If you’ve been through a couple hurricanes, you should know the importance of a plan for when to put up shutters, gas up the car, evacuate or shelter in place. To help people deal with the health and well being of their household, I developed an “Acuity Grid” of what to do when if COVID-19 makes an appearance. It’s best to take action within your own home. Having a plan for family and neighbors will help you and those around you get through this pandemic.
COVID-19 by the numbers
So the numbers in Boca Raton and Palm Beach county are rising as testing has rolled out throughout the state. It doesn’t matter if we are off by a 1 or 1000. We are smart and understand that by its nature we aren’t going to know the “actual” number of confirmed cases. That’s ok. Some data is better than no data. Regardless, everyone should be following all CDC guidelines and consider downloading the CDC app to your smartphone. This BocaFirst article has links to key resources: Latest on Boca, BPD and County Emergency Orders
Before something happens, do some medical care preparation. Decide who you will contact (physician, nearest walk in clinics, hospitals). Know your health insurance and ask them about tele-doc availability). Ask questions about their protocols for COVID-19. Have your resources available and at the ready.
If someone comes down with symptoms, contact your physician and follow their instructions. They are in “pandemic mode” and might even do a “tele-visit” over the phone. If it involves a hospital, most ERs are asking people to call ahead. They may triage you over the phone. Here’s a breakdown of severity and actions you can take to care for yourself, someone in your house or a neighbor:
My framework for evaluating symptoms
The emergent symptom is SOB (shortness of breath) and an inability get good air exchange. SOB is a feeling of needing to breathe more. Your body is telling you “breathe, breathe, breathe” but when you do, it doesn’t feel like it’s helping. SOB also increases anxiety and panic. Ask any asthmatic patient. A person in this situation needs to call 911.
5- Call your Dr. high fever (101 and above ) accompanied by cough and shortness of breath (SOB), malaise, difficult caring for self
4- high fever* cough w/o SOB, tired easily, weaker
2- low grade fever, loss of smell and taste
1- ok but is COVID-9 positive and living at home
1b – ok but COVID is suspected in member at home
NOTE: A high fever is 101 and above for those under age 60 but 99.8 for those over age 60
5- Go to a COVID-19 prepared clinic to be quarantined and cared for. They will provide transport to a hospital if things get worse
4- Go to a COVID-19 prepared clinic to be quarantined and cared for. They will provide transport to a hospital if things get worse
3- Monitor by Primary Care Physician, provide care in home quarantine, assign one other member to provide food and drink to a closed door
2- Monitor by Primary Care Physician, provide care in home quarantine, assign one other member to provide food and drink to a closed door
1- isolate to another part of house to get rest and boost immune system, stay clean and recharge energy levels, ask a neighbor to help deliver goods to front door
Every family can have their own plan for themselves and band together with neighbors. Create a plan of some sort among yourselves.