Coronavirus Q&A: April 8, 2020

Aaron’s back answering your submitted questions about things related to the COVID-19. If you’d like to submit a question for a future episode you can do so at

00:22 MYTH: Vitamin D/vitamin C/Echinacea/essential oils can help
00:33 MYTH: Drinking TONS of water aids recovery because you pee more, which helps flush out the virus faster
00:44 Is steam cleaning an effective way to clean spaces we must share with my paramedic husband? Are products like dish soap, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide effective?
1:36 When getting food take-out/delivery, what if the person preparing my food (especially non-cooked food like salads or breads) is sick?
2:56 If I have to go to the grocery store, what’s the safest way to go about it?
3:35 I have cerebral palsy and I don’t understand why the CDC says I’m at higher risk. Do you know why?
3:57 – I’m in an older age group (60+) but in excellent health, am I still at higher risk? What about people with conditions that are being managed, like BP well-controlled with medication?
4:34 – Can being well-rested have an impact on your risk of getting severely ill?
4:54 – Does smoking increase your risk of catching the virus or just how well you can fight it? Any evidence that it’s bad to smoke marijuana if you have covid symptoms?
5:32 – I’m taking walks outside and keeping my distance, but sometimes runners pass me – it’s quick but they’re breathing heavily less than 6 feet away – should I be concerned?
6:23 – When is someone with COVID-19 “sick enough to go to the ER”?
6:52 – “What if I do this or that event with my family/friends but we all promise to stay in our own bubbles, 6 feet apart, while we do it”
8:21 – Should I go somewhere like an urgent care if I have acute issues like UTI or sinus infection and don’t have a primary care doc to call?
8:43 – If you have no symptoms, is it safe/recommended to donate blood?
8:52 – Say I’ve got a cough and shortness of breath, but I also have asthma and allergies, and still feel good enough to exercise, can I go biking or walking outside?
9:17 – Is it possible that the spread of COVID-19 started happening before it gained prominence?
10:01 – Is there a difference between “incubation period” (how long symptoms take to show up) and when a test would be positive?
10:38 – Why does testing matter if treatment is the same for sick or nonsick?
11:54 – What is the timeline during which we can ramp up testing to make sure we can do the suppression you advocate?
12:38 – If I’m pretty sure I’m sick, but I’m self-isolating and managing mild symptoms, can I report that somewhere so it’s included in the statistics?
12:54 – In a previous Q&A you said antibody tests would be low priority, why is that?
13:31 – Will I be informed if I have been exposed? How will that information be provided to me?
14:29 – In your first episode you said to prevent a catastrophic return of the virus in the fall we need to “keep this at bay.” For the people in the back, what does that mean and how long do we need to do that for?
17:53 – Given your view on the virus returning in fall, can you discuss infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm’s opinion that Covid-19 won’t be affected by season changes based on past examples of SARS and MERS?
18:43 – Can UV light kill the virus?
19:12 – Isn’t fever part of the way your body fights infection? Shouldn’t we let the fever do its job rather than suppress it with medication like acetaminophen?
19:51 – What’s the deal with Azithromycin and hydroxychloriquine?
20:05 – Why can’t we use Tamiflu on high risk patients at the first signs of infection?
20:29 – Who can I call if I don’t have a primary care provider?
20:49 – Any advice for people close to the end of pregnancy?
21:17 – I live in NYC with my nine month old baby. Will months of isolation hurt his development?
21:40 – How am I supposed to know which experts to believe?

Related HCT episodes:
1. April 01, 2020 Q&A:
2. March 18, 2020 Q&A:

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