NY Doctor Treating COVID-19 Patients: 'You Don't Have to be Scared'

Posted: Apr 05, 2020 4:45 PM
NY Doctor Treating COVID-19 Patients: 'You Don't Have to be Scared'

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Dr. David Price works at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, a 1,200-bed hospital that is almost exclusively treating Wuhan coronavirus patients. Dr. Price wants Americans to know they shouldn't be afraid of the new disease, and he's telling people how to protect themselves and their family against COVID-19. 

"[T]he overwhelming majority of people are getting this by physically touching someone who has this disease or will develop it in the next one or two days and then touching their face. And so that actually I think is incredibly empowering ... the thing that makes me smile a little bit is that I actually know now that I won't get this disease because I know how to protect myself."

To avoid getting the Wuhan coronavirus, Dr. Prices said it's important to always know where your hands are and to use Purell. This is very important when touching things outside your home, the doctor says. People also need to learn not to touch their face. Wearing a face mask can help teach you this and any type of mask will do, since the purpose is not blocking the virus but blocking oneself from touching the face. Finally, the doctor encourages social distancing by standing six feet away from other people. 

By following these rules, the doctor said Americans don't have to be afraid of the coronavirus when going to the grocery store because they know proper preventative measures.

"When you understand this disease and know exactly what to do to prevent getting it, then it allows us for the next couple of weeks to months to be able to sustain the system that we have," he explained.

The doctor also says to shrink your social circle. 

"Find your group of three people, four people, your family, and set boundaries." 

If you start feeling sick, Dr. Price says to assume that you do have the coronavirus and isolate yourself from your family. 

"If in one to two days, you're feeling much better and this is like the thousand other colds you've had in the past year because you have kids, you don't have COVID-19. And you can go back to your completely normal living at home life with your family," he explained.

The doctor said part of the problem is that people are being too caviler when they start developing symptoms and then infect other members of their family. People who are living with individuals vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, should find other living situations or practice stricter isolation inside the home. 

Dr. Price said people experiencing shortness of breath are the ones that should visit the hospital.

"Of the entire population of people who get COVID-19, about 10 percent need to go to the hospital because they get shortness of breath," he said. "Of the 10 percent who are coming to the hospital, about [1-3] percent of those are requiring admission to the ICU and to be put on the ventilator."

Dr. Price said the overwhelming majority of people are coming off the ventilators typically between seven and 10 days.