It’s officially July and our hopes that COVID-19 would be “under control” have been smashed.  As we gear up to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, I wanted to check in with Jenny, a local mom and PA (Physician Assistant) in a family practice in Newport Beach, to give us a little update on what we are seeing here at the local level.

How are things looking here in Orange County?

Unfortunately the numbers in Orange County are at a significant rise.  This week I saw a huge increase from just the week before, both in COVID cases and recent new exposures. I think it is a result of Memorial Day, the protests, businesses opening up, and people letting their guards down.

We originally flattened the curve.  But what now? 

When businesses were shut down, we did a good job of flattening the curve by social distancing and wearing masks. When everything started to open back up, people started to let their guards down, even though the virus is still circulating. Now the number of cases are rapidly climbing.

What is your biggest concern for the next few months?

The biggest concern is the available ICU beds.  I want to make sure all my patients know to be diligent.  Wear your mask, social distance and wash your hands.  If we come together as a community, we can continue to keep our hospitals running smooth and save peoples lives.

As businesses and activities continue to open back up, what are some things we can do to protect ourselves, our families, and our community?

Wear a mask. Studies show that if everyone does wear a mask, the disease spread goes down.  It’s a fact.  I know they are stuffy and can be uncomfortable but so are pants and we wear them! But seriously, it is the right thing to do to help save our community.

Check out these graphs here for a great visual.

Source: https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

 

You are a mom of two small children.  How have you been explaining the corona virus to them? 

I try not to scare them but I also want them to be smart. They know about germs.   We are honest that the corona virus is a bad germ.  We do not want them to get it so we ask them to try to do your best at social distancing, and wash their hands. We refresh proper hand washing technique about 1 time per week. Also I have explained to them to not touch their mask when it is on their face.

What factors should we consider when we are trying to decide where to go, what to participate in, or who to see?

Avoid large gatherings (bars, parties, indoor dining).  Be responsible.  Know who you are seeing and if they are also practicing good social distancing.

It’s getting hotter outside for summer, but we need to accept that masks need to be a part of our wardrobe now, right?

Yes, yes, yes.  The way I see it is if we all do a better job of wearing masks then we can continue to keep the economy open.  We all need to do our part. It takes a village.

Anything else you want to share?

If you have a sore throat, cough, fever, chills, loss of taste, shortness of breath or diarrhea – stay at home, avoid family members if you can, and call your doctor.  Most doctors are doing telehealth and can order testing that way.

Thank you Jenny!

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