By Dr. Jerome Robinson
Hey, let’s get serious about Covid-19 and your risk for catching this disease and it’s serious outcomes. In the last two weeks we have seen an increase in the number of positive cases in the country which may be expected to exceed a hundred thousand cases per day.
Within the last two weeks in San Diego County we have seen the highest percentage of test positivity among those in the 20 to 29 age group at 24.6 percent. Their mortality is less than 1%( 0.7%). The next age group of positive infections occurred in the 30 to 39 age group, at 18.9%, with a mortality of 0.9%. 20,348 people tested positive for COVID-19 infections with 422 deaths.
These numbers are based on the current data as reported by the San Diego County Health Department as of July 13, 2020. These numbers may be misleading and may underestimate the actual positivity in the community, which may be 5 to 10 times higher than that amount. Some San Diegans may have only minor symptoms or no symptoms at all and, therefore, did not get tested and we are not able to count all the possible deaths. The average age of positive cases in San Diego County has been approximately 40 years of age and the average age of death has been around 78 years of age.
There may be many reasons we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. We opened the economy too soon in a lot of cases and people relaxed after two to three months of lockdown. Perhaps the infectivity rate may have increased because the virus has mutated, causing it to become more infective. We have merely six months of experience with this virus and its sequelae (a pathological condition affecting the body as a result of a prior disease like the coronavirus) and are learning more. We are seeing its effects on a person’s respiratory, kidney, cardiac, and neurologic functions. In addition, there is a chronic fatigue syndrome that negatively affects even a previously healthy individual’s physical stamina. These effects are real and we are seeing more as time passes.
Remember, we do not have a cure or therapies to combat this virus at this time, and one may not be available until 2021. All we have is each other. The virus is mutating and may make it more difficult to develop an effective vaccine, or make a potential vaccine less effective. Would you want to take that chance? Would you want to put older members of your family with multiple medical problems at risk? Consider this as playing Russian roulette.
You have the ability to make a difference and significantly cut the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask, physically distance at least six feet and more, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, or use an antiseptic spray or lotion. Everyone feels good when they are able to do something good for someone else. Do this not only for yourself but for others. Remember to be safe, be cautious and be careful out there.
Dr. Robinson is a San Diego-based, board certified internist and cardiologist. He is an FACC fellow of the American College of Cardiology, an FACP fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), a fellow of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), and a fellow of the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention (SCAI).