How you can be proactive

There is no doubt that our hospitals are being overrun with COVID patients. Hospital staff and resources are being challenged making it increasingly difficult to provide care to those most in need.

Politicians are using this crisis to push for mass vaccinations in an effort to stem the growing tide of cases. But many medical professionals, like Dr. Robert Malone a virologist and immunologist, is critical of the push to vaccinate everybody. Dr. Malone is considered one of the inventors of the Moderna Vaccine and says he is not an anti-vaxxer he simply points out that there are legitimate reasons for not forcing everyone to take this vaccine.

Dr. Malone, points out that this vaccine in like most flu vaccines. They are not always effective with the latest mutation of the virus. The best we can hope for with vaccines of this nature is to slow the spread of the virus while we find ways to treat and cure patients that have contracted the disease.

We already have evidence that the vaccine is not completely effective. The Center for Disease Control admits that there will be breakthrough cases. In other words, cases that occur in fully vaccinated patients. Some of these can be severe and some people may even die. According to NBC news, as of the end of July 125,000 fully vaccinated people have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 have died.  As a percentage of the fully vaccinated population that number is miniscule at .08%. NBC notes that their data is incomplete because 11 states did not provide them with information and the Center for Disease Control stopped reporting in May.

The other problem when discussing vaccines is that they are not a cure. Vaccines are a prophylactic. They are meant to prevent getting the virus in the first place. Once someone contracts the disease, doctors are primarily concerned about treating it. There is widespread disagreement over protocols for treatment of COVID.

According to the Washington Department of Health, just over 52% of the population in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan County are fully vaccinated. That means half of the residents in our area are still at risk for contracting the virus.

Central Washington Hospital is the primary hospital serving North Central Washington. There are other community hospitals serving the region including Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, Lake Chelan Health in Chelan, Three Rivers in Brewster. These hospitals all work together to address patient needs in our three county area of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan County.

Central Washington has 198 beds. They currently have 60 COVID patients undergoing treatment. Cascade has no COVID patients in their 9 beds and Chelan has two COVID patients in their 22 beds.

Jamie Minnock, Chief Nursing Officer at Chelan Health, says they communicate almost daily with Central Washington and the other regional hospitals to co-ordinate and support each other in caring for patients. When patients come to their hospital with symptoms they cannot treat they are transported to Central Washington for acute care. If Central Washington gets overloaded then they send patients with milder symptoms out to other area hospitals like Chelan, Cascade or even Yakima.

There is significant disagreement among physicians about the proper treatment protocols for a person who is infected with the COVID-19 virus. Primarily, the disagreement is over the use of Ivermectin in the early stages of the virus. It is true that Ivermectin is a drug used to deworm horses. It is also true that Ivermectin is available for humans and has been used around the world since 1975. In most countries it is available over the counter. It is inexpensive and considered a miracle drug in many countries. It has not been approved by the FDA for use in treating COVID. Recently, the Chelan-Douglas Health District has come out in opposition to the use of this drug. But Ivermectin is being used by some physicians in the U.S. and has been endorsed for use in other countries that have found it to be effective when used early.

I included a link to a pamphlet with the CDHD press release that offered advice from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPR) a few weeks ago. That pamphlet titled, “A Guide to Home-Based COVID Treatment”, provides advice about what you should do to prepare in case you do get COVID. With the exception of the recommendation to consider using Ivermectin in the early stage of treatment; It seems to follow local protocols for treatment options.

The pamphlet includes a recommendation that you have a consultation with your local doctor about what you should do if you are diagnosed as having COVID.

The first step of course is to get tested if you think you are experiencing symptoms. There is a chart of the most common symptoms attached to this article. It takes 24 to 48 hours to get the results of your test. Our local hospitals do testing if you have symptoms. They ask that you not just walk in. Call and make an appointment. They will ask about your symptoms and schedule you for a test.


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