March 11th Bulletin


As of last night there were 7 cases of illness due to Coronavirus in Berkshire County and 92 in the state.  Testing is slowly getting established and still mostly reserved for people with high risk travel history with symptoms as well as exposure to a possible case.  Harvard and MIT are moving to send students home and the governor has declared a state of emergency.  Risk is still considered low, but I am telling my at-risk patients- the elderly and immunocompromised- to practice utmost caution.  Act like the virus is here.  Cancel outings where crowds gather and distancing can’t be exercised.  Change how you greet people.  Stay home when you can.  Keep your hands away from your face and wash often.

I continue to compile info on prevention and I want to share because knowledge is an important part of our way through this.  I’ve included this new write up below with the main point being keep your mucous membranes moist!
As I hear reports from around the world I am full of awe and anticipation as I see the global medical and scientific community support each other and race for a breakthrough.  In the history of the world, am I wrong to say there has never been a time when the focus and attention of the world was so united?  I believe in the goodness of the human spirit and it’s ability to persevere and prevail.  It’s my view that the challenges of modern life brighten our inner flame.  To smile at adversity seems like a worthy aim.  Best wishes.  Reach out if you need anything.

Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water frequently. Why?  Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you drink enough water regularly, the virus has no chance to take hold.

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you might just have a common cold. Common colds and flu are still present and common currently.  Also, if you test positive for another infection it rules out the presence of Corona virus almost entirely, so says data from China.
2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose. The most common presentation is muscle aches, cough, malaise and low grade fever.  This does not have a sudden onset like influenza does.  It progresses to shortness of breath after many days.
3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees C.  (About 77 degrees F.)  It hates the Sun. It makes one wonder about turning up the heat. It certainly has me looking forward to and hopeful for an early summer.
4. On fabric Corona virus can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it.
5. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
6. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
7. You could also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
8. Can’t emphasis enough – drink plenty of water!