Hello everybody, and welcome to the COVID Camper! My name is John Blanchard I am a family physician with SALTA Direct Primary Care here in Michigan. Today is April 16th and its day number 23 in the COVID Camper. As I have said before I am living out here, so I do not bring this virus home to my family. Let’s dive into the questions I am receiving!
Kevin on Facebook asked there have been 29,263 positive cases in Michigan and how many of them have recovered? This is a really good question because a lot of people what to know what my risk is if I get this. Your risk of having a serious illness from COVID depends on your specific situation so the older you are the higher the risk or if you have medical problems the higher the risk. The other thing about this question that’s hard to answer is there are many, many, many, more people that have been exposed and have had COVID that we don’t know about because they never had a test. We are anticipating this antibody testing so we can get a sense for what percentage of people have a serious illness that comes out of getting COVID. Currently research shows that about 14% of people can have a serious problem come out of the Coronavirus such as difficulty breathing. A percentage of them will be so bad they will be hospitalized and then a percentage of them are getting worse and then end up needed a ventilator. We know these rates are higher than the typical flu. We think the risk is an average of 14% of having a serious problem from COVID. We do believe this will come down after accurate testing.
Sarah asked why we are so hard-hit here in Michigan. Michigan is one of the most hard-hit states from the Coronavirus and I think it has several reasons why that is. We know that living in northern climates where people are indoors more, there is less sunshine, and less warmth and people are closer together that it is transmitted more readily this way. Also, the truth is relatively speaking Michigan has a higher number of things like obesity, diabetes, and other chronic medical conditions that make it harder for people to overcome coronavirus when they get it. Especially southeast Michigan. The population is a lot higher and makes it easier for the virus to transmit.
Monica has a question about the quarantine ending and when we can all get back to work. This is a great question. I know yesterday there were demonstrations at the capital and many exercising their free speech and wanting to get back to work and for the governor to stop the quarantine. I really respect the demonstration of wanting to exert personal civil liberties this country is great for that, and I love seeing this. Our country was built on that kind of rugged individualism, that kind of dedication and commitment to self-determination and liberty. I get, I get all of that. Though that can be a strength in most situations there are situations where we need to relax some of those civil liberties to help the better good. An example would be in World War II. A lot of people made a lot of sacrifices during World War II, they gave up a lot of their liberties and a lot of their self-individualism for the common good, giving up things for the common good and working for the common good. I would say this virus is a similar thing. We must be careful and not go back to work too quickly because this virus will start spreading again and we will get another wave that could potentially overrun the healthcare system and the hospitals, and the death rates would go up. We must remember that going into this, the estimates were that there could be as many as 3 million deaths from this virus. We are significantly that and it shouldn’t indicate a sense of false security. We’re significantly under that because as a country we have pulled together, as a state we have pulled together by giving up some of our civil liberties and sacrificed to stay quarantined and stop the growth of the virus. We do need do need to get back to work and we need to do that in a way that is safe and restore the economy. I am hoping that will happen soon, but it is up to others to make that decision.
One of the things that I hope comes out of this is more attention to mindfulness and managing our stress response. We have talked about cognitive distortions that we can fall into including black and white thinking, personalization, should statements, and catastrophizing. Today’s thought distortion is called magnifying. This is the idea of making a mountain out of a mole hill. It is like catastrophizing just not to the same degree. Catastrophizing is something happens and there’s going to be a massive problem that occurs from that. Magnifying is the same thing, but not as large of scale.
One of the things that I love about being a direct primary care physician and how DPC works for me is that there are fewer patients coming into our offices. Instead of large waiting rooms in our offices, the average wait time is 2-3 minutes in the waiting room, so you are not in there with a lot of sick people. It has always bothered me in the traditional healthcare setting where you have all these sick people who are all coming into a waiting room, and they are all coughing, and they are waiting to be seen which just tends to transmit the illness. This is especially true during the COVID virus during this new age of dealing with COVID. One of the things I like about direct primary care is they get right in, they don’t wait in the waiting room, they go right into their exam room, that exam room has been sterilized and they are seen right away by their provider, they spend a significant amount of time with them or the time that is needed by the patient and then they leave. A lot less exposure to people in the office. Our providers see only 10, 15 at most patients a day in the office per provider and in the traditional setting it is 20-30 a day so there’s about twice as much exposure to people. So, less risk of contaminating other people!
If you want to learn how direct primary care can work for you, feel free to call Kyle at 248.922.3076. Kyle can answer all your questions and see what six of our locations is best for you or your company near you! You can also follow us on Facebook @salta_directprimarycare. OR you can search us on Google stating, “direct primary care near me!” or join right on our website at saltadirect.com
Stay safe out there! Love each other and we will see you again soon!

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