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July 14, 2020 - Current Covid State in Low Country & SC

Good morning.

I thought I'd check in with a little Covid update.  It seems as though the lowcountry, and the state at large, is feeling the effects of people abandoning social distancing and the use of masks.  Hospital utilization is rising, as is ventilator use.  Given the increased demands on the Roper hospital system, elective surgeries have been halted again so the OR staff can assist on the hospital floors to take care of inpatients.  When I was at the hospital yesterday,

I discussed the situation with some of my anesthesia colleagues.  We were all in agreement that the next few weeks will continue to see huge demands placed on the health care system. 

I would implore everyone to abide by social distancing and the use of masks to help reduce this burden on the hospitals and also to help prevent further spread of the disease. 

If we go back to March, the whole reason we quarantined to begin with was to prevent unreasonable strains on the healthcare system; this could lead to unfavorable outcomes for patients if healthcare resources are pushed beyond capacity.  

Despite this grim news, here are some silver linings...the disease is so prevalent that maybe we won't see a second surge. 

Also, we have learned a bit more about the disease so that hopefully we wont see the mortality that states like New York saw.  We have learned that steroids, high flow oxygen (versus ventilators), and drugs such as remdesivir are beneficial.  The  current death rate in South Carolina is 1.67, but if the case number is 10 x higher than the actual confirmed cases, as many suspect, the death rate is only .16%.  

Given the current situation, we continue to encourage virtual visits when possible.  Of course, masks are also to be worn.

The doors will remain locked, and we will will open the doors when we are ready for your appointment.  I also advise everyone to stay home as much as possible, wear masks, and social distance.  The use of oral zinc is also believed to be beneficial, as is the use of Betadine nasal swabs to prevent Covid.  Lastly, if you have Covid, remain on quarantine until you are healthy and your Covid test is negative.  If you are exposed to Covid or suspect you have it, quarantine while you wait for the test result...that is, assume you are positive, too. 

Lastly, if you are sick, stay home, even if your test is negative.  The false negative rate with testing seems to be very high.  I think the beast policy is for you to conduct your business assuming everyone around you is positive for Covid.  On this happy note, I hope everyone has a great day.

Heidi Williams MD

Oh AND it is National Mac n Cheese Day! This is by far one of my daughter's Sophie's favorite days! I know I will most likely be taking her to Panera today. :)

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