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COVID Crisis Post 5: So Many Unknowns.

It's going to be in the low-70s today. This should be the time when the streets of this incredible city should be packed full of people, welcoming Spring in all its warmth, rain, and allergic glory.

But instead, we shelter... at least most of us.

Governor Cuomo's order today means the entire state will be "on pause" meaning all non-essential businesses will be closed starting Sunday night. People are to remain at home unless essential employees, running errands, emergencies, or solo exercise. Public crowds will be broken up. Food delivery and public transportation will still run. Not as strict as a "shelter-in-place" order that Mayor de Blasio wanted, but another step in the direction of a total shutdown.

The state will also place a moratorium on all evictions for residential and commercial tenants for the next 90 days. Which also comes a day after a statewide freeze on mortgage payments for many.

And there's still a desperate plea for anyone to donate PPE.

We live in a great city and state and this needed to be done, but man. This is insanity.

There are a lot of unknowns about this virus as I've discussed ad nauseam, and how it will be affected when the weather begins to warm is one of them.

We have NO idea if this virus is a one-off, if it is seasonal, or if it will persist year round. We cannot just assume it will act like other Coronaviruses and magically disappear once the temperature reaches a certain point. So please don't get lax with your choices. Rates of new infection ARE decreasing across the world with social distancing and hygienic measures. They work. They just require a LOT of patience and a LOT of perseverance.

And ironically, this pandemic has had an unintended consequence: pollution and green house sad emissions in many cities and countries have dramatically decreased.

NYC has experienced a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide emissions. The canals if Venice have started to clear so one can actually see fish. Nitrogen oxide emissions over China and Northern Italy have dropped precipitously.

It's almost like Mother Nature said enough is enough. Not a good thing to get on her bad side, clearly.

And a very important question is this: once this nightmare ends (which it will, I promise), are we going to take measures to continue to protect our planet? I sure hope so.

Moving on: as many of you may not realize, we are NOT done with cold and flu season yet AND spring allergies are upon us! So don't panic if you don't feel well, and reach out to a physician or other qualified medical provider if you have any questions or concerns about your symptoms.

Here's a good summary article from the University of Alabama to help distinguish the differences between COVID-19, the common cold, flu, or allergies:…/11179-sorting-out-symptoms-of-covid-1…

I know we all want to be tested, but until that is widely available, we must make do (which is sad to say). Whether you're positive or not likely won't change your treatment if you present with only mild to moderate symptoms: rest, hydration, meds for fever, and more rest! And STAY HOME!

BUT if you begin to have difficulty with your breathing or any other severe symptoms, that's when you should go to an ER. They are already being overwhelmed with people AND you could expose yourself to the virus or other diseases while just waiting if you are not infected!

If you are having muscle aches or fevers, this is for you. The WHO just stated on Tuesday people should avoid NSAIDs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) and use Tylenol instead as NSAIDs COULD aggravate or intensify the disease process. HOWEVER, this has not been proven whatsoever and is almost entirely based on theory, and the idea came from the French Minister of Health.

The current advice is if you're taking NSAIDs already for other reasons, you should keep taking them unless your physician says otherwise. If Tylenol is an option for you, then perhaps lean towards that. But I also know Tylenol doesn't work as well for many people (like this guy), so I wouldn't discourage NSAID use outright. Erring on the side of caution is the current approach by many health officials while they navigate this new disease, and the WHO said as much while they investigate this further.

Thanks again to everyone for your love and words of support. I volunteered to go in tomorrow to help support our critical care staff by utilizing my skills and expertise to assist in any intubations or line placements for COVID-19+ patients.

No time for just talk. Time for action.

And though I greatly appreciate your messages about keeping safe, please don't forget to pray for those thousands of people who are currently fighting for their lives all over New York, the United States, and the entire world.

"Every day send some blessings to the world. Let there be flow of love." - Amit Ray

Much love.

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