Because the COVID pandemic has presented us with unprecedented circumstances (probably only matched in current times by the 1918 Flu Pandemic, which occurred before most of our lives), our understanding of COVID is continually evolving and improving based on new research and data. Learning from new research and applying that knowledge to our lives and how we care for patients is essential
For this week, here are 3 studies that everyone needs to know about during this COVID pandemic:
#1 Study About the COVID Pandemic Everyone Needs to Know – Staying At Home Has Great Benefits
Staying at home during this COVID pandemic has great benefits!
While social distancing and not being able to amble down to your favorite bar or restaurant may seem like torture, there can be worse things that could happen to you – like going to the hospital and dying.
In analyzing the mortality statistics from 42 states plus the District of Columbia that had statewide Shelter-In-Place Orders (SIPOs) and 5 states (Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) without SIPOs, researchers at the Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, in Iowa City found that:
SIPOs reduced the daily mortality growth rate after nearly three weeks from enactment, and the daily growth rate of hospitalizations two weeks after enactment. After 42 days from enactment, the daily mortality growth rate declined by up to 6.1 percentage points. Projections suggest as many as 250,000–370,000 deaths possibly averted by May 15 in the 42 states plus the District of Columbia with statewide SIPOs. The daily hospitalization growth rate examined in 19 states with SIPOs and 3 states without SIPOs with data on hospitalizations has declined by up to 8.4 percentage points after 42 days. This evidence suggests that SIPOs have been effective in reducing the daily growth rates of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.
Failure to maintain social distancing has resulted in warnings from two major health organizations about age and COVID:
- CDC – COVID doesn’t just strike the elderly (adults over the age of 65). In their June 25, 2020 press release, the CDC removed the specific age threshold from the older adult classification, stating: “CDC now warns that among adults, risk increases steadily as you age, and it’s not just those over the age of 65 who are at increased risk for severe illness.”
- WHO – Youth are not invincible. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned, “Today I have a message for young people: You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you. Even if you don’t get sick the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
Staying at home is not a prison sentence – if anyone thinks so, then they’re clearly not happy with where they live or they just haven’t put their lives in perspective:
#2 Study About the COVID Pandemic Everyone Needs to Know – School Reopenings will Trigger More Outbreaks
For anyone looking to re-open schools, who are not convinced by the Shelter-In-Place Order Study and are wanting “direct” evidence about the consequences of reopening schools, this study of contact tracing of about 60,000 contacts found that COVID “were higher for contacts of children than adults” and that “household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was high if the index patient was 10–19 years of age.”
This means that children 10-19 years of age were returning to their households and infecting household members with COVID – their parents, grandparents, and older siblings and household residents.
However, don’t think that this means sending children younger than 10 back to school is safe. As the researchers warn – “Although the detection rate for contacts of preschool-aged children was lower, young children may show higher attack rates when the school closure ends, contributing to community transmission of COVID-19.”
For parents looking for answers during this COVID pandemic, a good source of information is the Children’s Hospital of Colorado:
#3 Study About the COVID Pandemic Everyone Needs to Know – Widespread Blood Clots Found During Autopsies of COVID Patients
There have been reports about the development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with COVID-19. Such reports highlight a lack of awareness of evidenced-based best practices in managing VTE in patients diagnosed with COVID-19, patients at risk of developing COVID-19, and patients who are currently on anticoagulant therapy for other chronic medical conditions.
Dr. Amy Rapkiewicz (Chairman of the Department of Pathology, NYU Langone Medical Center) said that autopsies have found blood clots throughout the bodies of patients who had died from COVID saying:
“The clotting was not only in the large vessels but also in the smaller vessels. And this was dramatic, because though we might have expected it in the lungs, we found it in almost every organ that we looked at in our autopsy study.”
So, if you are wondering what your body might look like if you died from COVID, just picture many clots throughout your body – much like those pictured below of blood clots removed from the lung arteries of a patient:
Perhaps knowing this information may want you to take precautions for your own benefit and that of your family and friends.