On January 25, 2020, I discovered myself at Terminal four of Kennedy Airport, awaiting a speaker to reach from the EU, from Belgium, to debate spiritual freedom at our native Greek Christian Church. There have been flights arriving from China, and I observed virtually all exiting passengers have been sporting masks. Fairly a couple of have been coughing. I went into the restroom and a number of other males have been taking their masks off and appeared feverish, coughing and unwell. I made a decision to go away the lavatory, holding my breath whereas exiting.
I went to the café to get a espresso and will hear two airport employees in mechanic outfits speaking about many flights from China coming every day to JFK and Newark, however for some purpose home flights on the grasp board in Wuhan have been very restricted. As a scholar of historical past and pandemics, I considered the 1917–18 pandemic and the way ships arrived from Europe in New York, adopted by hundreds of Spanish Flu deaths within the tri-state space. As a result of I’ve been concerned with shopping for medical gear previously for our native hospital, missionary journeys, and placing defibrillators in all of the Southampton city and village police automobiles, an emergency assembly of the Hamptons Well being Society was referred to as to start ordering masks, robes, gloves, ventilators, excessive move nasal oxygen machines, pulse oximeters, Lysol, alcohol and hand sanitizer.
With small and huge donations, we have been capable of get lots of the provides we would have liked to maintain our frontline hospital, EMS and police secure, in addition to distribute masks to the entire East Finish cities and villages. Everybody got here collectively like an enormous household, our congressmen, state senators, city supervisors, village mayors, police chiefs, the sheriff, PBAs, DA workplace, EMS, fireplace departments, docs, nurses, cleansing groups, clerks and lots of extra to arrange for a battle towards an invisible, microscopic large killer but to be named COVID-19. This virus unfold rapidly and little was recognized about tips on how to sort out it.
Out right here we have been blessed to have Howard Sklarek, M.D. operating our ICU. He’s board-certified in Inner Drugs, Pulmonary Drugs, ICU Important Care, and Palliative Care. He is likely one of the few folks on this planet with 4 board certifications. As well as, we had Dr. Tassiopoulos, the Chairman of Vascular Surgical procedure at Stony Brook College, growing protocols together with his group to cease the peculiar blood clots, strokes and embolisms the virus precipitated. Your entire well being care system out on the East Finish rallied and was lucky to have one of many highest success charges within the nation for treating COVID-19. Hospital directors comparable to Robert Ross and Bob Chaloner labored tirelessly seven days per week. There have been greater than 30 respiratory remedy heroes below the management of Jeff Russell, director of respiratory care, on the entrance traces, holding folks alive on ventilators and oxygen across the clock. We have been in a conflict with an invisible monster with some scary moments and confusion. The Surgeon Common and head of the AMA mentioned masks weren’t wanted early on. Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on 970 AM Radio, CATS Roundtable radio present on January 25, and when requested if this was one thing we must always fear about, mentioned, “I don’t suppose so.” Our provide chain of masks and robes got here principally from China, in addition to the parts and medicines we would have liked. On TV, there could be information conferences, however by no means an actual physician who really treats sufferers—solely authorities epidemiologists.
Earlier than web, social media and cable information, there was the 1967-68 Hong Kong Flu, with greater than 100,000 lifeless within the USA and 1 million worldwide. Life continued and tremendous spreader occasions like Woodstock went on. All through historical past, at any time when humanity overcrowds in cities, viruses seem and shake off extra inhabitants from the planet. Most of those pandemics in historical past final 16–18 months and go in two or three waves and ultimately burn out. The virus mutates and learns that if it retains killing off its human lodge hosts, it gained’t survive itself. These killer strains of RNA take over the cells in our physique, launch an assault towards them. The irritation brought on by our immune system response is what causes the cytokine storm in our lungs, and the fluid generated is like drowning because it blocks the oxygen from permeating into our lungs. In addition to fever, cough, headache, physique aches, nausea and vomiting, this virus has introduced with signs like lack of scent, referred to as “anosmia.”
I spoke with one of many main dermatologists within the nation from NYU, Dr. Kenneth Mark, who has places of work within the Hamptons, who informed me a few symptom referred to as COVID Toes—swollen, pink, purple and even purple. This situation mimicked a analysis referred to as “Chilblains,” by which painful irritation of small blood vessels happens in response to repeated publicity to chilly; within the case of COVID, it was on account of compromised circulation. As well as, he talked about that a number of sufferers had peculiar head and physique hair loss. Happily, we’re studying extra about therapeutics, ready-made antibodies and vaccines that may quickly be obtainable.
We’re sporting masks, washing fingers, social distancing, utilizing UV-C lights in our central air and heating techniques, and UV sanitizer packing containers to zap our mail packages and groceries. (Shimon Peretz of Form and Construction on Mariner Drive in Southampton makes them domestically). Washing fingers, sporting masks, social distancing, maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding crowded indoor areas will assist sort out the virus.
Within the coming weeks, we’ll cowl the small print of how to assist us all get by means of this. We will probably be talking to an integrative medication specialist, Dr. Magdalena Swierczewski, who will replace us on nutritional vitamins, minerals and meals to spice up our immune techniques throughout COVID. We will even replace you on the wonderful work of Dr. Yianacopoulos, a Columbia College educated MD PhD, whose firm will probably be releasing ready-made monoclonal antibodies to offer many at-risk and frontline docs, nurses and hospital employees safety. We will probably be reporting on the wonderful work of Dr. David Ho of Columbia College, who invented the “HIV Cocktail” antiviral therapy that saved many lives from AIDS. His work at Columbia has remoted antibodies from COVID sufferers that may match like a condom over the spike protein of coronavirus that is sort of a needle that enters and infects our cells with COVID. I stay up for sharing this information from actual docs and scientists on the frontlines with the Dan’s Papers viewers.
Peter Michalos, MD is Affiliate Professor of Scientific Ophthalmology, Columbia College Vagelos Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons; Previous President of Medical Employees and Previous Chief of Surgical procedure Southampton Hospital; Chairman Hamptons Well being Society. He has been a resident of Southampton for 3 many years.