Pink Stethoscope on a table

Q&A brought to you by Doctegrity

Q: I heard that even if someone isn’t sick I can catch Coronavirus from them:
A: Absolutely. The risk is being within 6 feet of someone for 10 minutes, even if they are not coughing or sneezing. Naturally we have a level of comfort being close to friends and family that appear not to be sick. The real risk is that people are highly contagious early on when they show no symptoms. This is also a reason why you’re seeing schools, religious gatherings, concerts and sporting events shut down.

Q: Since there is no vaccine, and if I feel ill, should I just take Advil? Tylenol?
A: Very good question: Take Tylenol over Advil. Taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take Tylenol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask a Doctegrity doctor in the Message a Doctor section or ask your doctor’s advice.

Q: What is the real story on how many people are actually sick?
A: This is the best resource we have seen: Live Coronavirus Cases This is the most up-to-date and current link giving you real numbers. This does not includes ‘presumed positive’ cases which could be a higher number. This is not to create panic but rather to give you real numbers, trending, locations and hot spots. The site is updated in real time so feel free to bookmark that site.

Q: If I have generally healthy children, how at risk are they?
A: Coronavirus is showing not to have a significant impact in children with no underlying health conditions or breathing issues. However children tend to be very ‘hands on’ and are very good at spreading a virus, especially on hard surfaces. Speaking of, there’s emerging data on how long this virus can live on inanimate surfaces. It can only live for minutes to hours on surfaces like cardboard, and it can live for days on surfaces like plastic and metal.

Q: Should my kids still go visit their grandparents?
A: There’s no right or wrong answer to that. You have to be very mindful of visiting grandparents and vulnerable populations, which could be elderly people or those with underlying medical conditions. These people are more susceptible to this infection and are more likely to have a challenging time with this virus. It’s very important now that, if people are visiting, make sure there are no signs or symptoms of infection at all. If you feel unwell at all, absolutely don’t go. It’s not a smart decision.

Q: I have a trip coming up, should we cancel?
A: If it is international, yes absolutely cancel. Even if your travel is to somewhere with few cases (such as Mexico), there are 3-4 hour long waits at the airport to re-enter the country where you are in very tight proximity to other people. If it is for a vacation or non-essential travel, we also recommend cancelling. We just had the President make an announcement to the country telling us to avoid unnecessary travel out of the country. It’s not every day the President gets on national television to parlay that message. Clearly this is important. If it is domestic, consider driving. Wash your hands well and use hand sanitizer after filling up at the pump.

Q: I get the hand washing aspect, but what is the real story on masks?
A: When it comes to prevention, a few simple measures will help in general: First off, Don’t panic. Yes, wash your hands often and don’t touch your face. Will masks help? The answer is, kind of – you may have heard that the N95 masks don’t work but the answer is they are just not 100%. Some protection is better than none, especially if you can get a proper seal around your nose and mouth. That doesn’t mean you should run out to buy one – there are other measure you can take. The best one is what you’re hearing: social distancing. We recommend people should consider avoiding situations where there are a lot of people under one roof. This includes busy restaurants and birthday parties and the like.

Q: What is the significance of toilet paper? Why did people rush the stores for it?
A: Would really love to tell ya, this one remains a mystery… 😊