Know Your Risk – Texas Medical Association was a post that generated a lot of interest. So today I’ve decided to stay on topic and add to this series to continue offering my insights as a mortality risk assessment professional. I’ll share both personal strategies and other professional opinions for dealing with Covid-19. I’ve had a long career of researching, learning and understanding what kills people. Maladaptive and malfunctional behaviors do an incredible amount of damage. A lot of people kill themselves doing stupid things. Unfortunately with Covid-19 a lot of people might kill others doing stupid things.
We all must adapt different behaviors to deal with a highly infectious disease. Estimates range between 40 and 45% of Covid-19 infected individuals may be asymptomatic spreaders. Thus the combination of maladaptive and malfunctional behaviors by others is a huge problem. None of us can control nor influence the behaviors of everyone we come in contact with. We can only control and modify our own personal behaviors to minimize the risk of infection. Risk identification is the first step.
Stay safe. Wear a mask.
COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory pathogen that spreads through droplets from infected people who talk, shout or sing. Closed spaces make it more likely you could inhale these droplets because the droplets are not diluted.
Mary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MS, is a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Medicine and Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is also a Staff Physician and Epidemiologist for the VA Maryland Health Care System.
I tell family and friends that, as a general rule of thumb, they should avoid the three C’s: crowds, closed spaces with poor ventilation and close contact with anyone outside their household. Crowds bring you into contact with many people who could have COVID-19 even if they’re asymptomatic. The more people around you, the greater your chance of getting infected, particularly if you’re in a hot spot area with a rising number of cases.
Close contact through a hug or close conversation, for example, also enhances this risk. The risk of COVID-19 spread is greatest when the three C’s converge: chatting with a group in a crowded indoor bar is one of the highest risk activities.
I’m on the right. The other guy is my barber.