COVID – Beyond Masks

How you can be proactive

Bill Forhan, Publisher

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.

 NCW - 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 Lake 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.

Typical Symptoms of COVID
Keep in mind, not everyone has all of them
    •    Runny nose, sneezing
    •    Sudden onset of marked fatigue
    •    Loss of energy, malaise
    •    Body aches, muscle aches, headaches
    •    Cough, though in COVID it is usually a dry cough. You may not produce mucus (sputum). Color of sputum is not necessarily a reliable indicator of severity or type of illness.
    •     If your cough is causing you to have increased shortness of breath or interfering with your sleep pattern, this could mean the disease is worsening.
    •    Feeling “feverish,” even if fever (defined as temperature >101 degrees) is not present.
    •    Chills at night
    •    Sudden onset of sweats during the day that are unrelated to exercise
    •    Loss of taste or smell (tends to occur after the other symptoms have been there 1-3 days, but can occur earlier or later)
    •    Loss of appetite, nausea, GI upset
    •    Diarrhea may occur, though is not common. It can quickly lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances when it does happen.
    •    After about day 5, when the inflammation gets worse, there is often chest heaviness or tightness, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.
    •    Drop in blood oxygen concentration (measured with a finger oximeter you can purchase at your local pharmacy) indicates serious respiratory problems
    •    Rapid heart rate, palpitations
    •    Loss of focus, difficulty with concentration and memory
 

Treatment protocol for those that have been diagnosed with COVID

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons suggest the following treatment protocol for those that have been diagnosed with COVID. You can find their complete 26 page pamphlet on Home Based Covid Treatments at https://aapsonline.org/covidpatientguide/
The basic groups of prescription medicines and other therapies used in COVID-19:
    •    Combination anti-viral medicines started as soon as symptoms occur
    •     Medicines to decrease inflammation, such as corticosteroids (called immunomodulators)
    •    Anticoagulant therapy to prevent blood-clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney shut-down, and death.
    •    Non-prescription supportive treatments with zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, electrolyte drinks such as Pedialyte, and others.
    •    Home-based oxygen support, such as with an oxygen concentrator. These machines are available by physician prescription from home health medical supply businesses and are covered on most medical insurance plans.
Antiviral Agents:  These must be started quickly at STAGE I (Days 1-5):  Symptoms include sore throat, nasal stuffiness, fatigue, headaches, body aches, loss of taste and/or smell, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever. These medicines stop the virus from (1) entering the cells and (2) from multiplying once inside the cells, and they reduce bacterial invasion in the sinuses and lung:  
    •    *Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with azithromycin (AZM) or doxycycline, OR
    •    Ivermectin with azithromycin (AZM) or doxycycline.
Either combination above must also include zinc sulfate or gluconate, plus supplemental vitamin D, and vitamin C. Some doctors also recommend adding a B complex vitamin. Zinc is critical. It helps block the virus from multiplying.  
*Hydroxychloroquine is the carrier taking zinc INTO the cells to do its job.
Anti-inflammatory Agents - Corticosteroids (“steroids”): Oral and Nebulized. These are started at STAGE II (Days 3-14) to reduce inflammation, the cause of added damage to the lungs and critical organs. Symptoms include worsening cough, difficulty breathing, chest heaviness/tightness or chest pain. As inflammation damages the airways interfering with normal oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, blood oxygen levels drop and people experience loss of focus, drowsiness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, low energy and severe fatigue. The exaggerated Inflammation response in COVID further increases the risk of blood clots.
Prescription medicines and other support added now to Stage I medicines are:
    •    nebulized budesonide to help penetrate the lungs and reduce inflammation
    •    oral prednisone, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone  
    •    colchicine – may also be added to reduce inflammation
    •    full strength adult aspirin 325 mg to reduce inflammation and risk of blood clots
    •    home oxygen concentrator may be needed to improve oxygen levels (requires physician prescription)
Prescription Anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) STAGE III (Day 7 and beyond): Symptoms seen in Stage II intensify. Difficulty breathing becomes extreme, oxygen levels drop sharply, risk of heart attack or stroke increases. At this point, people are critically ill. The medicines to be added to Stage I and II medicines now include:
    •    Aspirin 325 mg unless told not to take by your doctors
    •    And/or low molecular weight heparin injections (e.g. enoxaparin [Lovenox]), OR
    •    apixaban (Eliquis), or rivaroxaban (Xarelto), or dabigatran (Pradaxa) or IV. Vitamins, Supplements, and Oxygen.  
    •    edoxaban (Savaysa) in standard doses for 5 to 30 days
 If these added steps do not lead to improvement, or the patient becomes unstable, a 911 call is warranted for ER evaluation and hospital admission so that more aggressive Stage IV medications (such as remdesivir, Regeneron, and others) may be considered, and more intensive ventilation regimens are possible in ICU settings.
 

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