'Up Front' Gets Answers From CHA on COVID-19 and How Cabarrus is Reacting
Mar 19, 2020 03:41PM
By Jason Huddle
Cabarrus and COVID-19
Welcome to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. A presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, The Circle: A World of Wellness for Women, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and WalkCabarrus. I'm your host, Jason Huddle.
Hello, my friends and welcome once again to Episode 51 of Upfront with Cabrera's magazine, and I am so thrilled you're here. If you're like many in the community, you're probably listening at home right now. The world has a different place than when we produced episode 50 just a week ago. It is incredible I remember joking on Friday with someone that until Disney World closes were all okay. If Disney World closes, it's the apocalypse. And not an hour later it was announced that Disney World had closed. So that being the case, I decided, You know what? We cannot just idly sit by and ignore what's going on in the community and continue on with our original plans to talk about property evaluations, which seems trivial now because we're dealing with a major crisis not only in our region but of course, in the country and in the world for that matter. It was also announced last week that we had our very first case of Coronavirus, COVID19 in Cabarrus county. And those two factors together made it painfully obvious to me that I needed to get in touch with the right people and get some answers for you guys, because here's what's happened. The media has a huge part to play in this. I am going to preface this by saying I do not think that COVID19 is a conspiracy or it's made up. It is a very real disease and it has been deadly for some. There is no question about that but what the media has done, it has hyped up the fear to a level that you think that if you get this, you're going to die. The truth of the matter is you have about a 97% chance of survival. Those air pretty good odds. But let's back off of that for a second. There are real problems. There are real risks to getting this flu is basically what it is. It's a very serious flu and we would be begrudging our duties as an informant to the public if I didn't do my job and go get some real answers for you guys. And that is what we have done today. Today will be going out to the Cabarrus Health Alliance offices to talk with Dr Russell Suda. He is an authority on this subject, and he is going to give us some great answers. Real answers about the threat of this virus, how you can spread it, what you should do if you do think you have it. And if you don't, what are some things you can do to keep from getting it? The sooner we abide by these rules, the sooner we will get through all of this, and we're gonna talk about that as well. Now, having said that, I'll say this. It's shameless plug time. So COVID19 has affected every business in the country, and it has affected us at Cabarrus magazine as well and I'll be getting into my thoughts on that subject at the end of today's program. So you want to stay tuned for that. As many of you know, we have a printed magazine called Cabarrus magazine. That's what this podcast serves as a counterpart for, and part of our job is to distribute this magazine throughout the area. The problem is, many of our racks are located in public places, which have been shut down or close temporarily, so it's awfully hard to distribute a printed magazine to places that are not accessible, at present, the hospital is one of our largest distribution points. We have four racks inside of Atrium Northeast. I can't even get in the door to distribute those magazines there. Many of the hotel's air not very well occupied. So there's little point in delivering magazines there. Just today as we're recording this podcast, they have announced that restaurants have to close their dining rooms. You get my point it's hard to distribute a print magazine when there's nowhere to distribute them. So what we have decided to do is our April issue will be digital only. We have talked to our advertisers about this, and we appreciate their support in this matter, but digital only, So we will be promoting that it will be available at Cabarrus magazine dot com on time on April 1st, so you can rest assured of that. Our subject is Kannapolis and the transformation that it has undergone This has been planned for many months. We planned this issue actually last year. We're very excited about it, and we're still going to talk about Kannapolis. There are some subjects will talk about that are a little bit fluid right now, such as the Cannon Ballers and their season. When we started to write this article, the Cannonball is season was going to start at home on April 12 as plan as we're recording this, we don't know. We don't know when it's going to start. So there's some disadvantages that you have is a monthly publication, and we're just gonna roll with them the best we can. But one of the things that we're going to do is do a digital only version of the April edition and get it out there to as many people as we can. So we hope you will support us in that effort. Please make sure you share it like it. Do whatever you can to get the word out. That Cabarrus magazine isn't going anywhere, but we're just going digital for one month only, and that is today's shameless plug time. Okay, when we come back, we will be out at the Cabarrus Health Alliance offices to talk with Dr Russell Suda about COVID19 stay tuned.
Welcome back to this very special edition of Up Front Cabarrus Magazine as we are talking about the big elephant in the room, the Coronavirus. It seems like nobody wants to talk about anything else on social media or otherwise. So we're just gonna talk about it. Let's let's have a conversation about it. I am here at the Cabarrus Health Alliance offices with Dr Russell Suda. He has graciously agreed to come in and speak with us about the Coronavirus. About some myths about some things you need to be aware of, and we're gonna kind of try to cut through all the hype and all the fear mongering that has taken place all the false information and get down to what are some things that you really need to know about this virus in Cabarrus County. So first of all, Doctor Suda that I really appreciate you being on the program with us today.
Thank you for asking me.
So before we get into all that, why don't we talked a little bit about who you are in your background and your role with the CHA.
Ok, I've been the medical director for the Cabarrus Health Alliance for the last 17 years. Um, my training is a kind of a dull training. I did a pathology residency and became board certified in pathology in 1983 but went on to do in obstetrics and gynecology residency on later got board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. I My main role here is to manage the women's clinic primarily the obstetrics, all women's clinic, but also family planning.
Okay, great. So when it comes to dealing with this crisis and that's what it is, it's a crisis. Where are you on the front lines?
I am working with the health director, Erin Shoe and uh, the board of the Cabarrus Health Alliance, offering medical perspective on any topic that's related to the Coronavirus. We have people here in our community health department who are accustomed to working with epidemic infections and are therefore more knowledgeable about the epidemiology from epidemic epidemic that can occur here. For instance, we have one in 2009 with influenza, but I certainly can contribute because of having the medical background and treating patients for about 37 years now.
Let me just ask you something that's strictly an opinion on your part. I understand that because there are lots of varying reasons for this. But one of the big questions that I've seen on social media is that we've never seen a shutdown of this proportion before. H1N1 killed a lot of people. There were a lot more cases historically for that virus, and yet we never shut down at all. What makes this virus so different that it warrants this kind of absolute shutdown by society by the government? Why is that?
That's a very good question, and I think it really has more to do with the advancements that we've made in managing infections that have a certain mortality rate associated with them. If you look at influenza, it's a perhaps a little bit more contagious than the virus that we're dealing with right now. But we have learned that there's the capability of extinguishing cases if we adequately isolate and follow up with quarantine and these measures air carried out by the general public. We also have to understand that this virus has no vaccine right now, over the past 20 years or so we've developed influenza vaccines which help in the fight. Also, there's Tamiflu, which is ah, medication that shortens the symptomatic time period for influenza, we have medications right now that have been used on patients with the Coronavirus but they're not approved yet and they're certainly on a fast track to get approved. But we can't be using medications that could possibly cause other problems. So this is why this virus has we really have one major defense against it right now. And that is social distancing, isolation and even quarantine and that's why I think you're seeing it more now then we have ever done this ever had this in the past.
So we're gonna get into treatment in just a second. But I wanna back up just the same because I think this contributes to some of the confusion that the public has. You just said we don't have a vaccine. You need to treat it through certain means. And yet some of the things that we've heard is Hey, if you get it and it's not severe, stay home, take some Nyquil, you'll be fine. So which is it?
Yeah, well, if we had a specific prescription level medication that we could get into the hands of people with the virus, that would certainly help. And I think you think it would reduce the social distancing measures. However, we don't have that now. Now any virus that we get that causes a runny nose, sore throat, You know, cough. We have your symptomatic treatments. We have cough syrups, we have Tylenol, We have Ibuprofen, we have Loratadine, you know, for drying up nasal mucous if your nose is running but but the's medications are symptomatic relief. They don't really affect contagiousness or the duration of the infection in the host. The person that has the infection.
I got you, okay, all right, so let's bring it back down. Cabarrus County we have as of today, which is we're recording on March 17th ST Patty's Day. There is one confirmed case of Coronavirus in Cabarrus County, Correct?
Yes, one confirmed case. And that's important because the Cabarrus Health Alliance will do presumptive testing when conditions are met for testing. But we will not report that as a confirmed case. The state does that they do a backup test that is proof positive that the virus is in the host in the person who's infected. And they also take responsibility for releasing that data to the general public in North Carolina. So I would recommend that you don't call the Cabarrus Health Alliance for updates on confirmed cases. There is a link on our Coronavirus page at our website for the Cabarrus Health Alliance that people can access, and they can get a 24 hour updated map of where the cases are in the number of cases in state of North Carolina.
That website, by the way, is Cabarrus Health dot org. And then you click on the Coronavirus page, and we'll put that link in the show notes for you guys to click on. So that patient is in isolation there at their house, their under quarantine. They're not going to spread this virus to anyone else.
This particular patient is in quarantine for 14 days, along with the household, inside the house, the person with the infection, actually as that patient's own room, trying to distance as much as possible that single patient from the remainder of household and that is a quarantine situation and its encouraging to understand that in 14 days, if it has not been passed to any members of the household and the person who has the virus is asymptomatic, that virus in that case is extinguished, it's gone, and that is a successful intervention for this viral epidemic, and that's what we're trying to do throughout the country is to extinguish the remnants of this virus by social distancing.
So those people in that house, they are not allowed to leave, either?
Okay, all right and so you're saying, after 14 days, if they don't have the virus, if they haven't spread the virus, then they're good there's no way that they can do that?
The that's the that's the rule that we're living by. There are circumstances that you could come up with where maybe the virus got passed along on day seven to someone. And so after 14 days, household member would only be in day seven but there will be examining the details off that process in that household to be able to draw the conclusion that the members of that household, once liberated from quarantine, are absolutely non infectious. That's the goal and the rule of thumb.
All right, very good. I have to cut to break so when we come back, we're gonna talk about symptoms. What to do if you do feel like you have the virus and what what resource are available. All right we'll be back with Dr Suda right after these messages.
Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine once against sitting here with Dr Russell Suda from the Cabarrus Health Alliance and he is helping us with a lot of great information about the Coronavirus about precautions that are being taken. We talked about the one case that Cabarrus County has and the measures that have been taken to isolate that person in their household from the rest of the community and it looks like there are, you know, do we know if they're recovering well, do we know anything about that?
I'm sorry, I don't know anything about what's transpiring inside the household.
Okay, well, certainly our prayers and thoughts are with them.
And we hope that they will make a quick recovery and there will be no further spread of the infection. So let's talk about what are the symptoms and what you should do if you feel like you might have the Coronavirus or certainly should be tested. So first of all, what we look for, because a lot of things that we've heard sound just like the flu or a bad cold.
Now that's very accurate to make that statement because that's fortunately or unfortunately, there's a lot of replication or duplication of symptoms from other viral illnesses. To say that you may have the COVID19 virus if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, even a runny nose is a true statement. You might have it, but the chances are you have just another respiratory infection that is circulating in the community. We know that, for instance, Coronavirus causes 20 to 30% of the common cold that we have. That is not the same Coronavirus that we're talking about with COVID19. They're in the same family, but that's not the same virus I don't want everybody to worry that if you got a common cold that you got the COVID19. However, in actual fact, for people who have those symptoms, that is a cough sore throat fever. We would recommend actually calling your primary care provider because doctors have been informed on the conditions necessary for getting testing, and they can help you through a phone call to their office about whether you're a candidate to get tested. We at the Cabarrus Health Alliance are the resource for that determination and screening. If you don't have a primary care provider.
Incidentally, if you don't have a primary care provider, as you said call the CHA Health Info line at 7049201213 between the hours of 6 a.m and 11 p. M. After hours, you can call 8664623821 and we'll also put that information in our shownotes as well. Okay, so we've talked about what the symptoms are, what to do if you think you might have it. Let's talk about this term that nobody knew what it was five days ago, which is social distancing. Why is it important if this is spread by contact with people? Why is it so important to keep six feet distance? That just seems like a little bit of an extreme measure. So can you explain that?
Well, if you look at you know, the mechanics of a cough or a sneeze, and this is one that's unprotected, the respiratory droplets from that cough of sneeze can extend out five feet more so keeping that distance, it means that if someone would have ah, on unprotected cough or a sneeze in your direction, that respiratory we're talking small off. Most often] non visible respiratory droplets are gonna be dispersed towards you, but should not reach you. And it does not mean also that if you get coughed on our sleeves on and they have the virus, that you're absolutely going to get the infection, your immune system and you're lining tissue of your mouth and nose. All have the defensive capability and the final determination about whether you're gonna come down with the infection involves all these different all these different systems and factors.
So but there's more at stake here than just your own immune system. Because if if you have the virus you cough on me, I have it on me. And then I take it back to my grandparents then I could somehow possibly give that to them, pass it on to them without ever getting the virus myself. Is that accurate?
That is accurate. Fortunately, contact through surfaces is less infectious than actually getting coughed on our sneezed on. But we can pass it along that way, and the amount of time that the Coronavirus can live on a surface. It has been estimated to be several hours to you know, five or six days and of heard different numbers. I can't tell you specifically how long the virus can live on a hard surface or any surface, but we have to accept the fact that it is going to be there for a while. And that's why you know, maintaining hygiene inside the home and wiping off with disinfectant cleaners that are recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency. And there's a whole list of them. Don't bother about going to that website because it can be cumbersome. Just get a good, strong cleaner. Certainly bleaches or ones that you know, advertising their disinfectants will work well, but cleaning off surfaces, that doesn't mean just a gentle wipe If you have soiled surfaces and you gently wipe um, in the soil still there those of the soil spots can be culture media for for virus that will stay there longer. So you want to clean this service and disinfected to get optimal reduction in viral presence for the possibility of a contact exposure in case of the COVID19 virus.
When do you think we will know that things have turned in our favor and we can start getting back to a normal life?
That is such a good question and such a difficult question to answer. I have listened to the experts from the CDC, and they have trouble answering those. If you look at any epidemic, there's a large peak. If you were a graph it out over time, a large peak that represents the epidemic and then it falls often goes down to approach zero and eventually is extinguished with all the measures that were doing. I think it's Dr Fauci, who is from the CDC, said. We are going to definitely flatten out that hump.
Flatten the curb (inaudible) that is the slogan of choice right now.
It is going to flatten the curb. It will not extinguish that hump. But when we flatten it, how fast it actually goes down from its peak is very difficult to say. But I've heard the guestimate is eight weeks that we're gonna be in the midst of a time where we really gotta do some social distancing and keep it up. I wish I could tell you for sure eight week what's gonna happen eight weeks from now but, you know, this is something that science has not produced a definite answer, so I can't produce it either.
I don't see how they could, to be honest with you I mean, this is unprecedented. We've never dealt with something to this extreme before. We've shut down everything. And so it's hard to say like, as I mentioned at the beginning of the last segment, we've had serious illnesses before in this country, but we've never shut everything down to the point where we've completely cut off contact or severely limited contact between our populations. So it stands to reason that you should be able to flatten the curved quicker in this instance.
Oh, that's certainly the goal. I mean, you've very accurately articulated what we're trying to achieve. The problem is, you know, when you're going through it with these kind of measures, a stridently exercised as they're being exercise for this pandemic, we don't we can't look back and say with these kind of measures, you know, what did we experience where this is going to be wonderful for future epidemic pandemics, and then they will come again. So we're setting the precedent here, hopefully the infrastructure of knowledge that will help us in the future as well.
Absolutely and I'm gonna have to let that be the last word. Dr. Russell, thank you so much for spending some time with us, giving us some very valuable information that we can use and take back at the end of the day. Everybody wash your dang hands.
Stay clean don`t spread out. Don't spit on people. Don't call for people. We should get through this just fine. So, Dr Russell, thank you for spending time with today. Appreciate you being on the program
It's been my pleasure I hope of calm people down because panic is our worst enemy in this time period.
That was perfectly worded. We're gonna take one last break and we'll be back with some great information. And resource is on what you can do to help alleviate this virus in our community. In just a moment, stay tuned.
Once again, I'd like to think Dr Russell Suda for coming on the program today. He was a great help, and I hope he gave you some useful information on how to be aware of COVID19. How to make sure that you do not get COVID19 and how to make sure you don't spread it to others unknowingly, there are some resource is I just wanted to reiterate to you, if you feel like you might have symptoms ofCOVID19 and do not have a primary care provider, please contact the CHA Health Info line at 7049201213 from 6 a.m until 11 p.m every day and then after hours, you can call 8664623821 Also make sure that you check out Cabarrus health dot org, and there are daily Facebook updates at the Cabarrus Health Alliance Facebook page. Just look that up and on Twitter that you can follow them at at Cabarrus health, so make sure that you do those things. But at the end of the day, proceed with caution, care and self awareness. That's the key. Wash your hands, soap and water. I am disgusted that it has taken a national pandemic to get people to wash their hands. But let's talk about that pandemic, shall we? I told you at the beginning of the program that I had some thoughts on this, and I'm going to share them because I feel like it's necessary, even if it's just to get it off my chest and you can agree with me or not. I really don't care, because I'm talking and I can't hear you shouting back at me. So it's fine but the media to me, has done the country a great to disservice in this whole situation. They fear mongered and they hyped up this virus as much as they could, and then they turn around and act like they're trying to be the good examples and the messengers of peace in a turbulent time. And I'm sorry I'm not buying that at all. The media should be ashamed of themselves the way they have absolutely scared people with misinformation and hype. One of my sons works at a grocery store locally, and he told me yesterday that while he was on his shift, he actually saw somebody in the store with a full on gas mask. That is fear and the only way that somebody could be that afraid to walk into a grocery store without wearing a full on gas mask is the fear that has been instilled by the information they are receiving. And the information they're receiving is from the media. So media, national media, I'm talking to you. You should be ashamed. Another example is I was watching one of the network news stations. I'm not gonna call anybody out, but I was watching one of the local major network news stations last night, and I'm not kidding you. This is what happened they wanted to make a note that they were bringing the facts and not messages of fear and hype. And then within 15 seconds, 15 seconds, they had a story about the first death from COVID19 in South Carolina and this was part of the copy that they read. They said South Carolina has suffered its first death from the Coronavirus, and the victim was only an hour away from Charlotte. Well, what do you think? Saying things like that results in, You're telling your viewers that someone who died from Cove in 19 is in your own backyard. That's fear mongering. The hypocrisy of the media is unfathomable, and I am deeply ashamed to be lumped in with some of those people. That is why we did this program to get you some real facts, not scare the crap out of you, but gets you some real facts. At the end of the day, folks, we're all in this together. We're going to have to support each other when at the end of the program, I read my sponsors off and I say, Please support those that support us. I actually mean that every week. But now more than ever, if this economy is going to survive, we have got to support each other in any way we can. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know this A God is in control. B if we will come together as a community and work together to rebound. When this is all over, we will be better at the end of the day. One final thought I want to leave you with is that I posted in the Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine Podcast Group Page on Facebook, a video from Pastor Dale Jenkins of New Hope Worship Center, which is one of our sponsors. And it's a video called Hope in Uncertain Times. And he's talking about exactly what our community is going through and what we need to do in order to get through this, and it is a great message. I encourage you to go and watch that, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on that. Also, we're looking for tales of kindness. I just talked about us coming together. We're looking for tales of kindness in the community. If you know of a business or a person that you just really think that they should be given some accolades, then please let us know posted on Facebook with the hashtag corona kindness. We would love to get those stories, and maybe we can have some of those people on the podcast very soon. I'm really not sure what's gonna happen next week because everything is so fluid right now. But I promise you we will have a show and it's gonna be great no matter what it is. Once again, this has been Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. Cabarrus Eye Center. Certec Automotive. The Circle A World of Wellness for Women, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope, Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. Please remember more than ever to support those that support us. I've been your host, Jason Huddle until next week. Stay healthy people.