On Friday, March 20th , the NJTC community sat down with Juby George – Vaze, RN, CCM, MBA and Dr. Joyce Grossman from Globex Health to answer your burning questions about COVID-19 and how to manage your conditions at home.
What Is TeleHealth?
As the pandemic spreads more rapidly, healthcare professionals are switching over to telehealth services to practice social distancing. Telehealth allows patients to be remotely monitored by a physician through video platforms.
Dr. Joyce Grossman states that by using telemedicine and remote health monitoring, healthcare professionals can get patients to the hospital sooner where interventions can be done to try to prevent them from respiratory failure and needing a ventilator.
Managing Conditions At Home
Whether you are utilizing telehealth or not, there are two highly recommended digital health devices everyone should have at home: a thermometer and a pulse oximeter. Having these two devices will aid you in monitoring your health and to note any rapid worsening of respiratory symptoms.
Your physician should make the determination on if you should be hospitalized. About 80% of those infected with COVID-19 can be quarantined at home without having to be hospitalized. Dr. Joyce advises to not overwhelm the hospitals if you don’t have to but if you have a fever, take it seriously.
The experts suggested that a fever of 100.4 and a low percentage on the pulse oximeter is a cause for concern and a doctor should be sought out immediately.
At the point of publication, there are no known approved home tests for COVID-19. The only trusted and accurate test is what can be done by a healthcare provider and is FDA approved. Test results take approximately 2 days but testing progress is being made each day to turn around results even faster.
Keep Yourself And Your Family Safe
Dr. Joyce really stresses the importance of staying home. We have heard it many times, across many platforms. Keep your exposures as limited as possible. She highly recommends postponing all elective doctor visits.
Wait – if it is not an emergency, reschedule when this pandemic is finished. This includes both domestic and international travel. If you or a family member are currently overseas, it is suggested to stay where you are.
A resource where you can see how many active coronavirus infections are near your physical location is Coronainusa.com. Data on this site is compiled from reports released by each state’s Public Health Department and cases reported by local media.
It is recommended to rely on the CDC and Johns Hopkins for the most up-to-date virus information.
According to Dr. Joyce, current research is inconclusive if you are immune to the virus once you have had it. A test will not show if you already had the virus.
Stay Healthy While Working From Home
While it’s advised by Dr. Joyce to try to avoid grocery stores, she recommends eating well through ordering out. Now is the time to try that meal box subscription you were thinking about.
Take breaks in your workday to consider activities that support your immune system. Regular physical activity can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off infections and viruses. However, be sure to practice social distancing whenever you’re outside and in the vicinity of others.
This paired with eating well will be a good line of defense in the event you are exposed to an unwell person.
De-stress as much as you can. This is a stressful time for everyone. Practice yoga, meditation and good work habits such as ergonomic workspaces. There are multiple free resources online to get access to online workouts, meditations, etc.
If you are managing a team of people, remember to stay upbeat – don’t let your stress trickle down to your team.
Area Of Hope
Although the news lately has been giving us anxiety, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Joyce shared that antivirals are coming soon and are on their way to being FDA approved.
We are in unprecedented times but we are in this together and we will get through it.