19 April, 2020
After a month most people here in Manhattan are accustomed to a daily home routine. I am apartment bound, answering emails and doing phone calls with my patients. In a few instances I will do a Skype consult. One of my offices is four blocks away. With mask and gloves I go down every other day for faxes and mail.
Masks are compulsory at this time. There is a scheduled complete shutdown until May 15. Today is Sunday. I took a nice slow walk today. Pedestrian traffic is about 25% of normal. Street traffic is about 5%. People are quite cautious including only one person or couple using an elevator at the same time.
The 7 PM neighborhood salute is beginning to lose enthusiasm after a month. Another thing that I see is less socialization and conversation with people wearing a mask -- not even saying hello or good morning.
I am the sole proprietor in my medical office with a high overhead. No help from SBA. I am not the only one in this situation. Office and retail space in Manhattan is quite expensive. Many other people have been affected economically with sudden job loss. There is a prediction that one out of three businesses will close permanently following this pandemic. That is much worse than the effects of 9/11 on New York City.
Testing is the key right now. A recent report out of Santa Barbara, California where testing was done on everyone pointed out that 50% of persons were carrying Corona antibodies.
I think this is a good start. I am using an FDA approved test that is also being used by the United States government for their employees and military as testing increases.
If you have positive antibodies you are protected. Get back to work. If not another game plan needs to be approached as far as you getting back to work in a normal society. The sample of tests arrive midweek and I will do this on myself and report at that time. You will hear controversy regarding whether this antibody is long-standing. If I were your physician and your antibody test was positive I would be comfortable with you having a normal lifestyle and recheck you in six months.
On 16 April I came across a release from a British group of healthcare workers:
Late in 2019 with the onset of the Covid 19, a study was set up using Povidine Iodine (PVP-1---or Betadine for us Americans) for a nasal spray and mouthwash during instances of high contamination.
PVP-1 is a good general disinfectant and has good antiviral qualities. It can be applied to mucous membranes inside the nose or mouth, which is where the virus collects. Viral content was measured in healthcare providers as well as patients during the general hospital care for Covid patients. Mucous samples for virus were taken frequently when there was exposure to the oral pharyngeal tract such as intubation.
First of all, it is safe for the nose and mouth with proper dilution. Exposure to iodine during this study was well within previously recorded safe levels.
Second, it significantly reduces the viral load on surfaces where droplets from sneezing and touching the mouth are encountered.
Third, it was shown the effect can last for three hours.
Get a nasal spray of normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride) from the pharmacy. Use half the contents of this bottle and add the same volume of the standard Betadine solution. That is your dilution. As mentioned, it appears an application lasts for three hours. It can be sprayed into the nasal passages as well as the mouth. As far as the mouth wait one minute or so before any water or other things are ingested afterward.
This is another example of something learned from experience with this pandemic. The use of a Betadine type spray in the nose and mouth is so effective, convenient, and inexpensive. Improved hygiene as part of our lifestyle.