Update on The Virus:
Over the next few weeks, brace yourself for some bad news, as if we have not had enough already. Hot spots of the disease, including New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco will likely have high numbers of critically ill patients.
We think that Maryland (and specifically Anne Arundel County) will fare somewhat better: There have been fewer cases here in general and only one death to date. Governor Hogan’s edict to progressively close down schools, restaurants and shopping malls may appear draconian at first glance, but it is the right thing to do. The link to an interactive graph illustrates why this is so:
Early intervention and “social distancing” are effective. When widespread testing and self-quarantine of people with known disease is added to social distancing, the result, based on models of previous pandemics, can be reduction in cases and deaths by a factor of 20.
We plan to stay open at the office through this crisis. We have taken precautions to keep our work environment safe, including frequent disinfecting of countertops and other surfaces. We have canceled some appointments for physicals and other routine visits for some of our more frail patients. Our overall clinical volume is much lower, so that we can stay as spread out as possible.
We are keeping abreast of the medical literature, and hopefully some useful information on treatment will emerge from the Chinese and Italian experiences.
For now, stay safe, try to weather the storm. April may be the cruelest month, but we are hoping May will be brighter. We are available by phone and email for your questions and we are available for office visits as well