All posts by Jeffrey Sterling, MD

Welcome to the COVID-19 New Normal

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser addresses the emergence of the COVID-19 new normal.
 

The COVID-19 New Normal is Here

Mark the calendar. Normal has arrived to America, and as things currently stand, it will include an annual death toll of over 100,000 due to COVID-19. If you’ve listened to the Trump/Woodward tapes, it’s clear POTUS understood early on that America had previously become comfortable enough with 30K-60K annual influenza deaths not to “close the economy” over such things, and such that life could go on. He has aimed to apply the same mindset to COVID-19.
 
The return of sports en masse this weekend was an important step in that direction. In addition to serving as a “helpful distraction,” it’s the type of incremental step that makes you comfortable with the new normal you didn’t realize had arrived. I’d suggest these entities are not to be applauded for performing to empty stadiums. We should be concerned that the hundreds of people on the field of play could each represent weekly, ongoing super-spreader events (I’d say this isn’t the case for those entities like basketball and tennis that have created self-contained bubbles).
 

It’s Real

This is not an overstatement. Be reminded that we now exist with about half of the population actually either believing COVID-19 is a hoax, a Democratic plot or are of an “if I die, I die” mindset. Now let’s be clear: from those tapes, we know the president is not in this group. The administration’s mindset is even as the pandemic is real, the loss of any number of lives isn’t sufficient to disrupt the economy and the “American way of life” (not to mention chances of retaining power).
 
Basically, it’s on you – individually – to decide what your new normal life is. Each of us will will act based on an aversion to or an acceptance of various risks. We will prioritize activities such as work, weddings, flights, dining and other social interacts based on quality of life considerations and our perceived risk factors.
 
Some of us will die. Others will not. Much of America will continue to believe that “a good job” was done. Life will go on. Meanwhile, my colleagues and I are still here to inform and empower you, not to debate you. I’ll still continue to provide you with facts and information of interest. Do with it what you will. Good luck. Be smart. Choices have consequences.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Concerns about the COVID-19 Fall Surge

Introduction

Let’s consider concerns you may have about the expected COVID-19 fall surge. That’s right. We’re expecting a surge. The pandemic is only about halfway through it’s expected duration. We don’t think it’ll end until an effective vaccine is developed or until about 70% of the population has been infected. Let’s admit that relative to decreasing the load of the virus causing COVID-19 throughout American communities, we’ve had a disappointing summer. It’s time to turn the corner. This Straight, No Chaser discusses the various factors that we should consider for what comes next.

COVID-19 Fall Surge Concerns to Consider

Schools are open.

It is younger people fueling the late summer and COVID-19 fall surge – not the elderly or immunocompromised, who are still considered high-risk. Dr. Fauci says many younger Americans, who typically have milder cases, have a “lack of appreciation” for the “dual responsibility” they have in keeping themselves safe so they can keep others safe.

Businesses are open.

It is still part of our concern that “essential workers” are too often those at the highest risks for bad outcomes from COVID-19. Our inability to provide sufficient prevention, testing and treatment poses the same risks now as they did months ago. This didn’t go away with the summer and will increase when folks are forced to travel and work within enclosed spaces amongst others.

Unemployment is still high.

Let’s acknowledge the effects of mental health. Unemployment in upwards of 50 million Americans will continue to take a toll.

Approximately 150,000 American families are mourning the loss of a loved one.

Again, stress comes in many forms. The trigger of death in our families and around us will linger and deteriorate our mental health as things expand in the fall. Lend a hand to a friend or neighbor.

Preventive efforts are not being ideally utilized.

If we continue along our current trend, people will continue to get sick, eventually needing hospitalization. If hospital beds are still being used for COVID-19 when influenza hits, there will not be enough space for both influenza patients and coronavirus patients seeking medical care—which would likely cause the death rate to rise.

Influenza is both an independent killer and a co-conspirator with COVID-19.

This combination likely will place a tremendous burden on the health care system. This includes bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety.

There still is no effective treatment.

There is no effective preventive treatment. The efforts being made are for patients at death’s doorstep. This is not an effective approach to lessening disease burden.

There still is no effective vaccine.

Despite the ongoing discussions, the presence of a vaccine available for the general public isn’t likely to occur until the first or second quarter of 2021. Even so, surveys are suggesting that less than a quarter of Americans are inclined to take one, even if approved. Failures to be ready for the COVID-19 fall surge will limit public confidence moving forward.  Don’t think this pandemic has normalized! Let’s stay ahead of the upcoming dangers of the COVID-19 fall surge. Know better. Do better. Be better.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

When Values and Experiences Shape Choices

Introduction

I’m quite conflicted. From multiple angles, I am seeing both national and African American communities being ravaged by COVID-19. I am also seeing both gripped by multiple considerations that prevent achievable progress, and admittedly in both examples, these considerations seem out of the control of those affected. My observations aren’t meant to judge but to enlighten. I believe in a fault in your right to decide how you live and die.

Freedoms and Oppression

Americans fiercely guard freedom, individualism and choice. For many, these are values that define life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the midst of a pandemic, that too often means a willingness to prioritize actions not in the national or (one would think) self-interest. However, the point of health self-empowerment is people do get to be educated consumers, appreciating that choices have consequences. Unfortunately, that level of selfishness can create downstream havoc on the most vulnerable citizens. The African American community has legitimate concerns related to institutional racism at the hands of the medical establishment. This has ranged from lack of access, unequal quality of care, and higher costs than the general population to outright victimization as the subjects of medical experimentation. There is no fair way to criticize any African American who is hesitant about engaging the medical establishment. This trepidation has translated into a willingness to rely on herbal medicines and home remedies instead of physician prescribed regimens. It means lower rates of vaccine usage and a willingness to roll the dice on surviving known threats when clinically demonstrable options exist. You may not want to hear it or believe it, but these experiences reflect parallels than converge in the production of suboptimal outcomes. The performance of the US on the world stage is shockingly bad, as we lead the world in cases and deaths. African Americans again suffer disproportionately from COVID-19. Again: both external and self-imposed decisions contribute to these health care disparities.

The Way Forward

Sadly, the way out in both examples is clear, but the implementation of best practice strategies is a challenge that seems more elusive that our hands are able to grab. As the months roll by and deaths accrue, it will be interesting to see when and if the lightbulbs finally go off and our communities stop being governed by fear (legitimate and not) and priorities other than health. The ongoing question is when will we start taking charge of the conditions that cause that fear and relegation of health to a secondary consideration in our lives? I hope it’s soon across the board. Lives are in the balance.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Next Steps after a Diagnosis of COVID-19

Introduction

This Straight No Chaser addresses next steps after a diagnosis of COVID-19. The post addresses those with mild or no symptoms. There have been well over 3.4 million Americans diagnosed with COVID-19. Are you one? What did you do next? If not, do you know what to do next?

Next Steps

Here’s a checklist of recommended next steps after a diagnosis of COVID-19. If you’re following these, both you and your contacts will likely come through it ok.

  1. Separate yourself from people and animals in your home.
  2. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.
  3. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom.
  4. Do not share personal household items like dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding. after using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
  5. Postpone all non‐essential medical appointments until you are out of isolation.
  6. Keep a list of people you had contact with when you were sick. This can be helpful for identifying people who may have gotten COVID‐19 while spending time with you. This process is called “contact tracing.”
  7. Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  8. Clean high touch surfaces every day.
  9. Wear a face mask or covering if you need to be around other people.
  10. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands.

Back to Normal

Your isolation can end when you meet ALL of the following criteria.

  • You have been fever‐free for at least 3 days without using medicine
  • Your other symptoms have improved for at least 3 days
  • At least 10 days have passed since you first had symptoms

If you are symptom-free, you still should isolate for at least 10 days.

Are You Contagious?

Here are two other important considerations:

  • You can spread COVID‐19 to others beginning two days before your symptoms start until a few days after you recover.
  • Even if you never develop any symptoms, you may be able to spread COVID‐19 to others.

Remember, the most important considerations are that you do what you can to prevent catching the disease and that you promptly get tested after a possible exposure. Waiting for symptoms is a bit too late.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

An Open Letter to the African American Community about the Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser looks at the African American community and the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Indeed, the African American community specifically has decisions to make as we approach the possibility of a vaccine for Covid-19 being available. Here’s the thing. This community continues to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 for reasons that have been previously discussed in this blog. As such, there is a significant amount of righteous angst about the social determinants of health and the institutional racism that play into why this has become yet another healthcare disparity.

However, the issues about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine point to another issue begging to be addressed. I’ll support anyone who analyzes data and recommendations and after doing so, makes an educated decision not to accept the immunization. However, you can not think it’s rational to reject a potential lifeboat out of hand before even seeing the data. We fear the unknown and mock what we don’t understand. However, this is still America. We can still perform great feats in the face of crisis.

Are We Governed By Fear or By Facts?

More importantly, think about what’s being said here.

  • The Black community is being overrepresented by Covid-19 cases and deaths.
  • The upcoming COVID-19 vaccine is the single most important component of the solution for all populations to avoid cases and deaths.
  • However, many of you are saying there are no circumstances for which you’ll take the vaccine.

So if you opt out, will you still complain about the health care disparities confronting our community on this issue? Also, how and when do our lesser choices become our failures of responsibilities? I understand distrust of the government. I’ve lectured on the Tuskegee experiments and healthcare disparities for years. Additionally, I’ve counseled and disciplined physicians discriminating against patients. That should not be our primary concern at this moment.

Furthermore, I also understand that education and empowerment are the way out, not over-reliance on the government.

Let’s Wait and Not Hurry Up

How about this: can we reserve judgement until we at least see the data and hear the recommendations from the CDC, WHO, the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association? Would the views of the National Medical Association, our oldest, largest and most esteemed organization of Black physicians move you? How about if Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett (pictured above) and her team develops or supports the vaccine?

Remember this: there’s shared sacrifice required here. An effective vaccine requires about 70% of the population to take it to sufficiently create herd immunity. More importantly, as long as herd immunity doesn’t exist, it is the African American community that will be most severely and disproportionately affected by the ravages of COVID-19.

Choices have consequences. Let’s choose wisely.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

A Voice in Support of a COVID-19 Vaccine

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser discusses expected challenges in getting the American population to take a COVID-19 vaccine. America has an emerging vaccine problem, and per routine, it’s going to be exacerbated in the African American community. (I discuss that further in the next post.) This nation has managed to politicize wearing masks and returning to school. Unfortunately, it appears the same will occur with the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.

Are We Already Against Taking a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Covid-19 vaccine development

Separate polls taken within the last few weeks show that only about 43% of US citizens are committed to taking an approved vaccine. Additionally, another 28% of us are wavering. A poll by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 27% of adults are in the “firm no” category. The demographics of the most opposed are of interest. 45% of “strong conservatives” and 40% of Republicans lead the groups most firmly against taking any vaccine. In general, the quest to come up with a vaccine at breakneck speed has been met the world over. Some of the biggest and best (and admittedly some that aren’t) pharmaceutical companies have joined the effort. Keep in mind, entities like the US FDA will have several COVID-19 vaccine versions from which it gets to choose to make available to the public. That hasn’t happened yet. The data is not in. Yes, this is happening much quicker than in the past. However, we’re in a pandemic, remember? Keep in mind this country already has a slew of antivaccine activity, and much of the most outlandish fears have been stirred up by these groups. Conspiracy theorists would have you think it’s impossible to create an effective vaccine this quickly, that the approval process will be entirely profit-based, the FDA won’t protect the population entirely in service of a political agenda and the vaccine itself will be a bigger threat than the disease that’s already claimed half a million lives around the world.

What’s Needed to Stop the Pandemic

Epidemiologists estimate that to stop the pandemic, approximately 70% of the population has to develop immunity. This only occurs in one of two ways: either becoming infected and developing long-term antibodies or receiving an effective vaccine. Given the current data showing the dissipation of post-infection antibodies after a few months, the vaccine route becomes even more important. The WHO has listed “vaccine hesitancy” as one of 10 major global health threats.

Many of you express the desire to support all in the global and American communities. As such, you must come to understand that getting vaccinated is a major component of that sentiment. Not getting vaccinated will become akin to not wearing a mask today. When I tell you I will be up front getting the vaccine, that’s not an expression of blind faith. Consider that shorthand for “I’ll certainly do my part to take a vaccine that has been shown to be effective in producing sustainable antibiotics against COVID-19 after being studied in multiple randomized, double-blinded clinical trials and has been signed off on by the CDC, FDA, WHO and the American Medical Association.”

This is another example of my appeal to you. Don’t allow your health interests and decisions to be guided or hijacked by your fears. Allow yourselves to be open to science. If it’s not there, certainly make the appropriate decision. However, please don’t close yourselves off at the beginning of the process.

Part II of this discussion looks at anti-vaccination inclinations among African Americans. Also, It highlights what that means for its community.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

The NBA’s Model of Restarting Sports

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser looks at the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) approach to restarting sports.

In the midst of record numbers of Covid-19, the NBA is restarting its season. Does this make sense? Here’s Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “I’m all in from the state’s perspective. I don’t think you could find a better place than Orlando to do this. I think it’s very exciting.” Given the state’s recent rise in cases, it’s understandable if you take that with a grain of salt. However, the NBA does have credibility on the topic. Be reminded that the NBA was the first of the major US sports leagues to suspend its season (doing so on March 11) after it became known that a player tested positive for COVID-19. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver now says “We ultimately believe it will be safer on our campus (in Walt Disney World) than outside of it… but this is definitely not business as usual.” How does that happen? Here’s some of what comprises the NBA “bubble” and some highlights of the NBA’s safety protocols under which games will proceed in the midst of a pandemic. After all, restarting sports was going to occur at some point.

Getting Ready

  • After four months of time off, the league has reassembled for what amounts to an extended playoff run.
  • After the initial reporting, every player will be isolated for a period of 48 hours. This will be followed by two negative tests, which would allow the teams to begin with their training. Along with “regular” testing, there will be daily temperature checks and symptom surveys.
  • If a player tests positive for COVID-19 at the resort, they will enter the “Isolation Housing”, a specially designated house/hotel away from the NBA campus. The player will remain in isolation until he is asymptomatic. His return will only be granted if he tests negative for the virus in two consecutive tests taken 24 hours apart. The player will also be subject to a cardiac screening before returning to play.
  • The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association jointly announced the results of coronavirus tested this past week. Of the 302 players tested, 16 came back positive and none were seriously ill. Those players will remain in self-isolation until undergoing public health protocols and being cleared by a physician.

During the Games and Beyond

  • No fans will be in attendance for the games. Families and friends will be permitted into the “bubble” only after the playoffs’ first round. They will be held to the same precautions as the players and coaches. All will undergo coronavirus testing daily.
  • As to the question of any positives that arise during play: “If we have a single player test positive, he would go into quarantine,” Silver said. Then medical personnel would track others with whom that player had contact.
  • David Weiss, the NBA senior VP who oversees player health programs, said a clinic is being maintained within the bubble campus. Local hospitals in the Orlando area will be used if someone gets seriously ill.
  • As far as stopping a playoff series for a single positive among any player, Silver said the league would “treat that positive test as we would an injury.”
  • A cluster of players on one team testing positive or a spate of COVID-19 cases across the campus would force the league and health officials to react in real time. The commissioner said no definitive number of tolerable positives exists for now.
  • Also, the memo notes that players can choose to not participate in the NBA restart due to personal reasons. For players leaving the facility, they will be placed in self-quarantine for a period of 10-14 days which will be followed deep nasal testing before being permitted to join the team.
Reviewing this set of protocols used for restarting sports illustrates reveal a simple proposition. There are activities that are deemed essential that are about to restart across the nation. In your estimation, restarting sports may or may not be on that list. However, in the absence of an ideal set of circumstances, there are risk minimalization strategies that can be engaged if we’re going to progress beyond shelter in place strategies.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

A Voice for Strategically Reopening Schools

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser addressing the challenge of reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

America’s futility in addressing Covid-19 has left us with an unavoidable choice. We could fight our individualistic instincts and economic realities and attempt a restart along public health best practices, but our personal and governmental COVID-19 choices render that choice practically unavailable. As such, any success we have in normalizing life will be found while simultaneously fighting the virus. We are left to prioritize meaningful activities that need to be reengaged.

Reopening Schools? Follow the Science

Put me on the record. It’s time for precollege students to be able to return to school (but by no means in the way you were used to – more on that later). For those of us whose rallying cry has been “follow the science,” here we go. Shall we focus on the opportunity and not the obstacles? Let’s begin with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) policy position that it’s medically safe for children to return. Folks, this is not an insignificant declaration. The AAP is the medical organization most charged with safeguarding children.

This is based on two considerations. Children have both low infection and transmission rates. This sets the bar for what’s possible. Follow the science, remember? Perhaps even more importantly, there are scores of data relative to the current level of damage occurring by children not receiving the socialization skills obtained by schooling. Let’s be clear: kids of all ages and levels of native/baseline intelligence are being developmentally delayed as a result of the ongoing isolation. This by itself is creating a series of long-term consequences that must be factored into the equation. From the AAP President: “We know that children learn more in school than just reading, writing and arithmetic… They get social and emotional skills, healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other things that you just can’t get with online learning.”

Safely Reopening Schools

Thus, if the science states there is a rationale for children needing schooling, and it presents a relatively low threat to others, the obvious next question is “How can this be done safely, especially when considering teachers and others needed to operate schools who may be at heightened risk?” First, realize that there is a completely different question and set of considerations than the issue of whether children need to and can go back to school. The answers aren’t that difficult to fathom if you’d just avoid rejecting the premise out of hand. Consider the possibility if just these five considerations were fully implemented (shortened for the purposes of a briefer discussion).

A Few Safe Schooling Options

  1. All teachers don’t need to be physically present to teach. Honest, frank conversations need to happen about what level of risk is necessary and acceptable to continue to be a teacher. Also, flexibility in how teaching is performed should be accommodated when needed. All teachers should be paid, but those choosing to opt out or who are at risk can be given opportunity to teach via video conferencing, while younger, less at-risk assistants monitor the classrooms. No teacher should be forced to place themselves at risk without every assurance that protections are in place.
  2. All students don’t need to be physically present to learn. Homeschooling has been accepted forever. Videoconferencing either in total, every other day or for certain portions of the curriculum shouldn’t be an issue. It certainly would assist with the challenges of social distancing or those at advanced risk.
  3. Social distancing can be accomplished with some creativity. This begins by using the school and classroom sizes to determine the maximum safe occupancy capacity. Subsequently, schools can utilize tele-learning and staggered attendance to accomplish the goal. They can consider a longer school day and school year if needed.
  4. Some activities will need to be avoided or dramatically modified. Physical education, singing and theater activities come to mind, unless creativity can accommodate social distancing concerns.
  5. Testing, tracing, screening and utilization of PPE are a must. Frequent, visible and thorough cleaning activities must be performed and made known. Students should be screened daily and tested with some agreed upon schedule (e.g. weekly), with a commitment to not only subsequent isolation but implementation of contact tracing. The risks of kids becoming seeds for community infections must be minimized and cut off as soon as possible.

It’s Time for American Ingenuity

It’s the American way to face our challenges, not cower from them. In this example, there are compelling reasons to have this group of essential workers perform an essential function for our children. The science suggests we can do so relatively safely if we meet the challenge with creativity. It’s time. The world has changed. We must adapt. I welcome your thoughts and challenge you to ask your schools which of these basic considerations have been accommodated. If you’re interested, here is a full list of CDC recommendations on the topic.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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We’re All Making COVID-19 Choices

Introduction

This Straight, No Choices address our COVID-19 choices. We’ve focused a lot on our failures getting the fundamentals of public health implemented, both nationally and within most states. However, let’s not be so smug as to believe all problems that have and will manifest are the problems of the political right. This is not to excuse but explain and warn. We still have a long way to go, and there’s not much indication that we’ve yet begun to get there. The data points in the wrong direction, and it’ll bleed into the next respiratory season with a trampoline effect on cases.

COVID-19 Choices: Freedom

Americans treasure independence, free will and what’s left of what were our freedoms. As related to COVID-19, we all seem to have a line drawn as to where we won’t do what’s necessary to protect ourselves and the general population. It certainly is (but it’s not just) failure to honestly implement the Defense Production Act, to order a national shutdown, testing and contact tracing programs, holding rallies, persistent dishonesty about the data and reporting (I could go on…).

COVID-19 Choices: Look at Our Actions

COVID Choices

However, there’s more that we, the people, say and do every day, and there’s things we support that make no sense if the goal is to eliminate this virus. Here are a few.

  • Our youth are all over the beaches.
  • People are traveling on airplanes, buses and trains.
  • Schools and businesses are opening.
  • Professional sports are restarting.
  • We refuse to participate in contact tracing over concerns about our privacy.
  • We continually speak to how we don’t take the vaccine that’s forthcoming, regardless of which the data shows and what the medical community recommends.

If you think about the demographics of these activities, you’ll realize they encompass the full political spectrum and multiple demographics. Let’s just take one example. Everyone’s been awaiting the development of a vaccine, but if upwards of 70-75% of us don’t take it, it won’t produce a desired mass effect of reducing the viral load and producing herd immunity.

Where Does This Leave Us?

All of this leads me to conclude that the challenges of COVID-19 will continue for a long time. See, if we each have a line that’s drawn, we all will ultimately contribute to the ongoing and rising level of deaths. Americans have rights and individual freedoms, and you’re expressing them with your actions. Choices have consequences. Can you be as honest about that as we’re demanding our leaders be honest about what they aren’t willing to do? Are you ok with what that will mean for the foreseeable future?

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!). www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Supplies are limited.
 

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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Dexamethasone in Treating COVID-19

Introduction

  Dexamethasone in treating COVID-19   In the news, this Straight, No Chaser reviews new findings on the use of dexamethasone in treating COVID-19. Dexamethasone is a commonly used steroid that has sixty years of use behind it.

Findings on Dexamethasone

  1. Dexamethasone is a steroid. Steroids reduce inflammation. COVID-19 kills largely through inflammatory reactions caused by the infection. Thus, there is a theoretical basis by which steroids could be used in treating COVID-19.
  2. In a study of more than 6,000 severely ill COVID-19 patients, dexamethasone was found to cut deaths by up to one-third.
  3. It’s not for everyone. On the positive side, after a month, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those needing supplemental oxygen. Unfortunately, it did not appear to help less ill patients.
  4. Dexamethasone has side effects. It inhibits the body’s immune response to the virus, which could be deadly in some patients, although not overall. Steroids, in general, may cause some severe side effects, such as new or worsening diabetes, as well as psychosis or emotional disturbance. These potential side effects must be weighed against the real life threat being faced in real time.
Dr. Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has noted “This is a significant improvement in the available therapeutic options that we have.” This is significant, but you’re missing the point if you think this is the way forward. COVID-19 is a disease you want to avoid, not treat. Your best options will always be to take preventive measures and avoid the need to hope steroids pull you out of the fire. Know better, do better, be better.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

When a Virus Becomes Politics

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser addresses the notion of when a virus becomes politics, aka you’re too close to the source.
 
I can’t recall a situation (even including HIV), in which scientific information was being researched, discovered, information released and information politicized in plain view on a daily basis. I would suggest this level of transparency (subjecting research to the hourly news cycle) is not a good thing.

The Scientific Discovery Process

Scientific and medical consensus are rarely based on an individual research study, regardless of the quality of the study. Each study builds upon that which came before it, forming a medical consensus. Subsequent to forming consensus, recommendations and policies are announced to the medical and public health communities, which undergo additional analyses. It is usually at this point that information is released to the public in a mass fashion.
 
What you’re seeing with COVID-19 is both how the sausage is made and what happens when a virus becomes politics. Scientists aren’t close to being perfect. Studies are flawed, and interpretations are constantly (and sometimes successfully) challenged. This isn’t occurring any more or less frequently with COVID-19 than it ever has. It’s just occurring in a far more public manner that it has been previously, and it’s being done in a more premature manner than it should.
 
The scientific method is not well suited for public consumption. The public wants certainty. You correlate certainty with competence. That’s not what we’re seeing. Episodes ranging from hydroxychloroquine, to both the CDC and WHO’s statement on masks, and to the evolving evidence or case fatality rates are being interpreted as confusing by the public, and they are. However, this is closer to the norm than you’d imagine. You just haven’t been excessively exposed to this.

Health Empowerment is the Key

Don't panic when a virus become politics

Overall, in the spirit of engaging, educating and empowering the public, this isn’t a bad thing. You need facts to help you determine your own best course of action. However, perhaps the biggest challenge is to avoid misinformation. Yes, there are those presenting information through a political slant, and there are those are imposing a political spin on every piece of new information. I want you to appreciate that facts themselves don’t come with a political bend. It is what it is. Perhaps you’re reading this information through a political filter. That’s on you.
 
Science follows the facts. Individuals decide what to do with the information. Hopefully, you’ll prioritize matters of health and not live your lives subjecting your health to the priority of adhering to a political ideology. When a virus becomes politics, everyone loses.
 
Stay safe. Make good choices. Ask good questions. Lives are in the balance.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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Revisiting the COVID-19 New Normal

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser revisits what could become the COVID-19 new normal. Have you wondered why and how the United States has become comfortable with annual deaths from influenza between 30,000 and 70,000?  Well, you’re witnessing how this happens.

Using Influenza’s History for Clues about the New Normal

Influenza has been around since 1580 and has caused several pandemics. At some point, the world accepted its existence and, to some extent, its permanence. Still, we are not left defenseless. Outside of pandemics and epidemics, the death rate is largely determined by compliance with immunization recommendations. We face a similar scenario with COVID-19. It will likely be around for the foreseeable future. It will cause an undetermined number of annual deaths. The number is going to be a factor of our willingness to engage in health prevention and ultimately, compliance with taking a vaccine. It remains to be seen if a treatment can be developed to prevent or treat this disease prior to advanced illness occurring. Somehow, health prevention has become politicized such that the basic preventive strategy of wearing a mask is being viewed and defined (by no less than the US president) as a sign of “weakness.” It is notable that the two countries assuming this posture (the US and Brazil) lead the world in active COVID-19 cases. This isn’t necessary.

The COVID-19 New Normal

The evolving COVID-19 new normal is such that the term “preventable deaths” will become a prominent part of the American vernacular. The political divide and the decisions made by the population on testing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, disinfecting objects, mask wearing, isolation, testing, contact tracing and vaccination independently and collectively will determine the number of total deaths and independent deaths. This will occur in the same way compliance with vaccination has for influenza. Our populations are already rolling the dice in deciding whether or not to comply with these maneuvers. Choose your decisions and actions wisely. There is a killer among us. Whether we come out of this first wave better or worse off is very much to be determined.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

(Relatively) Safe Church Reopening Strategies

Introduction

 

This Straight, No Chaser addresses how you can access safe church reopening strategies.

Between Sterling Initiatives and SI Medical Supply, we’re providing consulting and services for several houses of worship in anticipation of the time at which in-person services resume. Given the differences in each state and, in fact, each location, it is frankly irresponsible to offer a blanket set of recommendations as to how churches and other houses of worship should prepare beyond recommending adherence to CDC guidelines for reopening.

However, I’m always inclined to point out that it’s not just knowing what to do that creates success. Implementing best practices is what creates outcomes of interest. As such, Sterling Initiatives is offering the first fifty (50) houses of worship that reach out to us free consultation toward lowering the risks of Covid-19 infection. As time permits, we’ll do this through the end of the month. Are you or your house of worship is interested in discussing these steps? Reach out to us at 844-724-7754. You can also reach us at sterling@sterlinginitiatives.com.

Scope of Services

We’ll discuss some of the following, at no cost to you:

  • Making opening decisions
  • Review of risks and best practices
  • Facility preparedness
  • Communication strategies
  • Worship capacity
  • PPE needs
  • Medical preparedness
  • Risk mitigation

We’re here for you. Be ready so you don’t have to get ready. Embracing safe church reopening strategies is a must. You don’t want to face the alternative.

#KnowledgeIsHealth #HealthSelfEmpowerment

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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CDC Revision of Advice on COVID-19 Transmission from Touching Surfaces

Information

This post addresses COVID-19 transmission from touching surfaces. Today’s advice to you is not to confuse the reporting of science with information. Huh? The screaming headline of the day is an important piece of scientific nuance. Covid-19 is less likely than thought (and just unlikely to be spread) via contact with surfaces. However…

Simple Take Home Messages about COVID-19 Transmission from Touching Surfaces

Now what are you supposed to do with this information? Unfortunately, low-information users will ignore the nuance and declare “America is reopen. It’s back to business as usual.” That would be an incorrect use of the information. Here are the appropriate take home points.

  1. The disease’s primary method of transmission remains via respiratory droplets delivered from another individual within close proximity. This most likely occurs from sneezing, coughing or other means of expelling droplets (singing, yawning, kissing, etc.).
  2. Contact transmission does still pose a significant risk. If you touch a surface containing the live virus and then place your unclean hands in your mouth, nose or especially your eyes, you can become infected.
  3. Embrace your new habits of cleanliness. Perhaps you don’t have to be obsessive about it, but hand washing use of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes should be part of your new normal. Just not necessarily on your lettuce.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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Challenges and Guidelines for Returning to School

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser looks at challenges and guidelines for returning to school. First, here are two questions for your consideration. What would happen if all college students were asked to take a gap year during the 2020-21 academic year? Is that a better or worse scenario than accepting the risk of sending kids and young adults back to mass gatherings in the midst of a pandemic?

How Can We Come to the Right Decision?

Somewhere in between Notre Dame announcing a return to school schedule and Oxford University deciding that all of this academic year’s classes will be done online is where most schools will end up. However, what’s the right decision for you and your family? Colleges and universities are rather expensive. The college experience, inclusive of athletics, club activities, fraternities and sororities, is an important part of the equation. Most of that will be (should be) gone for the upcoming academic year. Even efforts to create a sense of normalcy are fraught with risk. Doesn’t the entire “go back to school thing” include a massive assumption that the pandemic environment will improve by the fall moving into the winter? Where is the evidence for that? Are you willing to accept that risk? At what financial cost? Aren’t schools about the easiest way you can imagine to rapidly extend and expand an infectious disease? Keep in mind that the presence of just one case will likely cause any given school to again shutter its doors. Remember, the issue isn’t that the students are at advanced risk for death. The issue is teachers, support staff and family members within proximity of commuter students may be.

CDC Guidelines for Returning to School

Even so, in acknowledging America’s ill-advised rush to return to normal, the CDC has put forth a list of 11 guidelines, all of which must be met before a school should even consider reopening.

Items to first consider

  • Will reopening be consistent with state and local orders?
  • Can the school protect children and employees at higher risk for severe illness?
  • Can students and employees be screened upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure?

Are recommended health and safety actions in place?

  • Are capabilities for healthy hygiene practice in place?
  • Has the school intensified cleaning, disinfection and ventilation?
  • Are social distancing measures feasible and implemented?
  • Are employees trained on health and safety protocols?
  • Have measures for ongoing monitoring but put in place?
  • Are procedures to check signs and symptoms of students and employees on a daily basis in place?

Are procedures to have the sick stay at home in place?

  • Is there a regular communication strategy to engage students, employees, families and local authorities in place?
  • Are monitoring and student leave policies in place as needed?
  • Are coordination and communication strategies in place with local health authorities?

What to Do?

See, this is a high bar to reach, and it should be. Implementing these guidelines will be a Herculean task for any school, much less for all schools. It is foreseeable that the better course of action leans toward an emphasis on the educational component of school and less on the social component. Accordingly, the best reopening strategies will focus more on at a distance learning components than the more familiar in person scenarios. The very last thing any of us needs is a national panic based on a reemergence of the disease, based on seeding at schools and colleges. COVID-19 doesn’t care about your frustration or other priorities. Remember, the most likely of the optimistic scenarios is that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available during the summer of 2021. Until then, our actions will most likely worsen the situation, resulting in additional lives lost. Choices have consequences. Choose wisely.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Your Personal COVID-19 Reopening Checklist

Introduction

We are making choices. I asked people on my Facebook page if they would take a vaccine if approved and available this December. 89% said they would not. I asked if people would take hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 prophylaxis. 99% said they would not. I asked if people would go back to work (not including remote work capabilities). 75% said they would not. Still, America is also in an economic crisis. Like it or not (and survive it or not), America is reopening. If you have the wherewithal to wait until an acceptable vaccine and treatment regimen is available with which you’re comfortable, or if you’re willing to survive on unemployment benefits, your decision is made. However, if you are inclined to roll the dice within a vaccine or effective treatment, you’d better be trying to optimize every other means of protecting yourselves.

Your Personal COVID-19 Reopening Checklist

Let’s consider this your simple personal COVID-19 reopening checklist as to how you reengage once you choose to.

  1. How’s your hygiene? Have you learning to habitually sanitize and/or hand wash before and after touching objects that could be capable of transmitting COVID-19?
  2. How’s your social distancing protocols? If you’re a hugger or hand shaker, you have to curtail those activities, or you become part of the problem.
  3. Are you isolating? This isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Every individual interaction represents a risk. Keep up social distancing in your essential activities but maintain isolation (stay at home) whenever possible.
  4. How’s your ability to access personal protective equipment (PPE)? Have you noticed that when it comes to the public, few options still exist to get you what you need?
  5. What’s happening within your work environment? You are not powerless in this. You don’t have to accept an at-risk environment. Spoiler alert: apply disinfectants to everything!

What are you going to? Whatever your choice, be smart. Your choices have consequences and will affect others. Stay safe.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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A Call to Adjust Priorities within our Healthcare System

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser makes a call to adjust priorities within our healthcare system. Can we take a moment and reflect on how poorly designed our healthcare system is? If COVID-19 has done anything (besides killing over 80,000 Americans – and counting), it has shown us how our outcomes are the consequences of our choices and priorities. The American health care system is the world’s best at identifying and treating diseases and their complications. It is not nearly as good at promoting health and preventing disease. Clearly these last two considerations aren’t the same. Sadly, stressors like COVID-19 reveal how fragile our public health infrastructure is. The diseases display the limits of waiting for disease to appear to begin a response. This is true even before you address healthcare disparities, which exist between rural and urban areas, various ethnic groups and within socioeconomic classes. It’s time to stop just lamenting our current level of unpreparedness.

A Call to Change

I again make a call for a revisiting of our public health system and placing health promotion and prevention on an equal footing has curative care considerations. This is consistent with the modern need for patients to assume more responsibility for their own care between physician visits. Prioritizing this level of activity also strengthens individuals for those times when diseases arise. The COVID-19 pandemic must be viewed as not a once in a lifetime pandemic as much as an examination of our system. It reveals real opportunities for improvement but for transformation of our healthcare system. It’s time for innovation.

Enough With Only Addressing Sick Care

It’s time to stop viewing the emergency room as an appropriate portal of entry into the healthcare system for over 20 million Americans. This leaves individuals presenting with advanced disease in imminent risk of death. How can that be viewed as an acceptable option? It’s time to start reprioritizing health as a way of life. We must weave the notion of health promotion into the fabric of society and have individual communities educated, engaged and empowered. Let’s stop playing games and politics with that which translates into length and quality of life. Let’s stop primarily viewing healthcare as a driver of 17% ($3.5 trillion) of the US economy and start viewing its delivery as a fundamental part of what it means to have a society.

Imagining the Future

How can it be viewed as a bad thing to have an infrastructure in place that allows us to stay ready instead of having to get ready. Imagine an America with a national infrastructure inclusive of personal protective equipment (PPE) already in a state of readiness, as we do with military bases? Why not have a national screening apparatus in place waiting to be deployed? Instead of just slotting emerging healthcare professionals into curative care professions, let’s prioritize the development of exclusively preventive care professionals. These initiatives amount to way more than ounces of prevention. This reconfiguration of healthcare provides jobs, better health care outcomes and a more efficient system all around. I have recently created an organization along these lines. America’s first managed preventive health care organization, named SIMPCO, will be addressing these challenges in communities around the world. Doing so successfully will allow us to better address spontaneous eruptions like COVID-19 when they arise without hundreds of thousands of excessive lives lost beyond the unavoidable. Much of what we need to be successful lies in the hands of individuals to know better, do better and thus, be better. The future is upon us. Knowledge is health.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Dr. Sterling’s Recent Media Appearances

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser features some of Dr. Sterling’s recent media appearances. View this, and get answers to many of your questions!

Recent Media Appearances

Recent Media Appearances on WGN

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

CDC COVID-19 Update

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser offers this week’s CDC COVID-19 Update.

Weekly Highlights

  • Nationally, the percentage of laboratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 was similar but slightly decreased, compared to last week.
  • Nationally, visits to outpatient providers and emergency departments (EDs) for illnesses with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 continued to decline. They are now below baseline nationally and in many regions of the country. They remain elevated in the northeast and northwest.
    • The decrease in the percentage of people presenting for care with influenza-like illness (ILI) and coronavirus-like illness (CLI) may be due to a decline in COVID-19 illness. Reported levels of activity may be decreasing because of widespread adoption of social distancing efforts and changes in healthcare seeking behavior.
    • Little influenza virus activity has been reported in recent weeks.
  • The overall cumulative COVID-19 associated hospitalization rate is 40.4 per 100,000, with the highest rates in people 65 years and older (131.6 per 100,000) and 50-64 years (63.7 per 100,000).
    • Hospitalization rates for COVID-19 in adults (18-64 years) are higher than hospitalization rates for influenza at comparable time points during the past 5 influenza seasons.
    • For people 65 years and older, current COVID-19 hospitalization rates are similar to those observed during comparable time points during recent high severity influenza seasons.
    • For children (0-17 years), COVID-19 hospitalization rates are much lower than influenza hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons.

More Data

  • Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 23.6% during week 16 to 14.6% during week 17 which is still significantly above baseline. This is the second week of decline in this indicator, but the percentage remains high compared with any influenza season. The percentage may change as additional death certificates for deaths during recent weeks are processed.
  • Declines in some key indicators used to track COVID-19 from one week to the next could change as additional data are received but also may be a result of widespread social distancing measures.

All of this points out that things are still quite deadly but are slightly improving. Stay safe.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
Copyright © 2020 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Why Testing for COVID-19 Still Matters

Introduction

This Straight No Chaser addresses why testing for COVID-19 still matters.

We’ve diagnosed 1 million Americans with COVID-19. The US is testing at a rate of 16.4 tests per 1,000 people (Comparatively, Spain and Italy – the countries with the second and third highest number of cases – have tested 22.3 and 29.7 tests per 1,000 people respectively). We’ve only tested 4 million citizens overall, representing 1.2% of the population. Simply put, we want to reengage.

Which Approach Will We Take?

There are two approaches to this.

  • We can essentially roll the dice and send citizens back into an unknown environment. Georgia did this, reopening without having met any of the criteria set by the governmental task force.
  • We can quantify the extent of disease and act accordingly.

This isn’t even about stay at home considerations at this point in the conversation. The goal here is to impart some intellectual honesty into the conversation. The goal is to make sure you understand that what happens in the fall is contingent on what happens now. There obviously is an equivalent of willful ignorance occurring at the federal level. Not only do we not have a sufficient number of effective tests, but there are ongoing shortages of the materials needed to run these tests.

There has been no serious implementation of the Defense Production Act that would compel business to create what’s needed. Without testing, we won’t detect new infections. We can’t engage in contact tracing. We can’t have intelligent discussions about when communities specifically need targeted isolation.

The Path Forward

The Rockefeller Foundation recommends expansion of the US testing capacity to 3 million tests per week for the next two months, followed by 30 million tests per week for the next six months. Yes, it’s calling for a marshaling of the nation’s resources to make this happen. It’s in the national public health and economic interest. Harvard has made a similar calling for ongoing testing.

Those would argue against vigorous testing at this point are not only being willfully ignorant but are contributing to the second wave of cases that will emerge in the fall. Forewarned is forearmed. If you live in one of the increasing places that are offering tests, please go get tested. It’s not just about you. Your apathy is directly contributing to the deaths of those most vulnerable. Know better. Do better. Be better.

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Are you a first responder? Does your job make you one of the first exposed? Courtesy of SI Medical Supply, you have an option to provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and no-touch thermometers for your family and loved ones. Importantly, getting these product does not deplete the supply needed by first responders and medical personnel. Orders are now being filled (without shipping delays!) for masks at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com or 844-724-7754. Other items are preorders with an expected delivery date of May 8th. Get yours now. Supplies are limited.

Follow us!

Feel free to #asksterlingmd any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample what you can get from http://www.docadviceline.com. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
 
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