As we enter a second week of kids at home, social distancing and empty shelves, I continue to urge calm in the midst of the storm. I continue to encourage people to get information from sources that are reliable and trust but verify. I was comforted in some ways by the governor’s update on Sunday. I feel like there is a real plan to nix this and then gradually return to some degree of normalcy. In the meantime I would like to dispel some myths and talk about some things that we can do.
First there was some concern that the virus might be made worse with NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil). Although there is some hypothetical possibility, this has not been shown to be true and Motrin and Advil can be used in COVID19 infections. Unfortunately, consistent with the recent history of this pandemic, there was a panicked rush to get children’s Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil), and it is currently very difficult to get either. Please remember the needs of others in these uncertain times.
Secondly, there have been some reports of anti-malarial drugs possibly being helpful in this condition. Medical history is full of “cures” that panned out not to be as helpful as first thought. Our directive is to first do no harm and these medications have many side effects. Study is required to make sure that they are affective and safe. Study takes time and I know how nervous the whole country is. I remain hopeful for an easy fix but I encourage patience and resilience.
I would encourage my patients to write letters to individuals in nursing homes, shut-in’s, and individuals in quarantine. It is a lonely time for them and sometimes knowing that there is someone out there, even a stranger, thinking about them; may give them a little bit of hope and joy. I encourage everyone to get outside, ride your bike, walk your dog, go for a hike in one of our state parks. If you are stuck inside or under quarantine, paint, write letters, or read a book. Try to reach out to cousins, friends, grandparents etc., by phone, text, or Skype. I suspect we will get through this and hope that we all will appreciate friends, family and neighbors because of it.