Frontline doctor clarifies false COVID-19 information

Local News

(WTAJ) — The first case of the Coronavirus in the United States reportedly came on January 21st in Washington. Since then, 14M Americans have been infected, and over 274K have died.

One man from our area works on the frontlines of a hospital in Seattle and said there’s a lot of incorrect information out preventing the nation from getting a handle on this virus.

Dr. Eliot Fagley is the head of the Critical Care Unit’s COVID-19 Response Team at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

“Listen. Masking works. Social distancing works,” he said.

He said wearing a face mask prevents droplets of COVID-19 patients, with or without symptoms, from getting into the air. It protects the mask wearer, as well.

“It decreases one’s exposure to the virus from folks who may be around you,” Fagley said.

Cell phone data supports the fact that social distancing stops community spread.

“The more travel has been depressed, the lower the case rates are,” Fagley said.

Dr. Fagley said case surges come two weeks after a holiday. Then, more people are hospitalized and treated in the ICU.

“As cases numbers start to increase, it take a little while for people to start to feel sick, and then, the hospitalizations rise, and then, people continue to get sick and they require critical care,” he said.

As for the COVID-19 vaccines, Fagley said the technology used to create many of them is not new.

“The RNA vaccination technology was meant to be used to fight off cancers, so it was meant to try and vaccinate people against certain cancers,” he said.

But the biggest misconception about the Coronavirus is healthy people won’t get it.

“It’s incredibly unpredictable. This is not just a disease of the elderly or the infirmed or folks who are unwell for any number of reasons. I’ve seen a number of people who have absolutely no other medical history who have gotten incredibly sick with this disease, and some have died as well…The more we’re masking up, the more consistent we were doing it, the better we’ll be,” Fagley said.

As far as the holidays go, Dr. Fagley said let’s take a year to have a holiday apart so that we can have a whole lot more holidays together.

He hopes once vaccine administration gets underway, we’ll see a somewhat normal summer and have some more familiarity in the fall.

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