Podcast — 17 Minutes

Episode 12: Coronavirus Update #2

Podcast — 17 Minutes

Episode 12: Coronavirus Update #2

More on the Coronavirus from Dr. Gwynette and Dr. Eblin

On today’s Autism News NetWORK podcast, Dr. Gwynette and Dr. Amanda Eblin, a nurse practitioner at the Medical University of South Carolina, bring you the very latest information about the Coronavirus epidemic. From worldwide data to how it’s impacting our lives on a local level — it’s all here.

You can follow Dr. Gwynette on Twitter and Instagram.

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Dr. Gwynette: Hello, and welcome to the Autism News NetWORK Podcast. This is part two of the coronavirus update on the Autism News NetWORK. I’m here today with Dr. Amanda Eblin, who is a nurse practitioner at the Medical University of South Carolina. My name is Dr. Frampton gwynette, and I am a psychiatrist here at the Medical University of South Carolina. And you can follow me on Twitter @drgwynette, that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E, and on Instagram with the same handle. We’re here today to talk about the rapidly evolving coronavirus epidemic. Dr Eblin, thanks for being here.

Dr. Eblin: Thanks for having me. I was really looking forward to doing this podcast.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. We’ve been talking quite a bit about the coronavirus infection, and are you kind of surprised by how fast this thing has gained traction across the globe?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I think a lot of people are. I mean, over a couple days we’ve increased the number of cases in the U.S. like crazy. I know on Friday we had no cases in South Carolina, and I think today we have almost seven, correct?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s right. I recorded Friday at like five o’clock and we had zero.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So in four days we’ve seen seven. And we did have an MUSC employee that was diagnosed who has not been back to work. But that was announced by our university, I think on Saturday, right?

Dr. Eblin: I think Friday night.

Dr. Gwynette: Friday night.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So it’s hitting very close to home for us here in Charleston, South Carolina, and also for people all over the country and all over the world. And have you seen things start to change in your everyday life in terms of how people are reacting to the news?

Dr. Eblin: I haven’t seen a lot of significant change in Charleston. I know people are more mindful of hand sanitizing and infection control and things like that. But day to day life there hasn’t been any major changes. People are still going to the grocery store here, going to church, they’re going to work. Schools are still functioning.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. The traffic’s still the same.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. But we haven’t had a major, major outbreak here yet. I know in New York they’ve had a major outbreak, and LA, and Seattle. And I know Seattle, they’re making a lot of people work from home. I heard University of Washington is making all their students do school online right now. So, it hasn’t been that bad in South Carolina yet. Hopefully it doesn’t get that bad.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. There’s been 29 deaths in the United States and 23 of them have been Washington state. And there’s been four states, I believe it’s California, Washington, New York and Maryland that have called states of emergency. So, it’s getting pretty scary out there. The worldwide numbers really are, they’re going up so fast, it’s hard to even keep track. But as of today, there’s 118,000 infections worldwide. And then we’ve seen, of course, China being the number one country for most infections. And then in the last several days, Italy has vaulted into the number two spot. We’ve seen 10,000 total cases in Italy and 631 deaths there. And that’s just been the last couple of weeks. So, now you heard that Italy’s locked down the entire country?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. It was originally just going to be Northern Italy that they were going to lock down and that people were going to get fines if they didn’t follow through with the lockdown and could get up to three months in jail. But now they’ve moved it to the whole country.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And now you had heard about somebody who was on Snapchat still traveling through Italy as we speak, is that right?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I still have people that are still traveling all over the world. Some people aren’t as concerned about it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s the thing is that stepping on a plane or traveling through one of these epidemic areas is definitely high risk. But now it’s kind of changing, because now the United States might be one of those places, where we live. So it’s pretty hectic. But, the travel is definitely down. United Airlines released a statement today that passengers are down by 70% now. So, you can just think about that. There’s 10 seats in a plane, 70 are empty, which is pretty crazy. Do you know anybody who’s canceled trips or canceled conferences?

Dr. Eblin: Not that I know of at this moment. Do you have anybody that’s been canceling?

Dr. Gwynette: Well, I think people are in general canceling meetings and conferences, but I’ve been paying particular attention to the medical conferences that are getting canceled. And we know just in the last day or two, there’s been at least 13 major meetings in the medical field that have been canceled. Some of the big ones are like the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Cardiology, The Endocrine Society, The European Heart Rhythm Association. So, all over the world doctors are canceling their conferences, which is a pretty big deal, because usually the medical community’s not one to panic and they’re basing it on the data.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. And that says a lot that the medical community’s taking it really, really seriously. Do you know what the top physicians and doctors are recommending to the public regarding this?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is the preventative hand washing is huge. Try not to touch your face. We know that this virus lives on a surface for at least nine hours. It seems to be really spreading like wildfire. And I guess that’s definitely bad news. The good news is that the lethality is not as high as, I think we feared initially. But according to the number of cases that the CDC has put out, in terms of the active cases versus the deaths, it’s about 6.5% which is pretty scary. We still don’t have a true lethality rate. And I think one factor is that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Say a young person who gets it is perfectly healthy, they can spread it all around but not really be effected. I think that’s why we’re seeing just the amazing number of countries that have it, because was it over 90 countries, right?

Dr. Eblin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Dr. Eblin: How is this different from the flu? Because I know some people are comparing it to the flu. How’s this different from that?

Dr. Gwynette: Sure. So the flu, I think number one is certainly it’s not just one pathogen, it might be multiple different viruses. So every year with the vaccine, they come up with the top few viruses that are likely to cause seasonal flu and then they vaccinate against those. This one, it’s like a very specific known pathogen, which apparently is new as of 2019. I’m interested to know if they actually found it in 2019 and it was born in 2019, or if it’s been around longer and we’re just now finding it. Because the way this thing is spreading, like it or not, just about everyone in the world will probably end up getting it. Most people are going to do fine, but there’ll be a subset that doesn’t.

Dr. Eblin: Which kind of people are the most at risk for this disease or virus?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. I mean, I think the scary thing is if you get into your 70s the death rates are going up to like 9%. If you’re over 80, 80 or over, it’s 14%. So a lot of the cases and deaths we’re seeing are in the elderly.

Dr. Eblin: Well, I’ve noticed something interesting. I don’t know what the most up to date data is today, but they’re saying that they haven’t had any death rates in kids under nine, and kind of scientists are kind of baffled on that children are kind of resistant to this.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Isn’t that something?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: And did you hear any reasons why that might be current? Because I haven’t.

Dr. Eblin: I haven’t heard anything yet either, but it’s something that’s definitely interesting.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I guess the shorts there is probably the kids’ immune systems are stronger. If a kid has a cut or if they break their leg, they heal so much faster versus adults. So it might be they have a more robust immune system. I think that’ll be tested in newborns and infants where their immune systems are still developing. But yeah, looking at the death rates worldwide, it’s about 6.6% worldwide, so across the board when you look at the number of deaths versus number of people recovered. And the seasonal flu, the lethality rate is approximately 0.1%. So you’re seeing that right now this virus according to current calculations is about 50 to 60 times more deadly than a seasonal flu.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. So it’s a lot more serious.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So there’s definitely reason to be concerned. Hopefully people aren’t going to be panicking. Have you heard about anything with hand sanitizer on eBay and grocery stores selling out?

Dr. Eblin: My grocery store isn’t sold out yet, so I don’t think anyone’s quite panicking where we live. Have you heard stories like that?

Dr. Gwynette: I mean, I’ve just heard people selling hand sanitizer for $70 on eBay. Other people were trying to do a life hack, making their own hand sanitizer.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. Their kind of profiting off a virus.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Some of the gouging. And that kind of leads us to some of the economic impacts. Have you been watching the stock market?

Dr. Eblin: I have. And I know you’re the economics expert from undergrad [crosstalk 00:00:09:22]-

Dr. Gwynette: Well, not really. I studied business in college. But do you feel any poorer in the last week? Have you seen a dent in your 401k or anything like that?

Dr. Eblin: Well, yeah, my husband checked our retirement and he was saying it’s a little bit less from December when he had last seen it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Probably slightly.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. What about you?

Dr. Gwynette: The same thing, where basically the stock market is down at pretty unprecedented levels in a very short amount of time. So, yesterday it was down almost 7%, went down 2000 points in one day. And so we’re seeing not only the stock market crash, but also oil crashed yesterday for a variety of reasons. But, oil going down, cheaper gas should be good for everybody. But when you look at the market and stuff, everyone’s really panicking about that.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I heard they halted trading for 15 minutes yesterday.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And a lot of that is the psychology of the market, which is interesting to us. But then the market came back a thousand points today. So it’s very volatile, not only in the medical world with the virus, but also in the economic world. Just some other data points. I wanted to talk a little bit to the audience about our CDC in the United States, because they are the official counter of the number of cases, the number of deaths, but it lags behind other sources. There’s the Johns Hopkins University Online Dashboard that I definitely recommend people looking at. And then the CDC may lag 24 to 48 hours in terms of what Johns Hopkins is reporting. But the CDC has to be absolutely sure that all cases are confirmed before they report. So I’ve been looking at kind of a hybrid of the CDC, which is really like the horse’s mouth, versus Johns Hopkins, which is an excellent up to the hour database. But yeah, there’s a lot of confusing information out there. So those two sources I think are good. Where are you getting your information from these days in terms of the coronavirus?

Dr. Eblin: I’ve been watching a lot of the news and getting it mostly off of that. Just getting what the updates of what other places in the world are doing to manage it.

Dr. Gwynette: Sure. Sure. Yeah. And I’ve heard Web MD can be helpful, that’s a good site. Now, definitely recommend to the audience, if you can lean more medical towards your source of information, a website that’s not set up necessarily to sell advertising or get a lot of eyeballs on there. Yeah. Do you get the sense that news anchors and stuff are creating a sensation or are they really calm on the air?

Dr. Eblin: I mean, I think it varies. But I think when it comes to medical outbreaks like this, I think it’s important that society and politicians listen to the medical professionals because they’re the experts in the field.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. We’ve had a couple of, I guess practice runs here in South Carolina with potential disasters like with when hurricanes come through. How do you feel like it compares? When we had an evacuation in the fall of 2019 and you saw the gas lines and people getting out of town, do you feel like the general public is more calm about the hurricane or more calm about coronavirus just here in Charleston?

Dr. Eblin: I mean, I think it depends on which part of the country it is. I mean, we haven’t seen an extreme hit in Charleston yet, so we don’t know. It’s hard to compare.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it’s kind of untested.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, we were also talking about large gatherings, and you had heard something about schools, right?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I know more universities are moving to having their students do online school. I think Harvard is moving to that, as well as Princeton having their students do schooling online for now.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And there were also schools out West, I think Stanford in Washington, and they’re just trying to break up those large gatherings of people to try to prevent the transmission of the virus. And what are your personal thoughts on, as of today, March 10th, going to big, crowded places like churches? Are you reconsidering right now?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I mean, I think I’m a little bit more reserved because we’ve seen an increase in cases in South Carolina and all over the country. So it’s only going to increase. So I mean, I do feel a little bit more concerned about being in large gatherings where you can be exposed to possibly something. You have a higher chance of that.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. If you had to guess, when do you think the peak of this thing will be, given the weather and …

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think it’s over, I think it’s just beginning. We’ve seen that over the last week.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. If I hadn’t mentioned earlier, we’ve got 800 cases in the U.S. now, which is pretty mind boggling considering where we were a week ago. Yeah. So I think for our audience as we wrap up here, we just want to remind everybody to get the best information you can, not to panic of course. But definitely be mindful about washing your hands, hand sanitizer is good. I personally don’t use that because it’s so drying, but there’s nothing better really than washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. But we can’t always do that, so certainly hand sanitizer. And then disinfecting things like keyboards, or desktops, doorknobs, elevator buttons, our phone screens, everything. And then hope for the best. And certainly if you are medically compromised and or elderly, really consider isolation precautions so you’re not exposed to big crowds.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay, well very good. Well Dr. Eblin, thank you for joining us-

Dr. Eblin: Thanks for having me.

Dr. Gwynette: … on the second special episode of the Autism News NetWORK Podcast. Again, you can follow me @drgwynette, that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E. And please check out our website. It’s theautismnewsnetwork.com. We have just an awesome dedicated group of individuals with autism and help our station and our website go. Did you want to give a shout out to any of our Autism News NetWORK members?

Dr. Eblin: I’ll give a shout out to all of them.

Dr. Gwynette: Yep. It sounds great. Great work guys. We will see you Thursday for the Autism News NetWORK in group session, and we will drop another podcast here on Friday with Ben. And he is a 35 year old male with autism who does autism research here at MUSC, and he was generous enough to come in and share his story with us. So please stay tuned for that dropping this Friday. Until next time, thanks so much. Bye.

Dr. Gwynette: Hello, and welcome to the Autism News NetWORK Podcast. This is part two of the coronavirus update on the Autism News NetWORK. I’m here today with Dr. Amanda Eblin, who is a nurse practitioner at the Medical University of South Carolina. My name is Dr. Frampton gwynette, and I am a psychiatrist here at the Medical University of South Carolina. And you can follow me on Twitter @drgwynette, that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E, and on Instagram with the same handle. We’re here today to talk about the rapidly evolving coronavirus epidemic. Dr Eblin, thanks for being here.

Dr. Eblin: Thanks for having me. I was really looking forward to doing this podcast.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. We’ve been talking quite a bit about the coronavirus infection, and are you kind of surprised by how fast this thing has gained traction across the globe?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I think a lot of people are. I mean, over a couple days we’ve increased the number of cases in the U.S. like crazy. I know on Friday we had no cases in South Carolina, and I think today we have almost seven, correct?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s right. I recorded Friday at like five o’clock and we had zero.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So in four days we’ve seen seven. And we did have an MUSC employee that was diagnosed who has not been back to work. But that was announced by our university, I think on Saturday, right?

Dr. Eblin: I think Friday night.

Dr. Gwynette: Friday night.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So it’s hitting very close to home for us here in Charleston, South Carolina, and also for people all over the country and all over the world. And have you seen things start to change in your everyday life in terms of how people are reacting to the news?

Dr. Eblin: I haven’t seen a lot of significant change in Charleston. I know people are more mindful of hand sanitizing and infection control and things like that. But day to day life there hasn’t been any major changes. People are still going to the grocery store here, going to church, they’re going to work. Schools are still functioning.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. The traffic’s still the same.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. But we haven’t had a major, major outbreak here yet. I know in New York they’ve had a major outbreak, and LA, and Seattle. And I know Seattle, they’re making a lot of people work from home. I heard University of Washington is making all their students do school online right now. So, it hasn’t been that bad in South Carolina yet. Hopefully it doesn’t get that bad.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. There’s been 29 deaths in the United States and 23 of them have been Washington state. And there’s been four states, I believe it’s California, Washington, New York and Maryland that have called states of emergency. So, it’s getting pretty scary out there. The worldwide numbers really are, they’re going up so fast, it’s hard to even keep track. But as of today, there’s 118,000 infections worldwide. And then we’ve seen, of course, China being the number one country for most infections. And then in the last several days, Italy has vaulted into the number two spot. We’ve seen 10,000 total cases in Italy and 631 deaths there. And that’s just been the last couple of weeks. So, now you heard that Italy’s locked down the entire country?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. It was originally just going to be Northern Italy that they were going to lock down and that people were going to get fines if they didn’t follow through with the lockdown and could get up to three months in jail. But now they’ve moved it to the whole country.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And now you had heard about somebody who was on Snapchat still traveling through Italy as we speak, is that right?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I still have people that are still traveling all over the world. Some people aren’t as concerned about it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s the thing is that stepping on a plane or traveling through one of these epidemic areas is definitely high risk. But now it’s kind of changing, because now the United States might be one of those places, where we live. So it’s pretty hectic. But, the travel is definitely down. United Airlines released a statement today that passengers are down by 70% now. So, you can just think about that. There’s 10 seats in a plane, 70 are empty, which is pretty crazy. Do you know anybody who’s canceled trips or canceled conferences?

Dr. Eblin: Not that I know of at this moment. Do you have anybody that’s been canceling?

Dr. Gwynette: Well, I think people are in general canceling meetings and conferences, but I’ve been paying particular attention to the medical conferences that are getting canceled. And we know just in the last day or two, there’s been at least 13 major meetings in the medical field that have been canceled. Some of the big ones are like the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Cardiology, The Endocrine Society, The European Heart Rhythm Association. So, all over the world doctors are canceling their conferences, which is a pretty big deal, because usually the medical community’s not one to panic and they’re basing it on the data.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. And that says a lot that the medical community’s taking it really, really seriously. Do you know what the top physicians and doctors are recommending to the public regarding this?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is the preventative hand washing is huge. Try not to touch your face. We know that this virus lives on a surface for at least nine hours. It seems to be really spreading like wildfire. And I guess that’s definitely bad news. The good news is that the lethality is not as high as, I think we feared initially. But according to the number of cases that the CDC has put out, in terms of the active cases versus the deaths, it’s about 6.5% which is pretty scary. We still don’t have a true lethality rate. And I think one factor is that people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Say a young person who gets it is perfectly healthy, they can spread it all around but not really be effected. I think that’s why we’re seeing just the amazing number of countries that have it, because was it over 90 countries, right?

Dr. Eblin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Dr. Eblin: How is this different from the flu? Because I know some people are comparing it to the flu. How’s this different from that?

Dr. Gwynette: Sure. So the flu, I think number one is certainly it’s not just one pathogen, it might be multiple different viruses. So every year with the vaccine, they come up with the top few viruses that are likely to cause seasonal flu and then they vaccinate against those. This one, it’s like a very specific known pathogen, which apparently is new as of 2019. I’m interested to know if they actually found it in 2019 and it was born in 2019, or if it’s been around longer and we’re just now finding it. Because the way this thing is spreading, like it or not, just about everyone in the world will probably end up getting it. Most people are going to do fine, but there’ll be a subset that doesn’t.

Dr. Eblin: Which kind of people are the most at risk for this disease or virus?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. I mean, I think the scary thing is if you get into your 70s the death rates are going up to like 9%. If you’re over 80, 80 or over, it’s 14%. So a lot of the cases and deaths we’re seeing are in the elderly.

Dr. Eblin: Well, I’ve noticed something interesting. I don’t know what the most up to date data is today, but they’re saying that they haven’t had any death rates in kids under nine, and kind of scientists are kind of baffled on that children are kind of resistant to this.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Isn’t that something?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: And did you hear any reasons why that might be current? Because I haven’t.

Dr. Eblin: I haven’t heard anything yet either, but it’s something that’s definitely interesting.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I guess the shorts there is probably the kids’ immune systems are stronger. If a kid has a cut or if they break their leg, they heal so much faster versus adults. So it might be they have a more robust immune system. I think that’ll be tested in newborns and infants where their immune systems are still developing. But yeah, looking at the death rates worldwide, it’s about 6.6% worldwide, so across the board when you look at the number of deaths versus number of people recovered. And the seasonal flu, the lethality rate is approximately 0.1%. So you’re seeing that right now this virus according to current calculations is about 50 to 60 times more deadly than a seasonal flu.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. So it’s a lot more serious.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So there’s definitely reason to be concerned. Hopefully people aren’t going to be panicking. Have you heard about anything with hand sanitizer on eBay and grocery stores selling out?

Dr. Eblin: My grocery store isn’t sold out yet, so I don’t think anyone’s quite panicking where we live. Have you heard stories like that?

Dr. Gwynette: I mean, I’ve just heard people selling hand sanitizer for $70 on eBay. Other people were trying to do a life hack, making their own hand sanitizer.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. Their kind of profiting off a virus.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Some of the gouging. And that kind of leads us to some of the economic impacts. Have you been watching the stock market?

Dr. Eblin: I have. And I know you’re the economics expert from undergrad [crosstalk 00:00:09:22]-

Dr. Gwynette: Well, not really. I studied business in college. But do you feel any poorer in the last week? Have you seen a dent in your 401k or anything like that?

Dr. Eblin: Well, yeah, my husband checked our retirement and he was saying it’s a little bit less from December when he had last seen it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Probably slightly.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. What about you?

Dr. Gwynette: The same thing, where basically the stock market is down at pretty unprecedented levels in a very short amount of time. So, yesterday it was down almost 7%, went down 2000 points in one day. And so we’re seeing not only the stock market crash, but also oil crashed yesterday for a variety of reasons. But, oil going down, cheaper gas should be good for everybody. But when you look at the market and stuff, everyone’s really panicking about that.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I heard they halted trading for 15 minutes yesterday.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And a lot of that is the psychology of the market, which is interesting to us. But then the market came back a thousand points today. So it’s very volatile, not only in the medical world with the virus, but also in the economic world. Just some other data points. I wanted to talk a little bit to the audience about our CDC in the United States, because they are the official counter of the number of cases, the number of deaths, but it lags behind other sources. There’s the Johns Hopkins University Online Dashboard that I definitely recommend people looking at. And then the CDC may lag 24 to 48 hours in terms of what Johns Hopkins is reporting. But the CDC has to be absolutely sure that all cases are confirmed before they report. So I’ve been looking at kind of a hybrid of the CDC, which is really like the horse’s mouth, versus Johns Hopkins, which is an excellent up to the hour database. But yeah, there’s a lot of confusing information out there. So those two sources I think are good. Where are you getting your information from these days in terms of the coronavirus?

Dr. Eblin: I’ve been watching a lot of the news and getting it mostly off of that. Just getting what the updates of what other places in the world are doing to manage it.

Dr. Gwynette: Sure. Sure. Yeah. And I’ve heard Web MD can be helpful, that’s a good site. Now, definitely recommend to the audience, if you can lean more medical towards your source of information, a website that’s not set up necessarily to sell advertising or get a lot of eyeballs on there. Yeah. Do you get the sense that news anchors and stuff are creating a sensation or are they really calm on the air?

Dr. Eblin: I mean, I think it varies. But I think when it comes to medical outbreaks like this, I think it’s important that society and politicians listen to the medical professionals because they’re the experts in the field.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. We’ve had a couple of, I guess practice runs here in South Carolina with potential disasters like with when hurricanes come through. How do you feel like it compares? When we had an evacuation in the fall of 2019 and you saw the gas lines and people getting out of town, do you feel like the general public is more calm about the hurricane or more calm about coronavirus just here in Charleston?

Dr. Eblin: I mean, I think it depends on which part of the country it is. I mean, we haven’t seen an extreme hit in Charleston yet, so we don’t know. It’s hard to compare.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it’s kind of untested.

Dr. Eblin: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, we were also talking about large gatherings, and you had heard something about schools, right?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I know more universities are moving to having their students do online school. I think Harvard is moving to that, as well as Princeton having their students do schooling online for now.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And there were also schools out West, I think Stanford in Washington, and they’re just trying to break up those large gatherings of people to try to prevent the transmission of the virus. And what are your personal thoughts on, as of today, March 10th, going to big, crowded places like churches? Are you reconsidering right now?

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I mean, I think I’m a little bit more reserved because we’ve seen an increase in cases in South Carolina and all over the country. So it’s only going to increase. So I mean, I do feel a little bit more concerned about being in large gatherings where you can be exposed to possibly something. You have a higher chance of that.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. If you had to guess, when do you think the peak of this thing will be, given the weather and …

Dr. Eblin: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think it’s over, I think it’s just beginning. We’ve seen that over the last week.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. If I hadn’t mentioned earlier, we’ve got 800 cases in the U.S. now, which is pretty mind boggling considering where we were a week ago. Yeah. So I think for our audience as we wrap up here, we just want to remind everybody to get the best information you can, not to panic of course. But definitely be mindful about washing your hands, hand sanitizer is good. I personally don’t use that because it’s so drying, but there’s nothing better really than washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. But we can’t always do that, so certainly hand sanitizer. And then disinfecting things like keyboards, or desktops, doorknobs, elevator buttons, our phone screens, everything. And then hope for the best. And certainly if you are medically compromised and or elderly, really consider isolation precautions so you’re not exposed to big crowds.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay, well very good. Well Dr. Eblin, thank you for joining us-

Dr. Eblin: Thanks for having me.

Dr. Gwynette: … on the second special episode of the Autism News NetWORK Podcast. Again, you can follow me @drgwynette, that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E. And please check out our website. It’s theautismnewsnetwork.com. We have just an awesome dedicated group of individuals with autism and help our station and our website go. Did you want to give a shout out to any of our Autism News NetWORK members?

Dr. Eblin: I’ll give a shout out to all of them.

Dr. Gwynette: Yep. It sounds great. Great work guys. We will see you Thursday for the Autism News NetWORK in group session, and we will drop another podcast here on Friday with Ben. And he is a 35 year old male with autism who does autism research here at MUSC, and he was generous enough to come in and share his story with us. So please stay tuned for that dropping this Friday. Until next time, thanks so much. Bye.

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