we can see outside of ourselves we're not going to get this thing under control.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

What sort of measures were taken in China to control the coronavirus there?

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

So there they were very aggressive about social distancing and isolating their population and if you saw, they had their law enforcement and their military very involved in that. You know I have to say that scares me and concerns me because we don't all live in a neighborhood or a community where that kind of enforcement is going to be the same across the board. there's no bias right, it's just we're doing what's for the good of our people and everybody, the population is very homogeneous for the most part and so that looks the same across the board. That's a very different thing here and I just hope we don't need to go there. I hope that we will all just take a stance and say I'm going to do the right thing I'm going to sit down. I'm not going to leave my house unless it's absolutely essential, I have to pick up medicine, I have to pick up groceries, but I'm not going to just roam the streets or I'm not going to have a bunch of people over for a movie night you know. So their social distancing was very aggressive, they did it very early on, they had the ability to build hospitals, they took over hotels to separate people and quarantine or isolate them when they had known exposure or definitive infection, but did not require hospitalization. And you know I don't know how we can pull that off or that we need to pull it off, you can social distance within a household, all you need is an extra bedroom and an extra bathroom you know. It's just a matter of if we are going to take the care and do it. You know their numbers are coming down dramatically, and for this to have started there they were the country working with the least amount of information. At this point they're spoon-feeding us all of their data, all of their strategies that worked or not worked, all we have to do is choose to implement them.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

Yeah, great point, excellent point, that we have more information to work with and they've already set the model for us essentially. Controlling it right, because it's already been done and as far as I know the first case of coronavirus was reported December 1st 2019 and it's now mid-march and it seems like they've now gotten it under control. So it's been a good three and a half months to get this under control and you would think that now, you know, given that they've set the model and we have the information that they had but we have the information that they've given to us. That you know our hope would be that it would take us even less time to get this under control.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

Right, yeah, we can only hope.

Dr. Rachna Patel:

So on that note Dr. Alexea I want to thank you, I know you're probably incredibly busy right now but thank you for taking the time out of your day to speak with my viewers and informing them and really sort of giving us a realistic perspective on what's going on, because there's a lot of information out there a lot of numbers of words, medical words being thrown out that can sound really scary but really putting things into perspective for us so I appreciate that thank you.

Dr. Alexea Gaffney:

No problem thank you for having me on. Being on a platform like yours allows me to share my knowledge outside of the four walls of my office and beyond my community to really help people. Sometimes people just just have a hard time receiving the information from people who they feel are political bodies or you know people who are so high above them. Can I trust them, and actually in just doing research about past pandemics right, the trust of the government has played a role in how fast or how long it takes to get control of a pandemic, or any sort of epidemic or outbreak. So we have to build trust and sometimes trust comes from someone who you feel is on the same level as you, someone who speaks the same language as you, someone who you can relate to and identify with. So I'm grateful that people are using their platforms to disseminate accurate information, because the folks who have no idea what they're talking about and the conspiracy theorists and all of that are very vocal and they have no hesitation about spreading information that's false and inaccurate. At least on a platform like yours right. As two physicians we want to make sure that the information that we are sharing is accurate. That the sources are reliable and that the people who need to hear it get it. You're not here to take advantage of people, you're just here doing something altruistically and so I'm so happy to support you in that.

For more information pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) please go to The Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

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