Update from Dr. Weiler
As of Saturday, March 21st at 5 pm here in Illinois, we are now under the order of the Governor to shelter in place until at least April 7, 2020.
So what does “Shelter In Place” mean exactly?
This means, first of all, stay at home unless you fall into one of a few areas that are considered exceptions.
What you can do:
You can still go outside to take a walk or bike ride but stay some distance (6 feet or so) away from others as much as possible.
You can still leave your home for what are called “essential activities, essential government functions, or to operate essential businesses and operations”. Meaning you can go and do activities like buying groceries, getting medications, gassing up your car, going to the hardware store for essentials, visiting or driving through a bank, going to the post office, picking up food from a restaurant – these sorts of things that you really may need to do. But please realize, even when engaging in these kinds of activities, we all want to keep it to a minimum right now. And if we do not really need these things, then WE NEED TO STAY HOME.
Also, while many will be directed not to go to work or work from their home, other sectors of the workforce must report to work. This, of course, includes healthcare workers, those who are involved in supplying our food and selling it to us, those who provide essential support to our infrastructure, including police and fire, banks, those in construction among others. There are many who fall into this category. But if you do not, please stay in.
What is the status of COVD-19 in the Chicago Area right now?
As of last night, March 22 at 5 pm, there were 1049 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois—about half are in Cook County. Please know that this number primarily reflects the individuals showing up to hospitals and emergency rooms with more severe symptoms. Due to a shortage of tests, hospitals currently have no plan to test patients unless they expect to admit them. And given that we know up to 20% (maybe less) who contract the virus may have more moderate to severe symptoms and need medical care (a much smaller percentage potentially would need ICU care), we can assume that there are at least 10 times more than that 1049 confirmed cases who have this virus and are out in our community right now. These are the people who have milder symptoms or maybe no symptoms. If you are home reading this feeling healthy and good with minimal or no symptoms, this may be you – or me. If so, we are the ones who can spread it.
Crazy as it may sound, we need to act as if we each have the virus for the next few weeks and stay away from others as we would if we had the flu. We need to do this because some of us DO have this virus and can make others sick. So, for now, we all have to act as we would if we felt ill.
And now is the most crucial of times to take all of this COVID-19 stuff seriously so I’ll say it again, PLEASE STAY IN. The virus is here – it is in our community and spreading among us at this time. We know this. The best way to get the upper hand on it right now and save lives is to stay put like you would if you really did have the flu or something like that.
We must slow down the spread of this COVID-19 virus so the up to 20% who contract it and need more medical care can get it. If we do not heed this now, we risk not only our own lives but the lives of people we do not even know.
Even if we CAN go grocery shopping or run to the pharmacy or hardware store (and should if we really need to), we all need to do this as infrequently as possible because we are in such a crucial time right now. If we do not do enough to dampen the spread, we will suffer the consequences as a community.
What can we expect in the next 1-2 weeks?
Even as we hunker down, it is important to understand that the numbers for the virus will very likely continue to increase for the next week or more as people who contracted the virus in the past 7-10 days continue to show up to hospitals and emergency rooms for evaluation and care. We all need to do our part to flatten that curve right now – and the fruits of this effort of shutting down and staying in will probably not yield results for at least a couple of weeks.
I know we all are feeling concerned and uncertain of how this will all play out. But it’s important to remember that throughout history there have pandemics and societies have survived this and grown stronger. We will get through this and we will be stronger and smarter for it. In the meantime, it’s one day at a time.
As you can see this is indeed a more informational/tactical post — it’s important to know the current situation. While it’s necessary to take defensive and protective steps as our public health authorities are encouraging at this moment (and for good reason), we also really need to bring some of our attention back to building our health — our foundation and our source of strength and wellness. There is a whole fertile area of “offensive medicine” that we as a society have not put as much focus on and need to. I’ve got much more to share on that and will through this week and next, so keep an eye out for it.
Also, Danielle LaPierre, Well Integrative’s functional nutritionist will continue to post ideas for healthy meals that are easy to make at home with few ingredients. So, check out her posts on our Facebook page and on Instagram.
And watch for more updates and information to come from us. In the meantime, stay in and stay healthy!
All My Best,