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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

My thoughts on California & Hospital Visitor policy update

I clarified with the hospital today - the 1 visitor policy is still in place. All visitors will be screened (along with everyone else) each time they re-enter the hospital. Spouses / significant others are encouraged to stay with the patient the entire time they are at the hospital, however, if necessary can go and come back. I know a lot of people have expressed concerns on who should stay with their children during the delivery. I encourage people to line up their childcare and encourage them to quarantine for 2 weeks before the anticipated delivery so they will maintain the safest environment possible to bring a baby home to.

So because we are not seeing numbers of deaths and cases like the East Coast, people have started protesting and claiming this is a hoax. I would like to state that this is clearly a real disease, over 50,000 people have died of this disease in 2020 (and we are only in April). In 2017, 647,457 people died of heart disease (the leading cause of death for men and women) and all types of cancer close to 600,000. Because modeling this disease and testing is still limited is so difficult it is hard to say if we are at our peak or not, I think as a country, for sure not. As a state I am pretty sure we haven't hit the peak yet, with 66 deaths in the last 24 hours.

I am no expert but here are the reasons I think California is doing better.

#1 We started the lockdown, including schools, earlier than the rest of the country.

#2 Some scientists at Cambridge have noticed a similarity in the Rubella virus and coronavirus and since most people have been vaccinated against Rubella this make provide some protection. However, we know that immunity from the MMR (measles, mumps, Rubella) vaccine can fade over time. Remember when Disneyland had that measles outbreak and everyone panicked? A lot of people got tested or re-vaccinated. Perhaps that has protected Californians. Kids may be doing better because of this as well.

#3 I think more people can or do work from home

I think the goal is to eventually get everyone immune, but to do it in a way that doesn't overwhelm hospitals so everyone can get adequate supportive care until a vaccine or a proven treatment is available. Continue social distancing and staying home as much as you can. I do believe pregnant women are in a high risk group because we think there is higher blood clotting in pregnancy and there are some reports of that in Covid-19 and we also don't know the full effects on developing fetuses. If you know anyone who has had Covid-19 and is or was pregnant please refer them to the Priority Study at UCSF.

Thank you all for reading my ramblings! Stay safe and hang in there, I do think things more things will slowly re-open mid-May if we can keep case numbers under control and not have a huge surge in cases.

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